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Fr. Scully wins award for work in education

Nicole McAlee | Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Fr. Timothy R. Scully, the Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and a professor of political science at Notre Dame, received the William E. Simon Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Social Entrepreneurship on Tuesday at a ceremony in New York. 

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a public policy think tank, awarded Scully the prize for his work in founding and leading the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). 

According to the program’s website, ACE sends recent college graduates from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and selected other Catholic universities to more than 100 Catholic parochial schools across the country to teach for two years.

Scully said he credits the teachers and benefactors of the ACE program for its success.  

“Talk about feeling humbled and delighted,” Scully said. “Obviously, I mean, [the prize] isn’t for me. It’s for the whole team of people who over the years … [has] built an amazing, amazing institution.” 

Scully said the Manhattan Institute first recognized ACE last year when the program was nominated for the Institute’s Richard Corunelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a $25,000 prize for outstanding social change organizations. ACE did not receive the Corunelle Award, so Scully said he was surprised to receive the news that ACE had been awarded the Simon Prize. 

“It was a funny experience,” Scully said. “Maybe two months ago, I got a phone call out of the blue from [the] Manhattan [Institute], and they said, ‘Well, we didn’t tell you the whole thing last year … We want you to get the Simon Prize.'”

Scully received the Simon Prize before 160 people at the University Club in New York. 

“The room was just full of foundations and social entrepreneurs and others who are very actively engaged in trying to improve the lives of ordinary citizens – a true volunteer effort,” Scully said. “It made me feel so humbled and honored to be among their company.” 

Scully, who is chair of the Education Commission of the Congregation of Holy Cross, said the $100,000 prize will help fund Holy Cross missions in South Asia. 

Scully is on a countrywide bus tour celebrating ACE’s 20th anniversary until the end of May. The tour, which Scully said would pass through almost 50 cities, began in Dallas on Oct. 5 at the Shamrock Series football game against Arizona State and will end in Seattle in spring 2014. 

“We’ve simply decided to hit the road in order to celebrate and thank our many hundreds of partners across the country who are doing the hard daily work of keeping these wonderful little miracle schools alive and vibrant,” Scully said. 

As for the next 20 years of ACE, Scully said he hopes to “see more kids in more great schools.” 

“I just hope to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit as we’ve tried to be over the last 20 years, and just to respond with boldness to the invitation to strengthen and sustain Catholic schools across this wonderful land,” he said. 

Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]