The year 2022 will be remembered at The Catholic University of America for a historic leadership transition, as well as continued pioneering research and new campus landmarks. A new dining hall was opened. The University welcomed new leadership at Campus Ministry and the team led by University Chaplain Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P., who is committed to building on the legacy of the Conventual Franciscans.
The year was packed with so many incredible moments. See some of the photos that captured the excitement and learn more about Catholic University.
The Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America appointed Peter K. Kilpatrick, Ph.D., as the 16th president of the University on March 29 and the excitement was palpable throughout campus.
The former provost and vice president for academic affairs at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago was welcomed at an event the day of the announcement. He shared his vision for the national university of the Catholic Church.
“We must also be an example of a place in which faith and reason, as Pope St. John Paul the Great said, are two wings upon which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. We all have faith in someone or something, and faith should never be divorced from life of the mind nor from our activities in our daily lives. They must be integrated."
On April 29, Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, archbishop of Washington and chancellor of The Catholic University of America, and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled a sign for the University’s newly named Thea Bowman Drive. The dedication ceremony, which further demonstrated the University’s commitment to racial solidarity, was attended by University leadership and students, clergy and religious, city officials, and fifth-grade students from St. Anthony Catholic School, as well as numerous media outlets.
May's commencement was the last presided over by former University President John Garvey, who stepped down in June after 12 years of leading the University. He told the 1,500 graduates, “Beauty and suffering will take us far, but we can’t be wise without God’s help. Ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide. Make time for prayer.”
The Dominican Province of St. Joseph announced that Father Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P., would be the new Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at the University starting in July. Father Guilbeau was familiar with the University, having taught theology at the Dominican House of Studies, located across Michigan Avenue. He also served as the prior of the community.
In June, former President John Garvey shared a final reflection and thank you with the University community on his last day.
“I taught a class each spring on The Virtues to freshmen in the Honors Program; I made it a practice to offer reflections on different virtues at baccalaureate Masses and commencements. But the most wonderful thing about our time here is that Jeanne and I have had the opportunity to see these virtues enacted by all of you in the life of our community. Your example has been an inspiration to us.”
Philippe Villeneuve and Rémi Fromont, chief architects overseeing the restoration of the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris following a massive fire in April 2019, made the University their first stop on their U.S. tour.
The architects examined a replica truss raised on the University Mall and spoke with students while visiting the Crough Center to examine the models created as part of their programs of study at the School of Architecture and Planning.Juan Soto, a student in Catholic University’s School of Architecture and Planning, called it "an amazing opportunity to meet them. I think it’s incredible to have this opportunity here at Catholic University, and being able to talk to them and to get their insight, their input on Notre-Dame.”
Named after the patroness of the unborn, the Guadalupe Project is a commitment by the University to build a culture of radical welcome for families. Launched in October with a report and a number of deliverables, the Project is resulting in ongoing improvements to the quality of life and peace of mind of parents in our University community.
The University hosted an international group of faith-based humanitarian heroes for a weeklong series of events to introduce their work to the community ahead of the Opus Prize Awards Ceremony on Nov. 3, where a $1 million award and two $100,000 awards were granted.
Community Renewal International (CRI), founded by Mack McCarter in Shreveport, La., was the winner of the $1 million Opus Prize annual faith-based humanitarian award.
CRI, which has a presence across the United States and in Africa, works with local residents to revitalize cities through inter-related educational and community building programs. Major crime has plummeted in CRI neighborhoods and the relationships formed have led to creative solutions to strengthen the common good.
“We are so honored to host the prize a second time,” said Dr. Kilpatrick, noting that the University is the first to twice host the awards. “Having met all the wonderful finalists over the last few days…I know each of them is richly deserving of this recognition.”
At his installation as 16th president of Catholic University on Nov. 11, President Kilpatrick said his vision includes cultivating greater love of God and neighbor and significant institutional growth.
“Our mission (is) … to show love to each other, concretely through our acts of listening to each other, of serving each other, and of giving ourselves to each other,” said Dr. Kilpatrick.
The University is a distinctively comprehensive research institution that Kilpatrick said he is dedicated to growing. His goal is to have 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the University within 10 years.
A spectacular 35,000-square-foot dining hall, Garvey Hall, was opened in early December to rave reviews. It immediately provided expanded dining space, brand new cooking equipment, and fresher food made in front of guests. Named in honor of former University President Garvey and his wife, Jeanne Garvey, at the suggestion of an anonymous donor, the building will replace the current “Eatery” in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center.
Senior Tony Crnkovich, president of the Student Government Association, who emceed the ceremony, said students are excited by the opening of the new dining hall that was built in the Collegiate Gothic style.
President Kilpatrick and his wife Nancy led their first annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Catholic University in front of McMahon Hall on Dec. 2. Hundreds gathered around the tree in a moving ceremony.
Later that evening, students from the the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music held their annual Christmas Concert in the Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The talent of the University students was on full display.