2009 graduates honor Father Jenkins with Senior Class Fellow award
by Dennis Brown
The University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2009 has selected Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president, as the Senior Class Fellow. Voted on by seniors, the award is an “accolade traditionally given to a member of the Notre Dame community who has had a significant impact on the graduating class,” according to W. Joseph Brown, senior class president.
“I can think of few honors that would mean more to me, and I am deeply moved by this award,” Father Jenkins said. “I feel especially close to these seniors since they enrolled at Notre Dame (in 2005) at the same time I began my presidency.”
The award was presented to Father Jenkins on Thursday night (May 14) during the seniors’ traditional last visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on campus.
One of Father Jenkins’ presidential predecessors, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., is among the past recipients of the Senior Class Fellow award. Father Jenkins was elected president April 30, 2004, by the University’s Board of Trustees. He took office as Notre Dame’s 17th president July 1, 2005. A professor of philosophy and member of Notre Dame’s faculty since 1990, Father Jenkins served from July 2000 until his election as president as a vice president and associate provost at the University. Prior to his service in the provost’s office, he had been religious superior of the Holy Cross priests and brothers at Notre Dame for three years. Father Jenkins was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in 1983. He served as director of the Old College program for Notre Dame undergraduate candidates for the congregation from 1991 to 1993.
---Eve of President Barack Obama's commencement address at the University of Notre Dame