Campaign for Young Scholars

Our Vision: A dedicated fund to support young scholars for years to come

Dear Friends of the Association:

I write today with an appeal. As the American Catholic Historical Association heads into its second century, it is worthwhile for us to consider how closely the organization’s future is tied to the professional futures of today’s graduate students and other emerging scholars working in and around the field of Catholic studies.

During my term as president, I have come to appreciate the resources the association currently devotes to supporting the careers of graduate students. I have also been considering ways the ACHA might grow to become more welcoming, supportive, and generative a space for the scholars that are its future.  Our new website,, provides information on the range of ACHA initiatives and projects.

Currently the ACHA’s support for young scholars includes its Peter Guilday Prize, which is awarded annually for a first scholarly publication in the Catholic Historical Review, and its John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award.

This year the association is thrilled to be giving the Ellis Award to Fr. Stephen M. Koeth, C.S.C., to support work on his dissertation, “The Suburban Church: Catholic Parishes and Politics in Metropolitan New York, 1945-1985.”

In addition to these prizes, the ACHA awards four summer-research grants for graduate students yearly, as well as several travel grants that assist students who attend our conferences. These awards are made from the association’s general funds; in 2019 the ACHA has committed a total of $10,000 to graduate student research and travel through these grants. 

My hope is that the association will establish a dedicated fund to support graduate student grants, one that will guarantee the executive council’s ability to make these awards for years to come, and that will give it flexibility in imagining new ways the association might financially support graduate students and other emerging scholars in the future, including through more robust offsets to the steep cost of annual conference attendance.

To this end I ask that you consider making a special donation to the American Catholic Historical Association this holiday season, to help us build our support for the young people who are the association’s future.

You can make a gift online or send your donation to us at ACHA, Mount St. Mary’s University, 16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd., Emmitsburg, MD 21727.

If you have any questions, please feel to contact me personally at


Kathleen Holscher
President, American Catholic Historical Association (2019)