The Seton Hill University Alumni Association created the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal in 1959 to commemorate the life of Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity. The designation of a contemporary woman whose life achievements paralleled in some way, that of Elizabeth Seton, would emphasize the relevance of her life of nearly two centuries ago to our own age. 

Elizabeth Ann Seton dedicated her life to teaching. Born in New York in 1774 to parents whose friends included George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth Ann Seton and her five children moved to Baltimore after the death of her beloved husband, William. Shortly thereafter she took her vows and received the title, Mother. Her community became known as the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph.

In 1810 Mother Seton established a free school in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She went on to establish schools and orphanages along the East Coast. Today, Mother Seton is widely regarded by many as the founder of the American Catholic school network.

Elizabeth Seton died in 1821 at the age of 46. Her legacy lives on not only through her 30,000 spiritual daughters serving throughout the world, but also through the administrator and faculty who continue to serve students. Her sainthood was conferred upon by Pope Paul VI for her contributions to the development and growth of the American Catholic Church and Catholic education.

The Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal is a bronze, the design of sculptor Carl C. Mose. The obverse bears the likeness of Elizabeth Ann Seton inspired by an early portrait. On the reverse is engraved the motto of Sister of Charity of Seton Hill, "Caritas Christi Urget Nos" and beneath is, the arms of the University. Below these have been inscribed the name and the date of the presentation.

The Nominee is:

An outstanding woman who exemplifies the qualities and spirit of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in her field of endeavor. No restrictions of race or creed will be place on nominations. Recipient need not be an alumna of Seton Hill University.

A nationally or internationally known person. The medal was not intended for a local or in-house recipient unless she has achieved a national or international reputation.

Holds ethical and moral values consonant with those of the Catholic Church.

Must be present for the awarding of the medal.

Candidates for consideration must be nominated by a Seton Hill University alumna/us. Please call the Alumni Office at 724-830-1005 or email your submission to the Office of Alumni Relations.