Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, has dropped his plan to try to replace Mary Ann Glendon as the 2009 recipient of the Laetare Medal.
After Glendon announced Monday she would decline the award in protest against Notre Dame’s honoring of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, Father Jenkins issued a statement that a replacement recipient would be sought for the prestigious medal.
But in a statement released today, the university announced no medal will be awarded. Instead, the 1984 recipient of the medal, Judge John T. Noonan, will deliver an address at Notre Dame’s May 17 commencement.
Obama will serve as commencement speaker and will be awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by Notre Dame.
“In thinking about who could bring a compelling voice, a passion for dialogue, great intellectual stature, and a deep commitment to Catholic values to the speaking role of the Laetare Medalist — especially in these unusual circumstances — it quickly became clear that an ideal choice is Judge Noonan,” Father Jenkins said in the statement. “This commencement ceremony, more than anything else, is a celebration of our students and their families. Judge Noonan will join with President Obama and other speakers in that celebration, sending them from our campus and into the world with sound advice and affirmation.
“Since Judge Noonan is a previous winner of the Laetare Medal, we have decided, upon reflection, to not award the medal this year.”