Professor and Author Rev. James Heft to Deliver 2012 Ruggiero Lecture

by Lore McFadden-Westwood | Aug 27, 2012

Rev. James L. Heft, S.M., Ph.D. will deliver the 2012 Ruggiero Lecture on September 13.

The 2012 Ruggiero Lecture on Catholic Education will take place on Thursday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeSales University Center on the Center Valley Campus. Sponsored by the Salesian Center for Faith & Culture at DeSales, the event is free and open to the public. The title of this year’s lecture is "Cathoilic High Schools: Facing the New Realities" and will feature Rev. James L. Heft, S.M., and Ph.D.

Heft currently serves as the Alton Brooks Professor of Religion and president of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California, and author of the book Catholic High Schools: Facing the New Realities. Heft received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Dayton and earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Historical Theology from the University of Toronto.

A renowned educator and leader in Catholic higher education, Fr. Heft has published and edited numerous books and authored more than 150 articles and book chapters. He has served on the United States Bishops’ Committee on Education and chaired the Board of Directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). In 2006, he established the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC where he serves as president. In 2011, Father James L. Heft, S.M. was honored with the Theodore Hesburgh Award for long and distinguished service to Catholic Higher Education.

Fr. Thomas Dailey, director of the Salesian Center, explains that the lecture series focuses on the contribution that Catholic schools make to society. “In terms of the future of Catholic schools, or any schools,” he says, “leadership is key.” This year’s lecturer brings a wealth of research and expertise on this important subject, not only for schools in the Lehigh Valley but nationwide.”

Initially begun to commemorate the canonization of St. Leonie de Sales Aviat, this series was renamed in 2005 in memory of Anthony J. Ruggiero, an adjunct faculty member who taught the philosophy of education and helped supervise the student teacher program at DeSales University. For more information about the upcoming event, contact the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at 610-282-1100, ext. 1244 or or visit our website at

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
610.282.1100 x1219

DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034