Rooney Center Hosts Panel on First Catholic President

Author: Marie Blakey

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In November 1960, John F. Kennedy defeated Richard M. Nixon in what is considered one of the closest elections of the 20th century. The election is also noted in the history books because it ushered into the White House the first Roman Catholic to hold the nation’s highest office.

To look at what this meant—and still means today—to American politics, the University of Notre Dame’s Francis and Kathleen Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy has invited a group of leading political scholars and authors to join in a panel discussion titled Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling: 50 Years After the Election of America’s First Catholic President.

Set for 2 p.m. on November 19 in the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, the event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a short reception.

Featured panelists include:

  • E.J. Dionne, professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, and columnist for Commonweal
  • John J. Dilulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society and professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
  • John T. McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, and author of Catholicism and American Freedom: A History and Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North
  • Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy and former dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, and co-author of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us

The event will be moderated by David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science and founding director of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center, author of Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life, and co-author of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.

This event is co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the Giles Family Fund in American Studies and Journalism.

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