Good evening and welcome to Villa Richardson!
Thank you for joining us as we honor the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
I would like to thank the ACCU and the Lay Centre for co-hosting tonight’s reception. I’d also like to thank Michael Galligan-Stierle and Donna Orsuto for making this evening possible.
Since its founding in 1899, the ACCU has grown to represent more than 90 percent of accredited Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States.
Through research, publications, conferences, and ecumenical relationships with partner institutions, the ACCU encourages and facilitates collaboration among Catholic colleges and universities.
The Rome Seminar, which brings you here this evening, is one example of how the Association offers its members unique and fulfilling experiences.
This week you have an opportunity to explore the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the Catholic Church through meetings with Curia officials.
I hope that this firsthand experience at the Vatican will strengthen your efforts to serve as a collective voice of U.S. Catholic higher education.
As the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, and a lifelong Catholic, I can attest to the importance of partnering with the Vatican on issues of shared concern.
Indeed, the United States and the Holy See are united by a common objective to promote peace, freedom, and human dignity around the world.
Although the Vatican encompasses less than one-quarter of a square mile, the Holy See’s influence extends to 1.3 billion Catholic and millions of non-Catholics as well.
Like the United States, the Holy See engages on every continent, with access and credibility in places many governments are unable to work.
Since 1984 the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See has relied on this enormous reach and influence.
Today our partnership is a world-wide force for good – safeguarding religious freedom, defending human rights, and seeking peaceful solutions to crises around the world.
Like the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities has established a great legacy – one built upon the foundation of dedicated service and leadership.
For more than 40 years, Michael Galligan-Stierle has embodied these qualities in higher education. As President and CEO of ACCU, he has contributed to the long-term success and growth of this remarkable organization. Thank you, Michael. We wish you continued success
I’d like to offer a toast: to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities – Salute!
Thank you for joining us this evening.