D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to Speak at Commencement
Trinity will present an honorary doctor of laws to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at Commencement on May 20 for her leadership of the city of Washington and her commitment to public service. She will be the featured speaker at Trinity’s 114th Commencement.
“Mayor Bowser is one of only a very few women who are mayors of major cities in the United States,” said President Patricia McGuire. “She is a strong advocate for participation in public service and is pursuing an ambitious and positive agenda for our city. She holds Trinity and our students and graduates in very high regard and I know she will have a powerful message at Commencement.”
Bowser is a native Washingtonian and a graduate of a women’s college, Chatham University in Pittsburgh. In May 2016, she and President McGuire received honorary degrees from Chatham. In June 2016, Bowser came to Trinity’s campus to speak at the dedication of the Payden Academic Center.
As mayor, Bowser has expanded opportunity across all eight Wards of D.C. by strengthening job training programs and making investments in education to accelerate the pace of education reform. She is also dedicated to preserving and expanding affordable housing and committed $100 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund.
Prior to her election as mayor, Bowser served as the Ward 4 council member on the D.C. Council. She was succeeded by Trinity graduate Brandon Todd ’09. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in history from Chatham, Bowser earned a master’s degree in public policy from American University.
Ignatian Solidarity Network Honors President McGuire
President Patricia McGuire will be presented with the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award by the Ignatian Solidarity Network in May at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.
The Holstein Award honors an individual nationally each year who has demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The award’s namesake, the late Robert Holstein, was a former California Province Jesuit, labor lawyer, advocate for social justice, and one of the founders of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
The first layperson to receive the award, President McGuire is being honored for her advocacy of expanding access to higher education, at Trinity and nationally, and her leadership of Trinity into a “multifaceted university that serves as an example of how to successfully widen collegiate access and welcome students who have lived on the margins, predominantly students of color.” She is also being recognized as a passionate advocate for women and social justice, and for her commitment to the transformative power of education.
Past recipients of the award include Rev. Stephen Privett, SJ, chancellor, University of San Francisco; Fr. Michael Garanzini, SJ, former president and current chancellor of Loyola University Chicago; Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president, Catholic Health Association.
President McGuire received the distinguished Fr. Theodore Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, presented in spring 2016 by the TIAA Institute at the annual meeting of the American Council of Education. In fall 2015, she was honored with the prestigious Carnegie Award for Academic Leadership from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She is the first president of a Catholic college or university to receive the Carnegie Award; the first president of a D.C. institution to be honored; and only the second women’s college president to be recognized.
Dr. Bill Beverly’s First Novel Receives National, International Acclaim
In his “day job,” as associate professor of English, Dr. Bill Beverly teaches American literature and writing and is a faculty advisor for Trinity’s literary magazine, The Record. At night, he turns to crime – that is, writing about crime. His doctoral research on criminal fugitives and the stories surrounding them became the book, On the Lam: Narratives of Flight in J. Edgar Hoover’s America.
His debut novel, Dodgers, was published in spring 2016, and the literary world is taking notice. Dodgers is a coming-of-age journey of a young gang member in Los Angeles, who travels across the country and discovers a different America than what he experienced growing up and, along the way, discovers himself.
Beverly was honored this spring as one of two finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, one of the highest recognitions awarded to writers in America. He was recognized at a ceremony in Boston at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Last fall, Beverly’s novel won two awards from the British Crime Writers’ Association: the Gold Dagger, for the best crime novel of the year, and the John Creasey New Blood Dagger, for the year’s best debut crime novel. Dodgers is the first novel in the awards’ history to win both. In January, on Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, it was selected as one of six contenders for the Best First Novel Edgar, awarded by the Mystery Writers of America.
Dodgers was longlisted by The Guardian’s Not the Man Booker Prize contest and the American Library Association’s Andrew Carnegie Medal for Merit in Fiction. It was shortlisted by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association for Best Novel of the Year.
