University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services Carolyn Y. Woo to speak at UP on Wednesday, Sept. 26

The president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services Carolyn Y. Woo will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 26 in Buckley Center Auditorium on the University of Portland campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. Woo, a University of Portland board of regent, is the speaker for the Zahm Lecture, the keynote address for the academic year. A reception for Woo is set for 6 p.m. in the BC Foyer prior to her talk, and all are invited.

Woo, who assumed leadership of Catholic Relief Services in January 2012, is the former dean of Mendoza College of Business at University of Notre Dame. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Woo was educated by the Maryknoll Sisters of Ossining. She immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as a doctorate. Woo later became a professor and administrator at Purdue University before going to University of Notre Dame.

Woo serves on several corporate and not-for-profit boards, including AON Corporation, Nisource Inc, University of Notre Dame Australia and Catholic Charities USA. She was chair of AACSB International, the global accreditation association for business schools. She was also a member of the Committee of 100, an organization of Chinese-American leaders devoted to enhancing U.S.- China relations and the full participation of Chinese-Americans in American life. She has been much recognized and lauded for her scholarship and exceptional service and in 1998 was named as one of 40 Young Leaders of the Academy by Change magazine. She holds honorary doctorates from Providence College, University of St. Francis, Lewis University and the University of Notre Dame.

Permanently endowed by a gift to the University from Ray and Milann Siegfried of Oklahoma, the Zahm Lecture was established in 1999 to honor Fr. John Zahm, an eminent Holy Cross priest/scientist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Zahm, Superior of the Holy Cross in America when the University was founded in 1901, contributed counsel, money, and Holy Cross men to the University.

The Zahm lecture honors both his memory and the 111-year legacy of Holy Cross priests and brothers at the University of Portland. The lectures have a reputation for addressing important issues surrounding American Catholic education. Previous Zahm lecturers include former Newsweek religion editor Ken Woodward, science writer and Stonehill College professor emeritus of physics Chet Raymo, and internationally- recognized astronomer Rev. George Coyne, S.J.  

For more information, please contact Jamie Powell director, Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture, at (503) 943-7702 or

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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