University of Rochester

St. Sebastian Society Receives National Recognition for Leadership

January 22, 2007

The St. Sebastian Society, a group made up of University of Rochester student-athletes and sponsored by the Catholic Newman Community, will receive the Excellence in Developing Leaders for the Future award. The national recognition in leadership by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, which represents campus ministries nationwide, is one of only six awards given to universities throughout the country.

Formed three years ago with only four students, the St. Sebastian Society now has about 35 student members from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. The group is known for its work with city schools, such as tutoring students at St. Boniface elementary school in Rochester. When they are not studying, University students also bring the city students to University programs, such as sporting events and holiday activities.

"The society's focus is on moral leadership, spirituality, and service to others," said the Rev. Brian C. Cool, Interfaith Chapel Catholic chaplain. "Students in the St. Sebastian Society are able to develop these principles while living rigorous lives as student-athletes."

The award will be presented to society members during the second annual St. Sebastian student-athlete dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the Interfaith Chapel on the University's River Campus. Nelson Hoffman, Class of 1955, a University Hall-of-Fame inductee who played soccer and basketball, will talk about the responsibilities athletes have as community leaders. Hoffman is the retired founder and CEO of Brice Manufacturing in Pacoima, Calif. and author of Virtues and Values for the 21st Century: Renewing America's Character & Spirit.