The Forum | Western Civilization

In Memoriam: Michael Novak, 1933–2017

February 17, 2017

ACTA mourns the loss of Michael Novak, a renowned Catholic philosopher and diplomat, as well as a beloved teacher and family man. A graduate of Stonehill College, the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and Harvard University, he had been most recently a trustee and professor at Ave Maria University, and he was a long-serving board member of the National Endowment for Democracy. The author of more than two dozen books, he was also a prominent contributor to the National Review and First Things.

Previously, Mr. Novak was the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva; and U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. His work has been cited by Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, and many advocates of democracy around the globe. For his leadership on human rights issues, he was awarded the 1994 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

In his career, Michael Novak did much to advance the public’s understanding of religion and democracy, and he personally touched the lives of countless students as an inspired college professor. The ACTA staff extends its deepest sympathy to Mr. Novak’s family, and we honor the tremendous contribution he made to the world of higher education.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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