St Edmund’s College Master, Catherine Arnold OBE, Visits the University of Notre Dame to Mark Academic Partnership


To mark the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Notre Dame, St Edmund’s College Master, Catherine Arnold OBE, alongside members of the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry, visited Notre Dame’s campus to meet with the University’s leadership, faculty, and community.   

On Monday, 12 September, she joined in public conversation with Notre Dame International’s Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization, Dr Michael Pippenger, to discuss the relevance of and relationship between education, religion, and diplomacy in the contemporary world.  

“We are entering a new era of overt competition and international fragmentation,” Arnold said. “Difference is once again viewed by some as a problem, not an opportunity […] There is an urgent need for compelling thinkers and actors who can bridge divides. To use the time at Notre Dame or St Edmund’s to develop the skills to do that is one of our great and shared moral duties.”   

Founded in 1842 by the Congregation of Holy Cross, the University of Notre Dame is one of the world’s leading Catholic universities. The MOU encourages and supports international collaborations between the respective academics, students, and administrators of the two institutions, in research, education, and outreach.  

In his remarks, Dr Pippenger reflected how the partnership resonates with the unique founding of the University: “One of the things that motivated Holy Cross […] was this notion of accompaniment. That as Holy Cross priests or religious, they would go out into the world. They would be together with those that they met and, in that accompaniment, would learn together and then be able to work together for the common good, which I think is what this international partnership between Notre Dame and St Edmund’s at Cambridge is about.” 

Reflecting on the relationship between ethical formation and higher education, Arnold said: “I believe it is so important to form leaders [that] have the tools to enable them to listen and be willing to understand across often profound difference. Part of the role of diplomacy and higher education is [not only] to find ways to bring people together, to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm, and their inspiration to work together, but also to train the heart.”  

“The formation of the person,” she concluded, “is as important to nourish as the brilliance of the mind [and is] a responsibility that Notre Dame and St Edmund’s College take seriously.”  

A key part of Notre Dame International’s global engagement strategy, led by Dr Pippenger, is fostering international partnerships that support research and educational opportunities across the globe.  

 The MOU also supports further development of a strong connection between Notre Dame’s London and Rome Global Gateways, Nanovic Institute for European Study, Technology Ethics Center, Shakespeare at Notre Dame, Italian Studies, and Robinson Community Learning Center with the Von Hügel Institute for Catholic Critical Inquiry of St Edmund’s College. Currently directed by Dr Vittorio Montemaggi, the Von Hügel Institute is an institute of advanced studies inspired by Catholic thought and culture.  

To view the full conversation, follow the link here: “A Conversation with Catherine Arnold, OBE, Master of St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge” 

Contact: Brigid Graff, Von Hügel Institute, +44 1223 761334,  

Photo by wolterke –