Professor Helen M. Alvaré to Receive Honorary Doctor of Laws at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary

Professor Helen M. AlvaréSubmitted Image, Credit: George Mason University

WYNNEWOOD, PA — Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary announced it will award a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, to Professor Helen M. Alvaré on May 17, 2023. Alvaré, a native Philadelphian, is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Robert A. Levy Endowed Chair in Law and Liberty at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. She will be the first recipient of two honorary degrees from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. In 1993, she received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Religious Studies Division.

Concursus is the Seminary’s annual graduation ceremony where academic degrees are awarded to seminarians, as well as religious and lay students, enrolled in its college and graduate college programs. Alvaré will also deliver the Concursus address to the graduates. The degree will be awarded by Saint Charles Seminary Board Chair and Archbishop of Philadelphia Nelson J. Pérez.

Father Keith J. Chylinski, the Seminary’s Rector, said, “It will be a tremendous privilege to honor a native daughter of the region and a distinguished scholar of the First Amendment, family law, and law and religion at our annual Concursus ceremony. Her professional accomplishments and courageous witness to the Faith will certainly serve as an inspiration to our graduates and to all who attend.”

Professor Alvaré will join a distinguished list of honorary degree recipients from the seminary, including Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers, Professor Andreas Widmer, Justice Samuel Alito, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta and former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Robert N. C. Nix.

In addition to her roles as associate dean and professor, she has been a faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a Member of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life (Vatican City), a board member of Catholic Relief Services, a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS’  Section on Law and Religion, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the Organization of American States as an advisor especially respecting women and family.

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In addition to her books, and her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré publishes regularly in news outlets including the New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and the National Catholic Register. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Prior to joining the faculty of Scalia Law, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.

Professor Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Villanova University.

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