The 18th annual Seton dinner and awards ceremony will be held Oct. 6 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Father Dennis Dease is one of five recipients of the 2008 Seton Award, given by NCEA in recognition of significant philanthropic, leadership or service contributions to Catholic education. The award is named in honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), who is regarded by many as the founder of the U.S. Catholic school network. Also at this event, the NCEA President’s Award will be presented to the Bearing Witness program, which has for many years prepared Catholic school educators to teach about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
Father Dennis Dease
Father Dease has served as the 14th president of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota since his election in 1991.
Under Father Dease’s leadership, St. Thomas has continued its growth in programs and facilities, adding six major buildings to its St. Paul campus and establishing a Minneapolis campus for its Opus College of Business, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, School of Education, Graduate School of Professional Psychology and School of Law. He also established nationally recognized centers for Catholic studies and Irish studies.
Father Dease opened a residential campus in Rome and began semester-abroad programs in Rome for Catholic studies majors, in London for business majors, in Paris for liberal arts majors and in Glasgow for English majors. He established faculty and student exchange programs with universities throughout the world, including a covenant with the University of Havana in 2000, which was celebrated by baseball games played both in Havana and in the Twin Cities.
The St. Thomas president has been a board member of the National Catholic Educational Association and has served on several committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is active philanthropically in Armenia, serving on the board of directors of the Cafesjian Family Foundation, and in Uganda, where he serves on the board of directors of MicroClinics.
Father Dease was a founding member of the board of directors of Southern Catholic College in Georgia.
Father Dease earned a B.A. degree in Latin and philosophy from the Saint Paul Seminary in 1965, an M.A. degree in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas in 1972, an M.Div. degree from the Saint Paul Seminary in 1973 and a Ph.D. degree in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America in 1978. He was ordained in 1969.
For information on the other 2008 Seton award recipients, and on the 2008 president's award recipient, please visit the Seton pages on the NCEA Web site. There you will find more information on the awards, plus contact information. The 2007 award recipients are also listed. Go to: /events/seton/index.asp.