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The McGuigan family at the Christ the King Chapel dedication.
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McGuigan '48 to Receive Fidelia Award

Notre Dame College will award one of its highest honors, the 2011 Fidelia Award, to alumna Ethel McGuigan ’48. McGuigan will receive the award during a dinner in the College’s Great Room on Thursday, 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.

Ehtel McGuigan '48 will receive the 2011 Fidelia Award.
Ehtel McGuigan '48 will receive the 2011 Fidelia Award.

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.

“Notre Dame is deeply grateful for Ethel’s support,” said Dr. Andrew P. Roth, president of Notre Dame College. “She embodies the College’s mission of personal, professional and global responsibility and is a true exemplar for our students of how to live a good life.”

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.

“Her devotion to the College deserves outmost respect,” Dr. Roth said. “We are proud to award the 2011 Fidelia Award to Ethel McGuigan.”

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. The recipients are determined by Notre Dame’s board of trustees.

The Fidelia Award was first presented in 1981 to Joseph H. Keller, patron of NDC’s recreational indoor facility. Other recipients include the Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Cleveland, former National City Bank CEO Edward B. Brandon, and the Hugh M. O’Neill Family.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or bjohnston@ndc.edu.