UD Past President Receives Education Award
University of Dayton Past President Bro. Raymond Fitz, SM, received the Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for outstanding contributions to Catholic higher education last month in Washington, DC.
The longest-serving president in UD’s history, Bro. Ray was nominated for the award by current UD President Daniel Curran. Named for Fr. Hesbugh, CSC, the award is given every year at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU)’s annual meeting.
“Bro. Ray’s contributions to Catholic higher education are both local and global,” said Michael Galligan-Stierle, president of the ACCU. “He lent his insights to the Vatican as a U.S. consultant during the drafting of Ex corde Ecclesiae; he informed the writing of the Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae in the United States; and he has significantly transformed the University of Dayton.”
Bro. Ray served as president from 1979 to 2002. “His twin abilities to think boldly and empower people led to remarkable growth during his tenure with dramatic gains in the operating budget, endowment and sponsored research,” a UD spokesperson said. “An engineer by training and a deeply humble and spiritual man, he is known for his systematic, persistent approach to addressing complex community issues.”
In the 1990s, Fitz chaired Montgomery County’s Child Protection Task Force after five children in Dayton’s child welfare system died. Through work with the Dayton Public Schools’ Neighborhood School Centers and urban Catholic schools, he focused on partnerships that create opportunities for young people to succeed and families to flourish. For the past 12 year, he has served as the Ferree Professor of Social Justice at the university, where he teaches classes that connect Catholic social teaching to urban social justice issues.
In October, UD dedicated its College Park Center as Raymond L. Fitz Hall. The Fitz Center for Leadership in Community is also named for him. Every year, the Montgomery County Human Services Planning and Development Department gives the Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Ph.D. Award to a front-line agency worker or grassroots community member “who exemplifies Brother Ray’s dedication and commitment to the cause of nurturing and protecting children.”
Photos courtesy the University of Dayton.
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