Father Dennis Dease will be among five recipients of a St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award in recognition of his lifelong work as a Catholic educator.
Father Dease to receive National Catholic Educational Association’s highest honor
Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, will receive the National Catholic Educational Association’s highest honor on Monday, Oct. 6, in Washington, D.C.
Dease will be among five recipients of a St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award in recognition of his lifelong work as a Catholic educator. The award is named in honor of Seton (1774-1821), regarded by many as the founder of the Catholic school network in the United States. She headed the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph and established many schools and orphanages along the East Coast.
In choosing Dease for a Seton Award, the NCEA cited the university’s significant transformation during his 17 years as president:
Dease has served on the St. Thomas Board of Trustees since 1982. He previously was rector of the Basilica of St Mary in Minneapolis, spiritual director and dean of formation at the St. Paul Seminary, a theology professor at St. Thomas and a religion teacher at St. Thomas Academy.
He has been active in many education organizations and has served on the NCEA board. He is the American representative on the International Federation of Catholic Universities board and a founding member of the Southern Catholic College Board of Trustees in Georgia. He is a past chairman of the national Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and has served on board committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
As part of Monday’s event in Washington, the NCEA will award a $1,000 scholarship in Dease’s name to a Catholic school student of his choosing. Dease selected Trinidad Miller, an eighth grader at St. Peter Claver in St. Paul. Miller is described by his teachers as an “excellent student” with “strong leadership qualities” who has received the school’s Random Act of Kindness Award several times.
Dease is one of several individuals closely affiliated with St. Thomas who have won Seton Awards since the program was established in 1991. Others are John Albers, former trustee, 1991; Eugene and Mary Frey, trustee and benefactors, 2007; Barbara Koch, benefactor and wife of former trustee David Koch, 1994; John and Susan Morrison, trustee and benefactors, 2006; Monsignor Terrence Murphy, former president, 1996; Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst, trustee and benefactors, 2005; James Renier, trustee emeritus, 1993; and Richard Schulze, trustee, 2002.
Four other Seton awards will go to:
In addition to the Seton Awards, the NCEA will give its President’s Award to the Bearing Witness Program, which was designed by the Anti-Defamation League of Washington for Catholic teachers so they have a greater knowledge of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
The NCEA was founded in 1904 and is the largest private professional association in the world, representing 200,000 educators who serve 7.6 million students in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and seminaries.