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Loyola University New Orleans' Center for Study of Catholics in the South presents Former Ambassador to the Vatican Lindy Boggs

Loyola press release - March 28, 2002

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans will inaugurate its Center for the Study of Catholics in the South with a program featuring Corinne "Lindy" Boggs. WWL-TV anchor Angela Hill will interview Boggs about her days as a Congresswoman in Washington and as American ambassador to the Vatican. The program, "A Southern Catholic Woman: A Career in Politics and International Affairs," will be April 17, 2002 at 7 p.m., in Roussel Performance Hall, in the Communications/Music Building. This event is free and open to the public.

Boggs achieved a number of notable firsts during her career. She was the first woman to represent Louisiana in the U. S. House of Representatives, serving nine terms before retiring in 1990. She succeeded her husband, House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, whose plane disappeared over Alaska in 1972. During her term in Congress, she served on the Appropriations Committee, was instrumental in creating the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families and chaired the Crisis Intervention Task Force. She spearheaded legislation on issues ranging from civil rights to credit access and government service pay equity for women.

A lifelong Catholic, Boggs was appointed in 1997 to the position of U. S. Ambassador to the Vatican by President Bill Clinton. She is the only woman and the only Southerner to have held this position. Previously, Boggs was a member of the U. S. delegation to the installation of Pope John Paul I in Rome and a member of the Host Committee for Pope John Paul II's official visit to New Orleans in the 1980s.

In 1976, Boggs was the first woman to chair the National Democratic Convention. She was also the first woman to serve as a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, presiding over the Bicentennial of the American Constitution in 1987 and chairing the commission commemorating the 200th anniversary of Congress.

The focal point of the Center for the Study of Catholics in the South is Loyola's rich archival collection on Southern Catholicism, which is housed in the Monroe Library and includes the complete archive of the ten-state New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus, the founders of Loyola University New Orleans. The center's activities will enhance access to this archive. The center is planning a range of programs for the general public and for scholars that promote greater awareness of the significant cultural impact made by individual Catholics and by historically Catholic ethnic groups from the South.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Loyola a Challenge Grant of $500,000 to endow the center. This was one of only eight universities awarded such a grant in 2001. Loyola is currently seeking to match the grant by raising an additional $1.5 million for the center's endowment.

Angela Hill has been at WWL-TV for 27 years. In her work as anchor, reporter, producer and assistant news director, she has won awards from the New Orleans Press Club, AFTRA and the National Freedom Award. She also contributes to the New Orleans community through her efforts with the SPCA, Goodwill Industries and the United Way Agencies.

The Center for the Studies of Catholics in the South will celebrate the spiritual and intellectual identity of Loyola, while significantly enhancing Catholic scholarship in the United States. For more information, please call center director David Estes in the English Department, 865-2295.