By Jessica Dillon
News Assignment Editor
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities recognized Sr. Margaret Carney, president emeritus, for her advancement of Catholic higher education earlier this year.
On Jan. 28, the ACCU held its annual conference in Washington, D.C. to “provide practical advice for advancing a deeper understanding of diversity and inclusion on campus,” according to its website.
At the event’s opening, the ACCU presented awards to three distinguished individuals. Carney was among the recipients.
The ACCU awarded Carney with the Monika K. Hellwig Award for outstanding contributions to Catholic intellectual life. The lifetime achievement honor recognized Carney’s achievements as a teacher, author, researcher, practitioner, learned advisor, national spokesperson, mentor and leader in Catholic higher education.
Though Carney’s 12-year university presidency ranks among her achievements, Carney served as president of her religious congregation for two terms, became the first woman to hold a chancery office in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and is renowned for her knowledge of Franciscanism.
President of St. Francis University Fr. Malachi Van Tassell said Carney has lived an authentic religious life.
“Sr. Margaret has a radicality about her — stepping outside of the norm and becoming the first woman to get a pontifical degree from a school in Rome, becoming the first woman religious as a president of St. Bonaventure University,” Van Tassell said. “She broke the mold, and she’s broken outside the norms of the experience.”
Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras, a Franciscan studies professor at St. Bonaventure, shared similar sentiments.
“Everywhere she has been, and there are many places across the world, she has made a mark and her name is still there,” Godet-Calogeras said.
Van Tassell thanked Carney for the contributions she has made to the world of Franciscan scholarship and to higher education.
“I think what will remain most of all is simply the heritage of the way she worked with people,” Van Tassell said. “That’s one of the things that is very clear in the rule of life that she helped write for contemporary Franciscans.”