Notre Dame College presents the Fidelia Award to those who have rendered distinguished service and demonstrated outstanding fidelity to the College. The Fidelia Award is similar in scope to the Laetare Medal presented by the University of Notre Dame and the Cardinal Gibbons Medal presented by the Catholic University of America.
Sculptor Joseph Turkaly was commissioned in 1981 to fashion a distinctive image of Our Lady reflecting the ideals of Notre Dame College. Sister Mary Inez, president of the College from 1963 to 1967, conceived the form and identity of this sculpture. The Fidelia, or Faithful One, is 15 inches high and depicts Mary as a model of both reflection and service.
2011 Fidelia Award Winner
Notre Dame College awarded the 2011 Fidelia Award to alumna Ethel McGuigan ’48 on Sept. 22.
When McGuigan attended Notre Dame College more than 60 years ago, she was an English major under the tutelage of Dr. Frances Quinlivan, who remained one of McGuigan’s dearest friends until her death in 1998. An outstanding daughter of Notre Dame, McGuigan, much like Dr. Quinlivan, who served the College for 45 years, has built an impressive legacy throughout the years.
A mother of seven, McGuigan, who resides in Chagrin Falls, has two daughters, a granddaughter, three sisters in-law and a daughter in-law who also graduated from Notre Dame. The family’s special connection to the College was highlighted when it gave generously to support the Christ the King Chapel renewal project in 2008. Without their support the renewal of the College’s chapel would not have been possible.
Beyond her own financial contributions, McGuigan, as the honorary chair of the committee that facilitated the Christ the King Chapel renewal project, also helped raise $15,000 from members of the Class of 1948 for the restoration of the stained glass window overlooking the altar.
McGuigan’s life is an example of leadership and service. She has taught kindergarten and tutored children in reading and math. She was certified to teach special education in 1986 and volunteered with special needs children at St. Julie Billiart School. She has also been active in the Christ Child Society and St. Gregory the Great Parish in South Euclid.
Always a strong and loyal advocate for the College, McGuigan served on the Alumnae Association Board in the 1960s and 1970s. She was president of the Alumnae Association in 1971 and 1972. In 1995, she was named the Notre Dame College Alumnae Association Woman of the Year in acknowledgement of her faithfulness to her family, her church, her profession and her alma mater.
Past Fidelia Award Recipients
- John and Stella Corbett Hetzer '59 - 2010
- Therese Buettner Hummer '46 - 2009
- Sr. Mary Louise Trivison, SND, '50 - 2007
- Barbara Patterson '56 - 2006
- John C. Webb - 2005
- Marilyn Cunin - 2004
- James Sennett - 2002
- Thomas E. McGinty - 2001
- John J. Betchkal - 1999
- Sister Mary Margaret Hess, SND, '58 - 1998
- Frances M. Quinlivan - 1996
- Most Rev. Anthony M. Pilla - 1994
- Frances B. Noetzel '41 - 1993
- Sister Mary LeRoy Finn, SND, '40 - 1992
- Edward B. Brandon - 1991
- William F. Hauserman - 1990
- Sister Mary Marthe Reinhard, SND, '52 - 1989
- Herbert Hausser - 1988
- Henry Eaton - 1987
- John J. Dwyer - 1986
- Fred A. Lennon - 1985
- Sister Mary Raphaelita Böckmann, SND - 1984
- The Hugh M. O’Neill Family - 1983
- Daniel S. Connelly - 1982
- Joseph H. Keller - 1981