by Karen (Klocke) Dehais '85
It’s been over a month since Fr. Jenkins reminded us that ND is still a community even when we are far apart. Those words resonated immediately for so many in the Notre Dame family. In the weeks since, they’ve been lived out by alumnae across the nation.
We’ve all seen those pictures on social media…a screen full of smiling faces. I asked the Welsh Fam roomies in this one (clockwise from bottom left: Caitlin Kennelly ’06, Kate Burmon ’05, Anikka Ayala Rogers ’05 and Kate Lindsey Hagan ’05) about their experience
It's been typical for these women to share group chats via text since graduation, but not to have an on-screen “meeting.” “It was amazing to sit down with my girlfriends and unload the stress of the last several weeks,” said Kate (Lindsey) Hagan '05. And yet the familiarity of friendship made it “just like our old Thursday Night tradition sitting in the common room of our quad Junior Year and watching Friends while eating pizza.”
The pandemic put a new, and positive, twist on connecting for these alums. “It's gotten us all on one chat for the first time in more years than any of us would like to count," said Caitlin Kennelly ’06. “Being able to take an hour (that turned into two hours!) for these amazing women has been a good reminder that it shouldn't take a pandemic to get us back together.”
And, it’s caused them to revisit what the Notre Dame family means to them today, especially in these unprecedented times. “Everyone falls out of touch, or relationships ebb and flow naturally over the course of time, but our friend group, Welsh Fam, and the ND community will always be there for any of us,” said Kennelly.
For Hagan, a nurse, “there is something tangible about this family. You can't quite describe it, but it's there. So many people have reached out to me. Other Domers, NROTC classmates, dormmates, and even a few mystery people have asked what nurses need right now.”
What’s your ND connection story in these unprecedented times? We hope you’ll share it on the NDWC Facebook page or in the comments below. And check out some of the other virtual NDWC meetups that have happened over the past few weeks...
The NDWC-Atlanta virtual Shared Reading Experience via Google Hangouts. Thanks Becky Wagner!
NDWC Board first ever virtual book club featuring members from Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts. Thanks Anne Stricherz '96 for organizing!
St. Louis ND Women Connect Book club Zoom discussion of Just Mercy. We had 7 women attend from 2005-1973, one of whom was new to the group. In attendance: host Bridget Sly Lally ND ’84 lead the discussion, Kristin Sheehan ND ’90 & ’93, Katie Metzinger ND ’03, Beth Ann McLane ND ’84, Kate Fair ND ’98, Becky Ford Haffner ND ’05, and Susan Mogab ND ‘73.
The Kansas City NDWC group met virtually for a Just Mercy discussion. We took time at the end of our call to go around the "room" and mention one thing we've been doing to relax/rejuvenate during the current craziness.
Let's keep this going! Share your NDWC connection story on the NDWC Facebook page or in the comments below.