Posted May 13 , 2013


Frank Clifford announced as the recipient of the 2013 Chancellor John Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership

Waterloo – Frank Clifford announced as the recipient of the 2013 Chancellor John Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership. The Chancellor John Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership, named for John Sweeney - the first lay Chancellor of St. Jerome’s University, recognizes the ongoing need for a Catholic presence and voice in shaping future leaders and engaging in the challenging issues facing the world today. The recipient of the award is identified as someone who has made a contribution to Catholic education, has a continued commitment to Catholic Leadership and publicly lives out the gospel values in a distinguished life.

Frank Clifford is the epitome of the kind of leader St. Jerome’s University is looking to recognize in presenting this award. A respected educator throughout his career as teacher, principal, superintendent and director of education in the separate school board, Frank is widely recognized as a leader in Catholic Education in the province. Frank was instrumental in securing full government funding to Catholic schools in Ontario when he was appointed to a provincial government committee by then-premier Bill Davis in the early 1980’s.

The Hamilton Diocese recognized Frank for his commitment to the Catholic Church when they presented him with Papal Honours in November 2012. Frank was one of the Bishop’s chosen recipients and garnered final approval from Pope Benedict XVI to receive the honour. In 2002 Frank was awarded a Doctor of Laws (LLD), honorary degree from The University of Waterloo and in 1996 an Honorary Doctorate from Brock University.

He began teaching at the age of 19 and is now part of a legacy of educators. Frank and his wife met while they both were elementary teachers in Welland. Their five adult children are employed in education as teachers, consultants or board superintendents and several of his 17 grandchildren are teachers. Frank’s son, Larry Clifford, was appointed as the Director of Education for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board in July, 2012. Larry commented: “Our family is thrilled, surprised and very honoured for my father. It is nice to see his experiences recognized and our family will be there to support him when he receives this award”.

St. Jerome’s will be presenting Frank Clifford with the Chancellor John Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership at the annual St. Jerome’s Feast event on Friday, September 27th, 2013. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund entrance scholarships for first year students. If you wish to show your support for Frank Clifford, please contact Kelly Macnab at or 519-884-8111 ext. 28301 for information or to purchase tickets.

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