The Catholic University of America

March 28, 2012

CUA to Celebrate 125 Years with Week of Events

  Anniversary emblem

On April 10, 1887, Pope Leo XIII sent a letter to Cardinal James Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore, giving his formal approval for the founding of The Catholic University of America. The University observes that date as its Founders Day, the official beginning of its history as the national University of the Catholic Church in America.
During the week of April 10 to 14, the Catholic University community will celebrate the 125th anniversary with the events listed below.

  • Tuesday, April 10, Founders Day Mass at 12:10 p.m. in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Crypt Church
    Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and chancellor of the University, will be the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass.

    Anniversary Celebration at 4 p.m. on the West Lawn outside the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center (in case of inclement weather, the celebration will take place on the third floor of the Pryzbyla Center).
    The University community is invited to join President John Garvey and Jeanne Garvey as the University recognizes the participants in CUA’s service commitment. At this ceremony, Catholic University will announce the total number of hours of service performed by the University community since the Cardinal Service Commitment started last summer. Cake and punch will be served.
  • Wednesday, April 11, “Stories of the Teacherly Life: Faculty Reflect on Their Decades at CUA” at 2:10 p.m. in the Pryzbyla Center, Great Room A
    Five longstanding Catholic University educators will reminisce about their teaching careers — offering stories of their fondest memories of CUA, favorite classes they have taught, and their favorite colleagues and students who have stood out and truly expressed the spirit of the University. The speakers panel includes Ralph Rohner (Columbus School of Law), Julius Levine (School of Architecture and Planning), Elaine Walter (Benjamin T. Rome School of Music), Lucy Cohen (School of Arts and Sciences), and Rev. Frank Matera (School of Theology and Religious Studies).

    Thursday, April 12, Historical Walking Tours of Campus at 10 a.m. and noon, beginning at the Post Office, McMahon Hall
    A University archivist leads a one-hour tour illustrating the unique history of CUA and its campus. Space on each tour is limited to 20. To register, visit

    CUA Lipdub Filming at 4 p.m. starting on the West Lawn outside the Pryzbyla Center
    The campus community will come together for a fun-filled afternoon of filming the first official CUA Lipdub video. To learn more and to sign up to participate, visit
  • Friday, April 13, Historical Walking Tours of Campus at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    See details above.

    Dedication of the Craves Family Alumni Center 4 p.m. at Father O’Connell Hall
    The Office of Alumni Relations will celebrate its new home in Father O’Connell Hall with a formal dedication and reception. For more information, visit

    125th Anniversary Student Founders Ball from 8 to 11 p.m., in the tent outside the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library
    Students are invited to the Founders Day Ball, which will feature food, fun, and dancing. For more information, visit
  • Saturday, April 14, Alumni Awards Gala
    5 p.m. Mass in Caldwell Chapel
    6 p.m. Reception in the Pryzbyla Center, Great Room
    7 p.m. Dinner in the Pryzbyla Center, Great Room
    Members of the CUA community are invited to honor this year’s recipients at the Alumni Awards Gala. Kevin Ryan, B.A. 1989, president of Covenant House, will receive the James Cardinal Gibbons Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. For more information and to register, visit

For more information on the University’s 125th anniversary or these events, visit Individuals requesting accommodations for disabilities should contact

MEDIA: Members of the media who wish to cover any of the events above should contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or  


More 125th Anniversary News