The University of Notre Dame honored three Law School faculty members during its President’s dinner on Tuesday, May 18. The awards recognized achievements in service, volunteerism, and scholarship.
Professor of Law Patricia O’Hara won the prestigious Presidential Award for nearly 30 years of leadership and service to Notre Dame. In 1981, she joined the faculty of the Law School, serving until her appointment as vice president for student affairs in 1990. During her tenure, she was both the first female officer of the University and a tireless champion of Notre Dame’s commitment to students’ moral and spiritual formation. She returned to the Law School as Dean in 1999, and for the next ten years “led faculty, students, and staff in the pursuit of scholarly excellence, professional skill, and justice through law. The Law School’s beautiful new buildings are tributes to her dedication and vision.” Now at the end of a one-year sabbatical, O’Hara will return to the Law School faculty in the fall of 2010.
Professor of Law Matthew Barrett received the Grenville Clark Award, which recognizes an individual whose volunteer activities advance the cause of peace and human rights. Barrett serves his community and church in many ways, including lending his accounting and legal expertise to the Center for the Homeless, the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic, St. Joseph’s Parish in South Bend, the Tax Assistance Program, and other not-for-profit organizations.
M. Cathleen Kaveny, the John P. Murphy Foundations Professor of Law and professor of theology, won the Reinhold Niebuhr Award. This award honors a person whose life and writings exemplify social justice. Kaveny’s work probes complex issues at the intersection of law and morality. Unafraid of controversy, “she has challenged simplistic answers to the complex questions that emerge when a lived faith tradition engages the legal system in a secular, democratic society.”