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Queen to honor educator

Kim Abeel | Monday, October 9, 2006

Dr. Cyriac Pullapilly is getting the royal treatment.Next February in London, Queen Elizabeth will induct Pullapilly, a history professor at Saint Mary’s, into the Royal Society of Arts.The Society honors those who make major contributions in literature, arts, science, philosophy, politics and social uplift. Pullapilly will be inducted by merit of his extensive work in a number of qualifying fields. At Saint Mary’s, Pullapilly developed the Semester Around the World program in 1983, offering students the opportunity to travel and study throughout Europe, Asia and India. Pullapilly has also organized three major world conferences at the College. “[Pullapilly] writes intensively in several disciplines and is absolutely a great guy to work with,” said Dr. William Svelmoe, associate professor of history at Saint Mary’s. “It will take me decades to even come close to accomplishing what he has.”Pullapilly also founded a publishing company and published one of the first inclusive-language New Testaments, Svelmoe said. Pullapilly is currently a senior academic visitor at Cambridge University in England, working on his fourth book on the Catholic Reformation entitled “The Intellectual History of the Catholic Reformation.” Pullapilly received several Fulbright Grants and one grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He founded several organizations in India for the education and welfare of youth and the politically oppressed.”I am always amazed at the extent of Cy’s contacts around the world,” Svelmoe said. “He has had personal meetings with a wide array of world leaders – from popes to presidents.”Pullapilly said he is honored to be a member of the RSA and is enjoying his opportunity to interact with other scholars at Cambridge.He hasn’t forgotten South Bend, however.”I look forward to getting back to my students and colleagues at [Saint Mary's],” he said. “RSA members are allowed to continue working in their current professions, but are expected to contribute to the maximum extent in their fields for the welfare of the society at large.”