The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) on May 25 awarded the Centennial Medal to four alumni who have made extraordinary contributions to society.The medal, GSAS’s highest honor, was first awarded in 1989 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the School’s founding. Since that time, 108 accomplished alumni have received the medal, which is awarded at a celebratory luncheon the day before Commencement.Francis FukuyamaFew political scientists loom quite as large as Francis Fukuyama, Ph.D. ’81, and few can boast such a rich educational background. As an undergraduate, he studied classics with Allan Bloom at Cornell University. As a graduate student, he spent time with Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida in Paris. At Harvard, he completed the final year of his Ph.D. in government on a fellowship he received through Samuel Huntington, a leading figure in comparative politics and international relations. Fukuyama began his career at the RAND Corp. in California and was a deputy director of policy planning in the U.S. Department of State. He is currently based at Stanford University, where he is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.“Intellectually I think he’s the student that Sam would be the proudest of,” said Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. “Like his teacher, Fukuyama asks fundamental questions about where political order comes from, and how it evolves, and the pros and cons of various forms. He does so with a commitment to scholarship and a courageous independence that never ducks uncomfortable and challenging conclusions.”David MumfordMathematicians work in a world that many people find inaccessible, but David Mumford ’57, Ph.D. ’61, has a genius for building disciplinary bridges. His career has encompassed both pure and applied mathematics; he has made advances not only in the abstract world of proofs and theorems but also in the psychology of vision and the scientific modeling of thought. Mumford taught on the Harvard faculty for 35 years, from 1961, when he earned his Ph.D., until his appointment in 1996 as University Professor in the Division of Applied Math at Brown, where he is now emeritus. After leading the field of algebraic geometry for two decades, he made a remarkable transition to applied mathematics. He is particularly interested in pattern theory, visual perception, and the neurophysiology of vision, and has used statistical approaches to advance the field of computer vision and study some of the most puzzling mysteries of cognition.One of the undergraduates in Mumford’s Harvard classroom was Joseph Harris, now Higgins Professor of Mathematics — a chair that Mumford himself held for 20 years. “It would be hard to overstate Mumford’s impact on mathematics,” said Harris. “The subject of algebraic geometry, which had been studied intensively for almost two centuries and which occupies a central place in mathematics, was completely transformed, largely as a result of his work.”John O’MalleyProfessor and priest, historian and Jesuit, John O’Malley, Ph.D. ’65, is that rare scholar who has emerged as both an academic and spiritual leader. He taught for several years at the University of Detroit before returning to Cambridge to serve for nearly three decades as a distinguished professor of church history at the former Weston Jesuit School of Theology. He is now University Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown. He began his career as a scholar of Italian Renaissance intellectual history and went on to become a leading authority on early modern Catholicism. His religious dedication and passion for the study of history have encouraged countless others to follow in his footsteps.“John is like the Pied Piper,” said Mark Massa, Th.D. ’87, professor of church history and dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, who studied history with O’Malley both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student. “A lot of my friends were inspired to go into history because of John’s ability to make it interesting, relevant, alive. He connected all the dots for us. William Faulkner once said that the past is not really dead, in fact it’s not even past — and I think John has the ability to make us see how that is true.”Cecilia RouseA leading scholar of the economics of education, Cecilia Rouse ’86, Ph.D. ’92, completed a dissertation in economics that tackled a previously unexplored topic: the economic effects of attending community college rather than a traditional four-year college. “She opened a completely new research area,” said Lawrence Katz, Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics and one of her primary advisors. “Almost all research on the economics of higher education focused on four-year schools, and in her dissertation, she broke new ground in trying to understand the increasingly important role community colleges have played, particularly for disadvantaged and minority students.”Rouse went on to become co-chair of the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession, where she has championed a summer program that increases diversity in academia by preparing undergraduates for doctoral study. She also served as an economic advisor to the Clinton administration and on President Obama’s three-member Council of Economic Advisers. In 2012, she was named dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, whose faculty she had joined in 1992. “There are economists who choose problems merely because they’re intellectually interesting,” said Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor. “Ceci chooses problems because they are the real problems of our society. She is a model of the socially committed intellectual.”
