Alumni Profile

Pauline Smith_large

Pauline Smith

Class of 2006

Majors: Humanities & Catholic Culture, and Theology

“When I came to Franciscan, I had signed up for everything,” Pauline Smith laughs. “Honors, classics, humanities… Fortunately, the first person I saw for advising was Prof. James Gaston. I told him I wanted a well-rounded liberal arts education as a basis for later studies in architecture, and he described what I could use humanities and Catholic culture for.”

The result? Pauline entered the Humanities and Catholic Culture Program, and never looked back. The values she learned in her coursework would go on to influence her graduate studies and later work in architecture.

“HCC taught me to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable, spiritually conscious person, and gave me the opportunity to become more holy, more Catholic. I learned to engage all aspects of culture from a particular area, so when I went on to study architecture at Notre Dame, I had a better idea of the forces that influence our architecture.”

Pauline was invited to participate in a special program at the University of Notre Dame, getting two master’s degrees—one in architecture and one in urban design—in four years. She also interned with two architectural firms, one in Pittsburgh and the other as an Intern Fellow in Washington, D.C., and completed a summer program in landscape design.

“My internships were really rewarding; my first internship was in Pittsburgh, with an architect who encouraged me so much. I even designed a building that summer that was built in New York State.”

Today, she is working with the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, Illinois, which offers academic degrees and educational programs in liturgical studies, art, Catholic culture, and sacramental theology, as well as sacred architecture.

“Excellent Catholic architecture has the ability to operate on so many levels,” Pauline says. “It really is a support to Christian life. I’m grateful to be working at the Institute, where the deeper meaning of our words, arts, and actions is considered seriously, just as it was in the Humanities and Catholic Culture Program.”


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