2016 Outstanding College Council Award
Knight of Columbus councils throughout the Order are called to work as “the strong right arm of the Church” and to continue the legacy started 134 years ago by Venerable Father Michael McGivney.
While many college councils demonstrated impressive achievements this year, to be named Outstanding College Council is an exceptional distinction and it requires exemplary achievement across the spectrum of program categories. After putting their effort into service projects for their local community, these Knights give new meaning to the phrase “building a civilization of love.” These brother Knights were marked by a strong desire to offer a public witness to their faith, a commitment to reach out to those on the peripheries.
In recognition of their exemplary accomplishments and service, this year’s Outstanding College Council Award is presented to Council 1477 at the University of Notre Dame.
The success of Council 1477 begins with its membership. In addition to well-practiced First Degree team and a strong recruiting year, Council 1477 utilizes a leadership development program which helps underclassmen contribute and prepare for future roles as officers. Additionally, the council utilizes a strong retention program which keeps new and old members engaged.
The council also sought to grow relationships with organizations in the community. This past year, the council adopted five partner organizations, and teams of Knights visited on a weekly or monthly, basis based on the organization’s need. These organizations included a home for mentally handicapped adults, a local parish, and a tutoring program for local youth.
As a way to witness to their faith on campus, these brother Knights organized a Eucharistic procession. When inclement weather prevented the Knights from having an outdoor procession, they moved the event inside for a Eucharistic adoration that was led by the council chaplain. In the future, the council plans to make this procession an annual event.
One highlight for these college Knights is the council’s annual senior banquet. The event included speeches from past grand knights and a roast of the outgoing officers. At this banquet, the council celebrated each achievement and Knights were nominated and recognized for their efforts pertaining to each of the four pillars of Columbianism.
When the council’s plans to attend the annual March for Life en masse had to be canceled this year due to a snow storm in Washington, D.C., the Knights organized and conducted an impromptu Rosary for Life as a show of their commitment to the culture of life.
Finally, while councils should hold successful annual events, it takes a special group of Knights to find ways to constantly improve these events and take them to new heights. Through new efficiencies and hard work, Council 1477 increased its annual fundraiser by over 25 percent netting over $90,000 for charity through their steak sandwich sale.