Two CRS Staff to Receive Honorary Degrees from University of Notre Dame

April 12, 2012 by

Two members of our CRS family, Dr. Jude Banatte of CRS Haiti, and Dr. Carolyn Woo, president & CEO, will be honored with honorary degrees by the University of Notre Dame at its May 20 commencement. And at the same ceremony, former CRS President Ken Hackett will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. We are proud of what they have achieved and for how well they represent us. Way to go, Jude, Carolyn and Ken!

Here is the announcement from the University of Notre Dame:

Ten distinguished figures in business, education, engineering, law, mathematics, media, medicine and the Catholic Church will join principal speaker Haley Scott DeMaria as honorary degree recipients at the University of Notre Dame’s 167th Commencement Ceremony May 20 (Sunday).

The ceremony will be held in the morning at Notre Dame Stadium in order to accommodate as many guests as possible. Undergraduate diploma ceremonies for each college and school will be held the afternoon of May 20, and the Graduate School ceremony will take place May 19 (Saturday).

DeMaria, an Irish swimmer who made an inspirational comeback from injuries sustained in a team bus accident, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Other honorary degree recipients are:

Jude Banatte (doctor of science) — Head of programming for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Haiti for the last 12 years, Banatte gained international recognition for his courage and organization during the response to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. A native of Les Cayes, Haiti, he received his medical degree in 1991 and immediately joined CRS. After the earthquake, he visited hospitals, assessed needs and helped search through the rubble for survivors and much-needed medical supplies. He also has led CRS efforts to provide temporary shelters for those the quake made homeless and traveled extensively to speak about the current progress and needs in Haiti.

Carolyn Woo (doctor of laws) — The Martin J. Gillen Dean of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business from 1997 to 2011, Woo is now president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. A native of Hong Kong, Woo was educated by Maryknoll sisters through secondary school there before attending Purdue University, where she earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. She joined the faculty at Purdue in 1981 and eventually rose to director of the Krannert School of Management and associate executive vice president for academic affairs. She came to Notre Dame as Mendoza’s dean in 1997 and quickly became a leading voice for integrating Catholic faith and business excellence, as evidenced by Mendoza’s focus on ethics and its top ranking for undergraduate business schools for the last three years.

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