This spring, Beverly participated in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, where Dodgers won the top prize in the mystery/thriller category of the LA Times Book Prize. The novel is also shortlisted for the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year.
Amazon named Dodgers one of the Top 100 Editors’ Picks of the Year and was one of 20 books, including just 10 novels, to receive the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award: “Our newest favorite 1 a.m. read: A noir that reminded us of Richard Price and George Pelecanos and kept us turning pages well into the night.” The novel is being published in nine languages.
Billiart Center Highlights the Mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame
The Billiart Center for Social Justice at Trinity welcomed several dynamic speakers to campus this spring. Tim Shriver (left, pictured with Sr. Mary Johnson, SND) reflected on the positive ways his life has been influenced by his work as chair of Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ (center photo), author of Dead Man Walking, spoke about her lifelong commitment to fighting the death penalty. Prior to her talk at Trinity, several students saw the opera, Dead Man Walking, on opening night at the Kennedy Center.
Sr. Amarachi Ezeonu, SND (right), who represents the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at the United Nations, discussed the issues of human trafficking, sustainable development, and gender equality.
Sr. Mary Johnson, SND, Leads Study on International Sisters in the U.S.
Sr. Mary Johnson, SND, distinguished professor of sociology and religious studies, led a team of researchers who released a groundbreaking study this spring on international sisters in the United States. The study identified and explored the experiences of more than 4,000 sisters from all over the world who are now studying, working and ministering in this country.
The report, “Trinity Washington University/CARA Study: International Sisters in the United States,” is the first national study of these international sisters. The two-and-a-half-year study was supported by the GHR Foundation and Johnson worked with researchers at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University,
The study shows the diversity of women religious not just around the world, but in the United States. “We really set out on an adventure to see how many international sisters we could find. We were thrilled when we were able to find more than 4,000,” said Johnson. “It’s part of the global sisterhood that we are beginning to talk more about and envision.”
The report notes that, “These international sisters in the United States are part of the complex migration patterns that circle the world at this time…. [They are] creating new patterns of international relationship and ministry that have the potential for even greater collaboration and effectiveness in ministry as well as a renewed energy for the building up of religious life and the church, and in even greater service to the world.”
The study found sisters in the U.S. from 83 countries on six continents, with 33 percent from Asia and 28 percent from Europe. Nearly four in every 10 sisters from Asia were from Vietnam, while 41 percent of those from Europe were from Ireland.
Although the timing was unintentional, the release of a comprehensive study of international sisters while immigration is one of the biggest political topics is a reminder of Catholics’ belief in welcoming the stranger.
“The study helps us realize that our church is more diverse, wherever we are. These international sisters and the people they minister to are in rural areas, urban areas, in all kinds of institutes and ministries. They’re present in so many ways that sometimes we don’t even see,” Johnson said. “The second contribution the study makes is to the wider society against the backdrop of the political debate over immigration. It demonstrates how complex and beautiful the tapestry of immigrants is in our church and in our society.”
Corinne Cannon ’99, ’03, Inspires with her Commitment to Service
Social Hall was packed to capacity in October by students, faculty, Sister of Notre Dame and alumnae all eager to hear this year’s Sower’s Seed lecture, given by community activist and advocate Corinne Cannon ’99, ’03, founder and executive director of the DC Diaper Bank. Cannon inspired the entire crowd and moved many to tears with the story of her journey from Trinity student to nonprofit leader, CNN Hometown Hero and passionate advocate for babies and their families. Several of her role models were in the audience, including her mother, Dr. Lori Shpunt ’69, professor emerita of English, and Julia Hunter Galdo ’69, a communications professional and one of Cannon’s mentors.
Established by Kelly Snider Dunn ’64 and her family, the Sowers’ Seed program highlights alumnae and alumni who have incorporated into their lives the Catholic traditions of community service and social justice that are central to the Trinity experience. By sharing their stories, these graduates inspire new generations to lives of service.