Here’s a quick summary of the interesting things our fellow senior alumni have been up to:

Thank You, Team:  The Alumni Association’s new fiscal year began July 1st, which meant that six of our Senior Alumni Board reached the end of their three-year terms. We want to give a shout out to (L to R, top row) Mike Boone ’66 (West Region), Russ Dodge ’74 (Indiana), Jack Leicht ’74 (NDAA), and (lower row) Sharon McAuliffe ’74 (Chair), Mike Schnaus ’75 (Central Region), and Jeanine Sterling ’76 (Michigan). Thank you for all of your hard work, great ideas, and love for Notre Dame!

Departing NDSA Board Members

And The Beat Goes On:  Welcome to the newest NDSA Board members, including John Hickey ’69 (Central Region), Tom Broz ’72 (West Region), Joe Hornett ’76 (Midwest Region), Maryanne Ries Rogers ’76 (Northeast Region), Catherine Wedelstaedt ’79 (Pacific Northwest Region), and Mark Vahala ’81 (Southwest Region).

Seniors In The News:  These senior alumni were in the news during the past few months:

  • Regis Philbin ’53, legendary broadcaster who died of natural causes at 88
  • Jim Goodwin ’61, who was featured in a Los Angeles Times article about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
  • Joe Kernan ’68, former South Bend mayor and Indiana governor who passed away at 74 (South Bend Tribune)
  • Mike Cerre ’69, who was featured in the video podcast “Leading From the Front: Racial Equality in the Military” (Marines Memorial Club)
  • Tom Burish ’74, who wrapped up a 15-year tenure as Provost of Notre Dame
  • Jim Ryan ’76, who is devoted to socially responsible investing (“Finance Minister” in Notre Dame Magazine)
  • Kevin Smith ’78, who was featured for transforming the old Studebaker assembly building in South Bend (“Maestro of a Master Plan” in ND Magazine)
  • Avis Boyd ’82, the Managing Director of the NDAA Diversity Council, who was featured on the panel “Beyond the Comfort Zone: Domers Answering the Call of Anti-Racism”
Provost Burish '74

Book Authors:  Looking for a good book to read?  Consider these works recently published by fellow ND seniors:

  • Fr. Tom Blantz ’57 – “The University of Notre Dame: A History” (non-fiction)
  • Pat Conroy ’65 – “Let’s Get Civil: Healing Our Fractured Body Politic” (non-fiction)
  • Gary Campana ’69 – “Emory in Paris … and other stories” (fiction)
  • Steve Schaefer ’73 – “A Death in Auvers” (fiction)
  • Paul Coppola ’78 – “The Life Story and Memories of Louis Charles D’Addio” (memoir)
  • Philip Hicks ’80 – “Old Notre Dame: Paul Fenlon, Sorin Hall & Me”

NDames are Unsinkable:  Congratulations to our senior women rowers for staying connected and competitive, even in the face of this pandemic.  The NDames were cited in the July edition of the national rowing magazine “Rowing News” for setting up Zoom calls and rowing half and full marathons on their ergs.

Articles and Plays:  Senior alumni are a creative bunch:

  • Barry Lopez ’66 – “Love in a Time of Terror” (article published by Lit Hub)
  • Steve McGraw ’73 – “Love Quest”, a play
  • Bryan Gruly ’79 – “How Do You Make More Masks Yesterday?” (reporting on COVID-related issues for Bloomberg Businessweek)

Please Join Us for This Shared Reading Experience:  All senior alumni are invited to join the ND Alumni Association for a shared reading experience this fall. Along with other interested grads, we will be unpacking “Black Domers: African-American Students at Notre Dame in Their Own Words,” edited by Don Wycliff ’69 and David Krashna ’71, with a foreword by the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. ’39.  The book features 75 essays from Notre Dame alumni sharing their reflections and experiences across more than seven decades. Discussions will be held locally and online. More information will be shared via email as it becomes available. Copies of the book can be purchased on the ND University Press. The code 14SUM20 will result in a 40% discount through the month of August. After August, use Code 14ReadND for a 30% discount. 

Seniors Writing for ND Magazine:  A multitude of fellow seniors are contributing articles to Notre Dame Magazine, both in print and online, including:

  • Kenneth Woodward ’57 – “What I’m Reading: If Nobody Calls, I’m Not Home – The Open Letters of Bim Nakely, Samuel Hazo”
  • Ed Ricciuiti ’59 – “Stinging Rebuke”
  • Don Wycliff ’69 –“The Pillars That Hold Us All Up”
  • Kerry Temple ’74 – “Soundings: A Toast to the Bars”
  • Fr. Joe Corpora ’76 – “Being Mercy: Salvation, and the Laundry Left Undone”
  • Terrence Keeley ’81 – “The Crisis in Question”
  • Anthony Walton ’82 – “With Our Own Eyes”

Honoring Our Senior Alumni:  Domers are being recognized for their achievements:

  • Rev. Ollie Williams ’61, C.S.C. received the Sumner Marcus Award from the Mendoza College of Business. This award recognizes Father Ollie’s impressive contributions in the field of management.
  • Denny Sullivan ’62JD was recognized with the 2019 William Roper Award. This award is given to an attorney or judge in Dallas whose public and private life reflects and perpetuates the legacy of Thomas More.
  • Merle Wilberding ‘69JD was appointed to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, which honors veterans for accomplishments after service. Wilberding successfully pushed for changes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice to better protect victims of sexual assault.
  • Ken Hughes ’74 received a lifetime achievement award for helping New Mexico communities move toward clean energy projects.
  • Jean E. Snyder ‘76M.A. was named the inaugural Historian in Residence by the Harry T. Burleigh Society of NYC. Snyder wrote the 2016 biography of Burleigh, African-American composer, arranger and singer.
  • Sheila O’Brien ’77 was honored with the first “Step Up for Chicago” Award in recognition of her dedication and commitment, prosecutorial excellence, and outreach to the community.
  • Irma Herrera ‘78JD wrote a one-woman show – “Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?” – that was named one of the 10 best plays of the Bay Area for 2019.
Herrera '78JD

A New Online Home for Notre Dame Grads:  This year, the Alumni Association is rolling out a “re-envisioned online community” to ND family around the globe. This new myNotreDame online presence will include information, news and engagement opportunities for all senior grads. In addition, with the new mobile app, you’ll be only one tap away from staying connected. Keep an eye out for an ND Alumni Association email with more information and a link to register.  

Our Facebook Page Needs You!  If you’re on Facebook, please consider following our Notre Dame Senior Alumni page.  There are new posts every single day. We keep you up-to-date on senior activities, campus highlights, and a mix of inspirational, educational, and humorous offerings. Give us a try here.


NDSA Media Links:

Facebook:  ND Senior Alumni Facebook Group

Newsletter Email:

Website:  ND Senior Alumni Home

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