The Catholic University of America


On Friday, November 10, 2017, The Catholic University of America’s Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and School of Theology and Religious Studies co-host an academic conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Land O’Lakes statement, “The Idea of the Catholic University.”

The anniversary presents an opportunity for reflection on the past, present, and future of Catholic higher education in the United States and elsewhere. The Land O’Lakes statement, coming in the wake of the Second Vatican Council and the entrance of Catholics into the mainstream of American culture, sought to promote greater academic excellence and societal engagement among Catholic universities and colleges. Questions have arisen, though, as to the implementation and even adequacy of that vision. This conference, gathering scholars and Church leaders from across the country, will assess the past 50 years and propose constructive ways forward for Catholic higher education in its mission within the academy, Church, and society.

The conference to be held in Father O’Connell Hall, will commence at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. 

The conference program is as follows:

9:00-9:30: Conference Registration

9:30-9:45: Opening Prayer and Greeting

  • Very Rev. Mark Morozowich (Dean, School of Theology and Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America) 
  • John Garvey (President, The Catholic University of America)

9:45-10:45: “How Did We Get Here?”: Land O’Lakes in Historical Context

  •  Charles Strauss (Assistant Professor of History, Mount St. Mary’s University)

10:45-12:15: “Where Are We Going?”: The Idea of the Catholic University

  • Don Briel (Blessed John Henry Newman Chair of Liberal Arts, University of Mary)
  • David Walsh (Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Politics, The Catholic University of America)

12:15-1:15: Lunch

1:15-3:00: “From the Heart of the Church”: Academic and Ecclesial Perspectives on the Relationship of the Church and the University

  • His Eminence Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap. (Archbishop of Boston)
  • Christopher Ruddy (Associate Professor of Theology, The Catholic University of America)

3:00-3:15: Break

3:15-4:45: The University’s Contribution to Church and Society; the University’s Contribution to Students

  • Aaron Dominguez (Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Physics, The Catholic University of America)
  • Margarita Mooney (Associate Professor of Congregational Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary)

4:45-5:00: Concluding Remarks

  • Andrew Abela (Provost, The Catholic University of America)

The conference is open to the public but pre-registration is required. The fee is $30 for those who pre-register by November 1.  After November 1, the fee is $40. The fee covers attendance at the conference and a box lunch. The conference fee will be waived for current Catholic University faculty and students who register no later than November 1.

To register, go to . You will be asked to sign in using an Iris account. Simply click on "Sign Up" to create a username and password, and then proceed with registration.

Media coverage is invited and press should contact or (202) 319-5600. Media must pre-register.