Tuesday February 22, 2011

Honoring the Historian

Philip Gleason, the country's pre-eminent historian of American Catholicism, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Dayton this spring.

Philip Gleason, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame and the pre-eminent living historian of American Catholicism, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Dayton at 9 a.m. on April 13, in the Sears Recital Hall in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center on campus.

The ceremony is on the morning of the Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium, the University's annual celebration and showcase of student research and performance. It's open to the public.

A 1951 alumnus of the University of Dayton, Gleason has made major contributions to the fields of American intellectual history, American immigration and ethnic history, and the history of U.S. Catholicism, including his 1995 history of Catholic higher education, Contending With Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century.

He taught in the history department of the University of Notre Dame from 1959 to his retirement in 1996.  Gleason received the 1994 University of Dayton Marianist Award and has been awarded honorary degrees from Marquette University and Loyola University of Chicago.  He holds a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Dayton.

"This is unexpected and most gratifying," Gleason said. "I have fond memories of the University of Dayton, both teachers and students. I appreciate this recognition from my alma mater."

In addition to the degree ceremony, Gleason will join David O’Brien, University Professor of Faith and Culture, and William Portier, Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology, at a 1 p.m. panel discussion. A location has not been announced yet.

"The award recognizes Dr. Philip Gleason's extraordinary achievement and leadership in the area of U.S. Catholic history. His life's work exemplifies the Catholic and Marianist character of the University of Dayton," said Jack O'Gorman, co-chair of the honorary degree committee and a reference and instruction librarian in Roesch Library.

For more information, contact Jack O'Gorman at 937-229-2324 or Jason Pierce at 937-229-3648.