National Catholic Educational Association Award

honors philanthropy, leadership and service to Catholic education



Arlington, Va.: Robert A. Conway, a prominent Cincinnati area benefactor, will receive the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for his expansive support of Catholic educational institutions in Greater Cincinnati. The award will be presented during the 22nd annual Seton Awards ceremony Oct. 1 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

The Seton Award is NCEA's highest honor, given in recognition of significant contributions to Catholic education. The award is named in honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), the first native-born American saint.

Robert A. Conway

Robert A. Conway is a tireless champion of Catholic education in his native Cincinnati. He and his late wife, Ruth, were married for 52 years and raised eight children, all of whom attended Catholic schools. The Conways have been active supporters and generous benefactors of virtually all Catholic educational institutions in Greater Cincinnati. In 1997, the Conway Foundation was created to support Catholic education and it has contributed to the building and academic campaigns at Chatfield College, with campuses in Cincinnati and St. Martins, Ohio; and at St. Xavier High School, Ursuline Academy, St. Ursula Academy and DePaul Cristo Rey High School, all in Cincinnati, as well as to community ministries

As life-long benefactors of The Legacy Campaign at The Athenaeum of Ohio, the Conways endowed the Chair for Biblical Studies. At Chatfield College, support from the Conway Foundation funds the campus ministry program. An alumnus and emeritus trustee of Xavier University, Conway endowed the school's Conway Institute for Jesuit Education. An endowed chair in Catholic Studies at the University of Cincinnati promotes scholarly research at the secular university.

Ruth and Robert Conway co-founded The Bistro Group in 1989. Today this family-owned restaurant enterprise employs 2,800 people in the Cincinnati area. Enthusiastic support for Robert Conway is echoed by the Ursuline communities, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Catholic inner-city schools that have benefitted from the Conways' philanthropy and vision.

This year's other Seton Award recipients are:

Chuck and Nancy Geschke, Los Altos, Calif., for their ongoing leadership and philanthropic contributions to post-secondary Catholic education.

Leigh-Anne Kazma, Chicago, who has dedicated her career to the patronage of Catholic education through the generous efforts of the Kazma Family Foundation.

Tom Moran, New York City, chairman and CEO, Mutual of America, for his benevolent corporate sponsorship within the Archdiocese of New York.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, who has renewed and revitalized Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Lorraine Ozar, associate professor of education at Loyola University Chicago, will receive the NCEA President's Award for her vision and leadership in the development of effective Catholic school curricula and instruction.

NCEA, founded in 1904, is a professional membership organization that provides leadership, direction and service to fulfill the evangelizing, catechizing and teaching mission of the church. NCEA's members include elementary schools, high schools, parish religious education programs and seminaries.