Stonehill alumnus, Michael Novak ‘56, retired George T. Jewitt Scholar in Religion, Philosophy and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C, was a world renowned author, philosopher and theologian and recipient of the 1994 Templeton Prize. His published works include texts on ethnicity, sports and democratic capitalism. The Novak Collection includes over 300 linear feet of manuscripts, books, correspondence, newspaper columns, awards, and journal articles, and is regarded as being central to a fuller understanding of American Catholicism in the second half of the 20th century.

About Michael Novak

Born in Johnstown, PA on September 9, 1933, Michael Novak was the eldest of Michael J. and Irene (Sakmar) Novak’s five children. In 1947, Mr. Novak entered the Holy Cross Seminary at Notre Dame, and later graduated from Stonehill College in 1956 with an A.B. in Philosophy. From Stonehill, Mr. Novak went on to receive his B.A. in Theology from Gregorian University in 1958 and later transferred to Catholic University. Mr. Novak left the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1960, just prior to his ordination, and began graduate studies at Harvard University, receiving his master’s degree in 1965.

On June 29, 1963, Mr. Novak married Karen Ruth Laub of Cresco, IA. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Laub, Mrs. Novak graduated from Carleton College in 1959 and received her master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Novak had three children: Richard, Tanya, and Jana.

In 1961, Doubleday published Mr. Novak’s first book, The Tiber Was Silver. In the decades following the release of his first book, Mr. Novak published numerous other books and articles, most notably The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics (1972), The Joy of Sports (1976), and The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (1982). In total. Mr. Novak has worked as either author or editor on over forty-five books.

From 1979 to 2009, Mr. Novak worked at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Over the years, Mr. Novak taught at several universities, including Harvard, Syracuse, SUNY Old Westbury, and Ave Maria. He received numerous honorary degrees and was the recipient of the 1994 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Mr. Novak passed away on February 17, 2017 at the age of 83.

See also Michael Novak's Personal Website.

Requests for information can be submitted via email to the Director of Archives and Historical Collections, Nicole Casper at or 508.565.1121.