ACCU Honors Brother James Gaffney, FSC

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Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Honors Brother James Gaffney, FSC

Published: February 8, 2021.

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities honored Brother James Gaffney, FSC, president emeritus of Lewis University, with its highest honor, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC Award on February 6. The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC Award is named after the late president of the University of Notre Dame, and it is bestowed for exceptional contributions to Catholic higher education.

The national organization presented the honor during its online 2021 Annual Meeting, themed “What We’ve Learned: Catholic Higher Education for a World on the Verge.” It covered lessons learned from the pandemic, cries for social justice, financial stresses, and more. University presidents, women executives, diversity officers, senior student affairs officers, and mission officers heard from noted scholars and experts and join conversations designed around the theme.

Brother James served for over 40 years at Lewis University in a wide array of roles before his retirement in 2016. His trademark kindness, warmth, and easy laughter were appreciated by his fellow Catholic college presidents, especially through the years of developing the implementation of Ex corde Ecclesiae in the United States. Just as notable were Brother James’s encouragements to think through how Catholic institutions would remain vibrantly faithful to the Church and to their congregation-based missions.

His Lasallian-centered vision for the university, promotion of scholarship, support for innovative new academic offerings, encouragement of outstanding teaching, constant focus upon academic success, and the goal of educating the whole person has been commended by many. In 2013, Brother James received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (“For the Church and Pope”) medal for his service to the Catholic Church. It is the highest honor awarded by the Pope to the laity and religious.

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,300 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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