Annual faculty awards recognize distinguished service

Author: From the Office of the Provost

Golden Dome

Rev. John S. Dunne, C.S.C., the Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Catholic Theology, is the recipient of the 2013 Presidential Award, given to a member of the faculty or administration for distinguished service to Notre Dame over an extended period of time. A 1951 graduate of Notre Dame, Father Dunne is a Holy Cross priest who joined the faculty at his alma mater in 1957 and has been an important figure in the Department of Theology ever since. He arguably has taught more students than anyone else in the University’s history, and taught them superbly well, winning Notre Dame’s Sheedy Award and the Danforth Foundation Harbison Award in recognition of his efforts. Indeed, generations of Notre Dame alumni remember him not only because he is the author of almost 20 books or a sought-after lecturer at universities such as Yale and Oxford, but also because of the transformative impact he had on students within and beyond the classroom. The esteem in which both his colleagues and students hold him was abundantly clear at a 2007 conference convened to celebrate the golden anniversary of his appointment to the Notre Dame faculty. Several years later, that sentiment was echoed in glowing letters to the editor of Notre Dame Magazine—from individuals who learned from him decades apart—in response to a piece written by his younger brother that paid tribute to the man his family calls by his middle name, Scribner.

Nathan J. Elliot, rector of University Village, is the recipient of the 2013 Rev. William A. Toohey, C.S.C., Award for Social Justice. Leading his community with gentle compassion, Elliot is a tireless source of support for the Notre Dame graduate students, spouses and children of all faith traditions living in University Village. Under his direction, the Village’s staff has prioritized connecting residents with one another and the South Bend area through numerous programs that encourage spiritual, physical, emotional, professional and intercultural development; these have included initiatives to plant community gardens and help families find baby sitters and physicians. He counsels international students, arranges financial assistance for families and provides support networks during times of illness. A steady minister to a wide variety of needs, at any time of day or night, he treats all the residents of University Village with the respect and dignity they deserve as members of the Notre Dame family.

Rev. Thomas E. Blantz, C.S.C., professor emeritus of history, is the 2013 winner of the Rev. William A. Toohey, C.S.C., Award for Preaching, given to a Holy Cross priest who has made significant contributions to the University in many different ways. Father Blantz has served at the University for almost 50 years as an administrator, department chair and professor, living most of that time in campus residence halls. Among students, confreres in Holy Cross, faculty and staff, he has been an attentive pastoral minister, a valued counselor and a man of impeccable integrity. His preaching is clearly rooted in a deep love for Scripture and is as well-organized as his invariably concise history lectures. He is in every respect a priest’s priest whose fidelity is a credit to the Church and an inspiration to all who have come to know and appreciate the many ways in which his example embodies the highest ideals of teaching and service to Notre Dame.

Brad S. Gregory, professor of history and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair, is the recipient of the 2013 Thomas P. Madden Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching of first-year students. Gregory is well-known on campus as an exceptional teacher and internationally as a historian. The author of books that have transformed our understanding of early modern European history and the intellectual culture of the West, he brings all that he knows as a scholar into the classroom. As a teacher, he embodies the values that sustain Notre Dame. In a word, he loves his students. He loves them as persons and as thinkers, as young men and women who have an obligation to shape a broader culture, and he uses all in his power to draw out the best in them. Most recently, he has been named director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study, a perfect venue for someone of his abilities and sensibilities. His unbounded enthusiasm for the life of the mind is his greatest gift to our students.

Aedin N. Clements, associate librarian, is the recipient of the 2013 Rev. Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., Award for significant contributions by a member of the library faculty. Whether stepping up to lead a library department at short notice or organizing a tour of her native Dublin for members of the Library Advisory Council, Clements has served the University and her profession with distinction. Possessing a deep knowledge of Irish history and literature, she has elevated the Irish collections at Notre Dame to international eminence. Indeed, scholars from Ireland now come to Notre Dame to explore one of the world’s most comprehensive archives of Irish resources.

Edward M. Mack, rector of O’Neill Family Hall, is the recipient of the Rev. John Francis “Pop” Farley, C.S.C., Award, given annually to honor distinguished service to student life at Notre Dame. Mack is completing an 11-year tenure as the rector of O’Neill Family Hall after having served for 33 years as a high school English teacher and administrator. Beloved by his students and colleagues alike, he has led O’Neill with the warmth he exuded 11 years ago in his personal statement, where he wrote: “I suppose I think of the rector as a father, a shepherd to a large family, a catalyst, a point of convergence. I am sure that there are innumerable practical responsibilities in running a residence hall, but the most important aspect must be the formation of family and communal life.” With his longstanding dedication to the charism of Holy Cross, he has born profound witness to the words of Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., who believed that “education is the art of helping young people to completeness.”

Scott P. Mainwaring, Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor of Political Science and the recipient of the 2013 Research Achievement Award, is a noted scholar best known for his examination of the waves of democratization in Latin America and for providing analysis and commentary on issues of significance in world politics. A longtime director of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute, Mainwaring—a member of the faculty for 30 years—also enjoys an international reputation among those who study the Catholic Church in Latin America. He is the author or co-author of four books, the most recent of which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press later this year, and has served as an editor for more than 10 others. In addition, he has written approximately 60 articles and chapters for refereed publications. Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010, he has also received numerous prestigious fellowships and grants, including honors from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Hoover Institution.

Panos J. Antsaklis, H. Clifford and Evelyn A. Brosey Professor of Electrical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2013 Faculty Award. Since joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1980, Antsaklis has been widely recognized professionally and personally, on our campus and around the world. Antsaklis applies his knowledge of control and automation to the complex machinations of bodies ranging from hybrid dynamical systems and power systems to the University’s Academic Council. He is an effective teacher and valued mentor of both undergraduate and graduate students, and his service to the College of Engineering and Notre Dame has been exceptional. An international authority in his field, he is editor-in-chief of a flagship journal published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a winner of the Brown Engineering Alumni Medal, and, most recently, the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Lorraine in France.