UNDA hosts visit of US Notre Dame Governors

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 30-7-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia hosted a special visit by its US Governors on the Fremantle and Sydney campuses in July.

Rev Edward Malloy CSC, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame du Lac; Rev William Beauchamp CSC, President of the University of Portland and Rev Mark Poorman CSC, Executive Vice President of the University of Portland are all Holy Cross priests. The Holy Cross order and its universities have been singularly important contributors to Notre Dame since its establishment.

The US Governors attended a number of special events during their visit including a gathering of 'Friends of Notre Dame' on the Sydney Campus, and Graduation Ceremony and Blessing and Opening of the St Teresa's Library on the Fremantle Campus. On each occasion, guests had the opportunity to meet them and to hear their vital role in the establishment of Notre Dame.

"Our Governors have been a blessing to our University, actively supporting, encouraging and advising us," Vice Chancellor, Professor Hammond said.

"In 1992, Notre Dame enrolled its first students in postgraduate education on the Fremantle campus, with less than 100 students undertaking the course. From that very humble beginning, we now have over 10,000 students enrolled in campuses in Broome Sydney and Fremantle in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Law, Physiotherapy, Nursing & Midwifery, Medicine and Philosophy & Theology."

At the 'Friends of Notre Dame' event, Professor Hammond shared with guests, who included loyal supporters of the University and education professionals working in high schools, the many challenges affecting tertiary education institutions in Australia.

She also spoke about the hallmarks that set Catholic universities apart from others in the higher education landscape. The audience was then given the opportunity to ask the visiting Governors about their experiences in Catholic education in the United States and their involvement in establishing The University of Notre Dame Australia.

When asked how he came to be a founding father of Notre Dame, Fr Malloy said he believed he and his colleagues were brought to the right place at the right time by the hand of God.

"I believe in providence," Fr Malloy said.

"Providence is the difference between a faith-filled conception of history and fate or sheer destiny. After seeing the Fremantle Campus take shape, I had the opportunity to travel to Sydney and Melbourne to see the university that was imagined there, knowing on the basis of the experience in Fremantle, that great things could be achieved here. To be here and to see the expansion of the physical facility, the number of students, the enthusiasm of the faculty and the administration, it's so rewarding and exciting to have some small role in the history of the institution and to be very supportive of the great things that are going on now," Fr Malloy said.

Fr Mark Poorman discussed the role of Catholic universities in shaping responsible, ethical and thoughtful members of society.

"To be a great Catholic university, an institution must first be a great university," Rev Poorman said.

"Catholic universities have an added dimension to their education and the three fundamental aspects of our mission are faith and formation, service and leadership and teaching and learning. At a Catholic university, students experience the core curriculum; they benefit from individual attention from faculty members; they get involved in a community. I believe the role of the Catholic university is to prepare students to go out into society and have some sense of the issues that they are going to face and how they should go about addressing those issues. They won't know all the answers, but they should at least know what questions they should be asking," he said.

"We hope to influence the way in which students use the courses they've taken, the degrees they've got, to better society."

In response to an audience member's question about how to measure the tangible difference a Catholic education has made on graduates' communities, Fr William Beauchamp said, over time, communities themselves begin to recognise qualities in individuals that are nurtured by Catholic institutions.

"One of the biggest challenges in evaluating education is that much of what's most important is qualitative, more than quantitative," Fr Beauchamp said.

"There is a great emphasis in the States today on outcome measurements. I can appreciate that and there are certain things that you can quantify and evaluate in comparative terms. When evaluating the success of a Catholic institution, we look at the stories of our graduates. When an individual leaves this institution and they go into law or medicine or nursing or one of the other disciplines, we look at the quality they bring to their work and the confidence level that their colleagues have in their performance and judgement.

"There is always that broader question of citizenship; it is not only about what you do in your home or your work responsibilities but what other tasks you take on, the spirit of generosity you bring to your existence. The institutions we represent and many others have certain qualities that permeate the education that takes place there and can have an impact on the graduates of those institutions and therefore on the society and Church that they move into," Fr Beauchamp said.

For further information please contact: Communications Officer, Elizabeth Fenech

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

T: 02 8204 4407

E: elizabeth.fenech@nd.edu.au

W: www.nd.edu.au/