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October 30, 2007

Office of Catholic Education Announces 2008 Inductees for
Archdiocesan Hall of Fame

PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 29, 2007) - Auxiliary Bishop Joseph P. McFadden today revealed the six Catholic school alumni who will be honored at the Office of Catholic Education's annual Distinguished Graduate Awards on January 28, 2008 at the Crystal Tea Room. Also known as the Archdiocesan Hall of Fame, the Distinguished Graduate Awards have a grand tradition of honoring Catholic school alumni who have not only achieved professional success in their chosen field but also have demonstrated a commitment to living their lives by the Gospel Values that guide and define Catholic education in the Archdiocese.

As an important event within the Bicentennial year, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is proud to announce the 2008 inductees into its prestigious Hall of Fame:

Cardinal-Elect John P. Foley
Born in Darby, Cardinal-Elect Foley began his Catholic education at Holy Spirit Elementary School. From there, he proceeded onto Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in North Philadelphia and went on to achieve many prestigious degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Saint Joseph's University, 1957), Bachelor of Arts (St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, 1958), Ph.L. (Pontifical University of St. Thomas, 1964), Master of Arts (Columbia School of Journalism, 1966) and Ph.D. (Pontifical University of St. Thomas, 1965).

Ordained to the priesthood by the late John Cardinal Krol on May 19, 1962, Cardinal-Elect Foley
utilized his journalism background by serving as Rome correspondent, assistant editor, and later editor for the Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard & Times. He maintained the position of editor for the publication until 1984 when he was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Titular Archbishop of Neapolis in Proconsulari by the late Pope John Paul II.

Foley's devotion to the church led to additional appointments. On June 27, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Foley as Pro-Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Prior to this appointment, Foley was the longest-serving head of a Curial dicastery. On October 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced his plan to make Archbishop Foley a Cardinal. Foley's elevation to the College of Cardinals will take place in the consistory at St. Peter's Basilica on November 24, 2007.

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz, Recipient of the United States Army Medal of Honor (Posthumously)
A 1966 graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School, Corporal Crescenz was a standout academic, varsity baseball player and student leader during his high school years. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and was deployed to Vietnam in September 1968. Less than two months after his deployment, Corporal Crescenz made the ultimate sacrifice when his company engaged the North Vietnamese Army in dangerous gun battle. With two of his company's men already gunned down, Corporal Crescenz charged into the field, killing six Vietnamese soldiers and providing his comrades with the time necessary to position themselves to defeat the enemy. However, just five meters from the safety of a bunker, Corporal Crescenz was tragically shot and killed.

His heroism in this battle saved the lives of many Americans. His actions not only won Corporal Crescenz the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, but on April 7, 1970, he was awarded our nation's highest military decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor. He is the only Philadelphian to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam.

Captain Christopher J. Ferguson, NASA Astronaut
Becoming a NASA astronaut is something that many adolescents dream of but few rarely accomplish. Captain Christopher Ferguson is one of those few. A 1979 graduate of Archbishop
Ryan High School, Captain Ferguson often credits his Catholic education for his success, saying that he received "not only an education, but an owner's manual for life."

With a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and a M.S. in Aeronautical
Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, Captain Ferguson devoted his efforts to the Navy, winning the Navy Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

n August 1998, Captain Ferguson reported to the Johnson Space Center to begin his NASA career. In September 2006, he served as pilot of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on a special construction mission to the International Space Station. Upon his return, he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding mission performance. He has also been chosen to lead a crew of seven on the Space Shuttle Endeavour for a 15-day supply mission to the International Space Station in September 2008.

Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D., Director of the Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute
As a student at Bishop Conwell High School, Dr. Kearney-Cooke had great enthusiasm about the journey of self-discovery. An active student leader, she distinguished herself in student council, World Affairs Council and perhaps, most importantly, Conwell's Peer Influence Program. Upon graduation in 1974, Dr. Kearney-Cooke pursued her education at California State College. From there, she earned a M.A in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University, followed by a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami.

Since entering her professional career, Dr. Kearney-Cooke has focused upon self-esteem, body image, and eating disorders in teenagers and women. She has authored numerous books (Change your Mind, Change your Body, Feeling Good About Your Body) and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and USA Today. Further, she was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award at The Partnership for Gender Specific Medicine at Columbia University and in 1996 was honored as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association

Dr. Kearney-Cooke currently serves as the Director of the Cincinnati Psychotherapy Institute and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University of Ohio.

Robert H. Palestini, Ed.D., Dean Emeritus & Associate Professor of Education at Saint Joseph's University
Dr. Robert H. Palestini is a prime example of the value Catholic schools place on education. A graduate of Our Lady of Peace Elementary School, Saint James High School and Saint Joseph's University, Dr. Palestini has committed more than 40 years of his life to teaching others in the Catholic tradition.
Dr. Palestini's career has been filled with wide-ranging accomplishments in the Archdiocese, including as a biology teacher and basketball coach at Cardinal O'Hara High School, Co-Chairman of the Papal Visit Committee in 1979 and Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

In 1990, Dr. Palestini returned to his alma mater, Saint Joseph's University, where he developed the curriculum for several new Masters' Degrees as well as the only doctoral program in the university's history. During his career, he has also found time to author six books on educational administration and leadership.
However, his faith, which has been so integral to his career, has also been integral to his personal life. An active and involved member of Old St. Joseph's Church, Dr. Palestini sees to the maintenance and preservation of Old St. Joseph's Church and rectory, and also works to educate the community on the history of the parish and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Christine Rouse, Founder & Executive Director, Acting Without Boundaries
From her beginnings at St. John Neumann Elementary to her high school experience at Villa Maria Academy to her college days at St. Joseph's University, Christine Rouse has been shaped by her Catholic education. Just two years after her college graduation, Ms. Rouse began Acting Without Boundaries, an organization that provides opportunities for young actors with disabilities to take to the stage and make their dreams come true.

Her dedication and commitment to Acting Without Boundaries has been boundless. The year-round program provides an open forum for the creative and artistic expression of physically-disabled actors from ages 11 to 30. It affords them the opportunity to pursue their love of theater while simultaneously building their belief in themselves and their abilities. The program has been such a success that, in November 2006, Rouse founded Acting Without Boundaries, Jr., a similar program for children ages 4 to 11 with disabilities.

Rouse has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1994 Presidential Award from the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, presented by Governor Ed Rendell for her steadfast dedication to educating children about disabilities. She is also the recipient of a grant from the New York-based "Do Something Organization" to fund her "Kids are Kids" workbook.

For more information about the 2008 Distinguished Graduate Awards and the gala event in January 2008, please e-mail:


Donna Farrell
Director for Communications

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