HLS Professor Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be honored by the University of Notre Dame with its Laetare Medal.

The school will present Glendon with the medal—one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on American Catholics—during its May 17 commencement ceremonies. President Barack Obama ’91 is scheduled to deliver the commencement address.

Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame University President, said Glendon is “a compelling expositor of Catholic social teaching who exemplifies our University’s most cherished values and deserves its highest praise.”

Glendon will be the 133rd recipient of the Laetare Medal, an award established in 1883 to honor a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity.” Past recipients include President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck. Last year, actor and activist Martin Sheen received the medal.

Glendon, who served as ambassador to the Holy See in 2008, is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the current president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, appointed to that position by Pope John Paul II in 1994. She has also served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, and is the author of several books, including “A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Read an interview with Glendon on her year as ambassador to the Holy See.