Michael Bates, president of Notre Dame Schools, was selected for 50 Years|50 Faces, an online celebration of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States in honor of the UAE’s 50th anniversary.
He joins other notables including President George W. Bush; Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, Cleveland Clinic CEO and president; entertainer Steve Harvey and other notable U.S. and Emirati citizens who share their personal stories and global connections through the 50 Years|50 Faces website.
Bates said he was inspired by Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to the UAE in February 2019. He connected with Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the U.S., to explore how Notre Dame Schools could respond to the pope’s call for people of goodwill to work together for interreligious dialogue and world peace.
The initial conversation led to visit of embassy officials to Notre Dame Cathedral Latin, a trip to the UAE by Bates and Joseph Waler, NDCL principal, and another trip to the UAE by Bates, students and parents for the global conference on human fraternity in 2020.
During a trip to the UAE in 2019, Bates visited with kindergarteners at St. Mary School in Dubai (see photo above).
The UAE embassy also helped fund NDCL’s classroom renovation project.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has limited additional connections and programming, Notre Dame Schools are looking forward to continuing the pursuit of fraternity and solidarity with their friends in the UAE.