University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak, organizer and president of Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), entered into an agreement today to significantly expand the existing academic, religious and cultural partnerships between the two universities. The enhancements come in advance of Notre Dame conferring an honorary degree on the archbishop Sunday in its 177th University Commencement Ceremony, where he will also serve as the principal commencement speaker.
“The war in Ukraine is a great global tragedy,” Father Jenkins said. “We stand in solidarity with the courageous people of Ukraine and with our longtime partners at UCU. Notre Dame has for many years, through its Nanovic Institute for European Studies, hosted visiting scholars from UCU here on campus, and in turn our scholars have spent time there.
“Now, as the Ukrainians resist the Russian invasion of their country, the role of UCU and of all Ukrainian universities has never been more important, both in sustaining the work of Ukrainian scholars and researchers and in preparing for the eventual rebuilding of their war-ravaged nation. In dialogue with our colleagues at UCU, we have arrived at a set of initiatives aimed at providing substantive support and deepening our partnership through a wide range of collaborative initiatives.”
The new programs center on engaging with UCU students and faculty at Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend, Indiana, and its Global Gateways worldwide, as well as providing opportunities for Notre Dame faculty and administrators to collaborate with UCU colleagues on their campus in Lviv.
“We believe that having a cohort of UCU students and faculty on campus each semester will be mutually beneficial,” Father Jenkins said. “There is a shared desire to advance both existing academic partnerships between our institutions and new areas of inquiry that emerge as a direct result of the war and that would have a positive impact on civil society in Ukraine.”
“Notre Dame has offered a bold and seminal response to the Russian invasion and devastation of Ukraine. It is a sign of the capacity of the University’s leadership and faculty to love generously, to embrace the hounded, to serve, bless and lift up,” Archbishop Gudziak said. “I deeply appreciate our friendship with Notre Dame which has been fostered for 18 years first under the guidance of (former director of the Nanovic Institute) Jim McAdams and continues with the present director, Clemens Sedmak, and his wonderful team. We were honored by the Notre Dame Award and Father Jenkins’ visit in 2019 and hope that our academic and personal relations will continue evolving on all levels.”
The partnership expansion, which will cost up to $2 million in the first year, will begin in the upcoming 2022-23 academic year and includes five primary components modeled on similar partnerships Notre Dame has with other colleges and universities worldwide. In addition to providing a cohort of undergraduate UCU students the opportunity to study at Notre Dame each semester, a similar program will be established for graduate students, and UCU post-doctoral students will be able to apply for the opportunity to study at one of Notre Dame’s five Global Gateways in Beijing, Dublin, Jerusalem, London and Rome. The University will also offer research grants for collaborations between its faculty and UCU scholars and sponsor two UCU faculty fellows to be in residence on campus each year. Finally, the University will offer grants to support collaborations between Notre Dame administrators and UCU administrators. Notre Dame and UCU will evaluate these initiatives annually and adapt as needed, especially given rapidly changing conditions in Ukraine.
Archbishop Gudziak, the highest-ranking Ukrainian Catholic prelate in the United States, founded UCU in Lviv in 2002 as the first Catholic university established in territory of the former Soviet Union. Father Jenkins presented him with the Notre Dame Award in 2019 for his work as the leader of UCU as a center for cultural thought, for his Christian witness, and for his commitment to the formation of a Ukrainian society based on human dignity.
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on Feb. 24, Notre Dame has demonstrated solidarity with Ukraine in numerous ways, including a forceful statement from Father Jenkins at the start of the war, a prayer service for peace in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Feb. 28, weekly liturgies in the Basilica offered for the intention of an end to the war in Ukraine, creation of a website dedicated to educating the Notre Dame community about the war, faculty panel presentations, conversations between Notre Dame and UCU students, and the lighting of the “Word of Life” mosaic on the Hesburgh Library in Ukraine’s national colors of blue and yellow.
Author: Dennis Brown
Source: Notre Dame news
Father Bohdan Prakh, Rector of UCU
The University of Notre Dame is one of the best universities in the world, particularly in the global family of Catholic universities. Notre Dame has been our reliable partner for many years. Every year, teachers and employees of UCU take part in internships and joint exchanges with Notre Dame.
The expansion of the academic, religious, and cultural partnership between our universities during the war is not only an opportunity to learn from world experience, but it is also an opportunity to share Ukraine with the world. Ukraine is now going through a process of dramatic changes: we are learning very quickly and in extremely difficult conditions. I do not know of another country that has had as fast a training process as we now have in a full-scale war. Therefore, we also want to share this experience with the world: how to work, study, and teach in crisis conditions. I am convinced that cooperation between our universities will enrich both sides.
Taras Dobko, Senior Vice-Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Nanovic Institute visiting scholar
Our partnership with the University Notre Dame started 18 years ago with the prophetic action of Prof. James McAdams, the former director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, to establish the Catholic University Partnership bringing together 6 Catholic universities from Central and Eastern Europe. I am pleased to say that this partnership evolved into academic friendship. Today with its generous program of expanding our partnership Notre Dame speaks to UCU heart to heart by embracing our students, faculty and administrators who keep serving the Ukrainian people under adverse circumstances. A friend in need is a friend indeed! I am moved by this solidarity with UCU and Ukraine. And I am glad for the UCU community to have this wonderful opportunity to learn from and share with Notre Dame whatever could contribute to the common good and human dignity.
Sofiya Opatska, Vice-Rector for Strategic Development of UCU
Christianity in action: this is how the cooperation between the University of Notre Dame and the Ukrainian Catholic University during the war can be described. Our close cooperation has lasted for many years, and since the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the University of Notre Dame has been actively supporting UCU. Our American partners worry about Ukrainians all the time, asking how they can help. During the war, not only active cooperation has been going on between our institutions, but also friendship has been born between us.
For UCU, it is important for us to organize an effective selection of motivated students who plan to apply for international programs from the University of Notre Dame. Young people should understand that they are the voice of Ukraine in the world today. Therefore, their motivation and attitude towards learning in the United States will shape the general perception of our Ukrainian nation. We also focus on ensuring that our students not only study in the United States, but also return to Ukraine, and here they will apply the knowledge and skills they acquire abroad to help rebuild our country. We are excited in our partnership, and we plan to continue joint initiatives for years to come!