SOUTH BEND, Indiana — A former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican who turned down a top honor from the University of Notre Dame the year then-President Barack Obama gave the commencement address will accept another award from the school.

Notre Dame says Harvard Law School professor Mary Ann Glendon will receive the Evangelium Vitae Medal in April. The school says the medal honors those who “proclaim the Gospel of human life by steadfastly affirming and defending its sanctity from its earliest stages.”

“Mary Ann Glendon is certainly among the most accomplished women in the Church today and a worthy recipient of this year’s award,” said Notre Dame President, Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins. “I’m grateful to the Center for Ethics and Culture for recognizing Glendon for her impressive service to the Church and to life.”

Glendon is a pro-life scholar who served as the American ambassador to the Vatican under President George W. Bush. She also served two terms on the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics and is a former president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

“Glendon is one of the most extraordinary figures in academia and the global public square,” said O. Carter Snead in a statement. Snead is the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture.

“She personifies the goods at the heart of the Evangelium Vitae Medal. Through her work as a world-class scholar and teacher, a diplomat, a White House bioethics adviser and an official of the Holy See, she has provided a joyful, loving and unwavering witness to the dignity of all persons, born and unborn, as created in the image and likeness of God. She sets the standard for all of us who work to build a culture of life worldwide. There is no one like her.”

She was to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal at the 2009 graduation ceremony. She declined it in protest of Notre Dame’s decision to honor Obama despite his support of abortion rights.

Crux staff contributed to this report.