The Catholic University of America

April 10, 2012

CUA Completes 352,627 Hours of Service

  From left, 125th Anniversary Committee co-chairs Randall Ott and Bart Pollock, President John Garvey, and Vice President for University Relations and Chief of Staff Frank Persico unveil the service hours total. 
> Photo gallery
Video of President Garvey's speech

A total of 3,046 members of The Catholic University of America community completed 352,627 hours of service, far surpassing the goal of 125,000 hours to mark the school’s 125th anniversary, the University announced today during a Founders Day celebration in front of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

The Cardinal Service Commitment, which began on May 15, 2011, was the cornerstone of the University’s 125th anniversary celebration. It challenged students, faculty, staff, and alumni to complete 125,000 hours of service before Founders Day on April 10, 2012. Founders Day commemorates Pope Leo XIII’s 1887 letter to Cardinal James Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore, giving his formal approval for the founding of Catholic University.

Before a crowd of faculty, staff, and students dressed in red CUA T-shirts, 125th Anniversary Committee co-chairs Randall Ott, dean of architecture and planning, and Bart Pollock, web content editor, presented President John Garvey with a plaque highlighting the final service hours tally. The plaque is a smaller version of one that will hang in the Pryzbyla Center.

In his speech, Garvey noted how the virtues behind the challenge connect the University community to the American bishops who founded the school.

  Related Links

 > Anniversary letter from the Vatican

> Service hours breakdown by school, class, group and more

> Service award winners

> Cardinal Wuerl's homily at Founders Day Mass

> President Garvey's Founders Day Speech

To the bishops, the ideas that “love and wisdom go together” and “how we live shapes our pursuit of knowledge” were central to Catholic education, Garvey explained.

The bishops “wanted to offer a world-class intellectual formation, but also to form students to become good, holy people,” he added.

Eight individuals (including students, faculty, staff, and an alumnus) and three student organizations that made outstanding contributions to the Cardinal Service Commitment were recognized during the ceremony. For more about the honorees, visit

The original goal of 125,000 hours of service was reached on Jan. 24. Since then, the challenge has reached two other milestones. In mid-March, students alone exceeded 125,000 hours of service. During the last week of March, the hours of service performed within the city of Washington, D.C., also passed 125,000. A total of 63,059 hours of service were contributed to the Catholic Church and affiliated organizations.

Garvey cuts the cake featuring the CUA shield.
> Photo gallery

At the end of his speech, Garvey said he hoped the spirit of service would continue long after this anniversary.

“With the close of the Cardinal Service Commitment, and as we move forward into our next 125 years, my prayer is that you and the students who follow will become the sort of people this University was founded to educate,” he said. “Guided by the virtues, a spirit of generosity, and above all, a love for God, I hope you and they will grow in understanding and wisdom.”

During the celebration, Vice President for University Relations and Chief of Staff Frank Persico quizzed the crowd on University trivia, handing out $100 University bookstore gift cards to those who answered correctly. Some of the questions reflected historical events pictured in banners hanging in the Pryzbyla Center windows.

At the end of the ceremony, a large cake depicting the CUA shield was cut by Garvey and shared with the crowd along with cupcakes and punch served in red Catholic University cups.

Catholic University will continue to celebrate the 125th anniversary throughout the week with a series of events.



More 125th Anniversary News