Tania Tetlow

Commonweal, the renowned independent journal of religion, politics, and culture, has announced that Tania Tetlow, president of Fordham University, will be the inaugural recipient of its Centennial Award, to be presented by Commonweal at its Centennial Benefit Dinner at Chelsea Piers in New York City on October 28, 2024.

Through a print magazine, podcasts, live and virtual events, and local community gatherings, Commonweal fosters rigorous and reflective discussions about faith, public affairs, and the arts, centered on the common good. Independent and lay-led, Commonweal is a bridge between the intellectual and active life of Catholics and all people of good will. Since its founding in 1924, Commonweal has hosted some of the most important voices of the last century—from writers like Dorothy Day and Evelyn Waugh to theologians like Reinhold Niebuhr and Thomas Merton; from poets like W. H. Auden and Robert Lowell to major political figures like Mario Cuomo and Eugene McCarthy. Philosophers like Hannah Arendt and Terry Eagleton have written in the pages of Commonweal, as well as novelists like John Updike, Marilynn Robinson, Graham Greene, and Alice McDermott.

To mark 100 years of continuous publication since its first issue, Commonweal is celebrating the place it has solidified in American letters and its influence on American Catholicism, while looking forward to building on this record of achievement in its second century. President Tetlow is a model for Commonweal as it embarks on this journey. Her lay leadership, her commitment to issues of justice, her attention to forming and informing the next generation of Catholics and all people of goodwill, and her spirit of knowledge-seeking and creativity exemplify the values Commonweal continues to embody since publishing its first issue 100 years ago.

“Gathering with our friends at Fordham University to not only mark our 100th year, but also to honor Tania Tetlow, is the perfect expression of the kind of community we’re building around as we launch into our second century,” said Dominic Preziosi, Commonweal editor.

“We’ve been host to conversations around which communities have gathered for 100 years now,” said Commonweal executive director Ellen Koneck. “And we’re thrilled to gather this fall to present President Tetlow with the inaugural Commonweal Centennial Award.”

Tania Tetlow, the thirty-third president of Fordham University, took office on July 1, 2022. She is the first layperson, and the first woman, to hold the office at Fordham. She is also the chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Previously, President Tetlow was the seventeeth president of Loyola University New Orleans. She was the first woman and the first layperson to lead Loyola since the Society of Jesus founded the university in 1912. She has also been a law professor, a litigator, the director of Tulane University’s Domestic Violence Law Clinic, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney. President Tetlow graduated cum laude from Tulane University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

In honoring President Tetlow, Commonweal is also celebrating its long friendship with Fordham and their common heritage as Catholic institutions in New York City. Both are dedicated to enriching the mind and sustaining the spirit through open inquiry and robust discussion of ideas, issues, and beliefs. And they share connections at many levels: generations of readers, writers, donors, and friends have ties to both Commonweal and Fordham. This includes many current staff and board members who are also proud Fordham alumni, namely editor Dominic Preziosi, special projects editor Miles Doyle, Commonweal board members Natalia Imperatori-Lee and John Kuster, current board chair Chris Lowney, and chair emeritus Paul Saunders. Peter and Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, founders of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, were editors of Commonweal in the 1980s and ’90s, and Peter remains a board member.

“Tania is a gifted and charismatic leader who is both entrepreneurial and a fierce advocate for Fordham and Jesuit traditions,” said Armando Nuñez, chair of Fordham’s Board of Trustees. “As president, she is a faith-first leader, called to the service of the University community every day.”

For nearly two decades, Commonweal has hosted a biannual gala, gathering friends, writers, and readers from around the country to celebrate Commonweal and to honor individuals whose noteworthy work is in service to the common good, informed and inspired by their Catholic faith. Over the years, Commonweal is proud to have honored luminaries like Mark Shields and Amy Goldman, John Sexton and Tim Shriver, Sr. Carol Keehan and John DeGoia, George Mitchell and Kerry Robinson. Commonweal is excited to add Tania Tetlow to this illustrious roster of leaders whose impact has shaped not just the Church, but society as a whole.

For media inquiries, please contact Miles Doyle, special projects editor at Commonweal: [email protected]

Jane Martinez, director of media relations at Fordham University: [email protected] 
(347) 992-1815

Join us for the party of the century! 
Monday, October 28, 2024 6:30 p.m.
Pier 60, Chelsea Piers
Learn more and register: cwlmag.org/benefit-2024

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