The Catholic University of America

April 10, 2012

Anniversary Panel Discussion

Five Professors to Provide a Living History

A panel of five longstanding faculty members of The Catholic University of America will come together at 2:10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, as part of the University’s 125th anniversary celebration. Together they bring 125 years of service — and then some — to the table when they present “Stories of the Teacherly Life: Faculty Reflect on Their Decades at CUA” in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Great Room.

They will reflect on some of the changes they’ve seen over the years at the University. Rev. Frank Matera, one of the panelists, says technology accounts for the most impressive changes he has seen in his 24 years at CUA.

“It has changed how we teach, how we deal with students, how students relate to us, and how we do our research,” says Father Matera, who is the Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies in the School of Theology and Religious Studies.

“What remains constant,” he adds, “is a certain ‘spirit’ that identifies CUA as CUA. It is a spirit of community and dedication to scholarship.”

Father Matera will be joined on the panel by Elaine Walter, professor of musicology in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music; Ralph Rohner, James Whiteford Professor of Common Law in the Columbus School of Law; Julius Levine, a professor in the School of Architecture and Planning; and Lucy Cohen, professor of anthropology.

Walter notes that since Joseph Nuesse’s book, The Catholic University of America — A Centennial History, was published, the history of the University has not been formally documented. In light of that, she says, “I hope participants will find our experiences [of the past 25 years] interesting.”

In reflecting on her own experiences as a music school faculty member since 1963, Walter says, “Faculty, students, and staff are considered one family in the school of music as instituted by our first dean, John Paul, and continued up to the present by Dean Grayson Wagstaff. We work and play (literally) together and we support each other in good times and hard times. It was and is most rewarding to be part of a group that essentially shares common goals and pulls together for the benefit of all.”

Father Matera agrees. “The greatest rewards have been the people and students who I have met and the opportunity to study and teach what I most love, the Word of God.” Father Matera says that in addition to speaking about his teaching career, he plans to provide a brief tribute to “beloved” Professor David Johnson, of the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, who passed away last fall.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information on the University’s 125th anniversary events, visit Individuals requesting accommodations for disabilities should contact

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