Last night at Legends of Notre Dame, University President Fr. John Jenkins sat on a panel with Mendoza College of Business Director of Finance and Administration Fr. Mark Thesing and Sister Lois DeLee, held in celebration of the “Year of the Consecrated Life.”Thesing, Jenkins and DeLee talked about their different experiences in adopting the consecrated life, the challenges in realizing the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, what inspired them to take those vows and what they found most rewarding in leading a consecrated life.Jenkins said realizing this common goal of leading a meaningful life is an important, rewarding and emotional undertaking — particularly in light of a recent campus tragedy.“One of the things that’s clear to me now is that this desire to live a meaningful life has been fulfilled in abundance,” Jenkins said. “Last night — just an example, we had a memorial mass for Lisa Yang, who took her own life, and her family was there. We gave the family a diploma posthumously for Lisa. It was just a … I don’t need to say how much of an emotional time it was for them to try to come to terms to that. But to be a part of that and to try to help them to make sense of that is a great privilege, an undeserved privilege, to be part of such a meaningful time.”Thesing said while he started pursuing priesthood when he first visited Notre Dame, he did not begin to fully appreciate religious life until the middle of his formation.“Although I knew I wanted to be a priest, and I knew I wanted to pursue that, I wasn’t quite sure where and how that was going to be lived out,” Thesing said. “Now some 38 years after entering the seminary, I can’t imagine my life without it. I can’t imagine being a priest without having the support or the camaraderie and the community that community life offered.“Here I’m wearing my collar, and I’m representing something, so I’ve got to be careful about that. It’s a public life that we live and we have to be conscious about that. … I feel a little wiser now … but I also realize that I’m living here with a bunch of students or young men, and it’s about calling them to a higher life.”DeLee said she was not fully convinced she would accept the challenges of religious life, but after starting formation and eventually completing her time as a novitiate, she said she found joy in spreading [God’s] teaching to her students and embracing God’s will.“One of my greatest joys is being able to see how my life somehow touched their lives and brought them success or brought them love from God to make their life worthwhile,” DeLee said. “We all have relationships with the Lord. We are His servants. Let Him use us where He wants to take us and then know fear is useless. You just need trust and let God do His Work”Jenkins also said the greatest joy of the consecrated life is how he has been able to impact people’s lives.“The wonderful thing about this calling, and Sister [DeLee] spoke about this too with her, is that you’re invited into people’s life in a profound way,” he said. “You have the opportunity to do what you can. You always have this sense of not doing well enough, or you’re not doing as you should, but still you have that opportunity to comfort them in their sorrows, rejoice with them in their joys and help them find the Lord in an important way.”Tags: Fr. John Jenkins, Fr. Mark Thesing, religious life, Sister Lois DeLee
Near the top of the list were Delaware County at number six and Broome County at number seven. “That is a pretty significant portion of our population that is over 80,” said Holochak. “So, we do know they are more at risk. They are part of the population we are putting most of our efforts in.” Following shortly down the lines of 62 counties, Chenango came in at 13 and Tioga at 30. (WBNG) — After Cornell University released a study of the most vulnerable counties in New York, 12 News caught up with local health officials on why some Southern Tier areas ranked so high. Meanwhile, Broome County Public Health Director, Rebecca Kaufman, says the county’s ranking is also due to the older population as well as people grouped in larger facilities such as nursing homes. She says in response to this and other data they are looking at, they have specifically been working with the county to assist the elderly population. “A lot of the group living facilities or senior living facilities will work with the emergency operations center in both planning and procurement of PPE,” said Kaufman. More information on this study can be found on Cornell University’s website. Neighboring counties ranked lower on the list, such as Tompkins County at 52. Kylie Holochak from the Tioga County Health Department says she’s not alarmed by the ranking, adding that more than five percent of the county’s population is people over 80 years old. Holochak says in Tioga County, officials have seen an increase in family households, especially ones with three generations in one home. She advises anyone who tests positive and lives at home to isolate in a part of the home and dedicate a bathroom solely to the individual who is sick.