The Glory of Notre Dame

Mar 20, 2015

While doing research for my book, I have been reviewing a number of wonderful sources...

One of the publications I have used is the ALUMNUS, the forerunner of NOTRE DAME MAGAZINE.  I have been especially looking for information about the lives of our early players after they left Notre Dame. 

I have previously given some teasers……….here are some more…………..all of these fellows played football at Notre Dame in our early years:

1.     Three Priests who became Presidents of CSC universities;

2.     The Coach of the Chicago Blackhawks;

3.     The Coach of the Basketball Team which won the first “intercollegiate championship”;

4.     The Owner/Editor of one of the country’s most foremost newspapers;

5.     Several WWI heroes;

6.     A man who made 1,000 movies;

7.     A man who appeared in 350+ movies;

8.     Four Major League Baseball players;

9.     The President of the largest brewery in South Bend;

10.  The son of the primary Studebaker Brother;

11.  The President of the Southern Pacific Railroad;

12.  Many, many judges and at least one state Supreme Court Justice;

13.  At least one Congressman;

14.  A few physicians;

15.  The Lieutenant Governor of one of the largest states;

16.  One man who was murdered;

17.  One man who died in one of the most tragic train wrecks;

18.  One man who survived the worst theater fire in American history;

19.  Several early NFL players; and

20.  A man who was an officer in both World Wars.

(Don’t bother asking for the answers…………..look for the book sometime in early 2016)

While perusing the ALUMNUS, I found these terrific items in a 1923 issue:

The Glory of Notre Dame

A Free Translation From Life

I

Notre Dame University. Office of the Dean. Time: Before the Great War.

Enter a youth who appears by his dress to be a tramp.

The Dean: "What can I do for you?"

The Kid: "I want to enter."

"Enter? Enter what?"

"The University."

"As a laborer doubtless. See the superintendent."

"As a student."

"As a student! Surely you do not understand. This is a school.

Besides— Have you any —er— What are your resources?"

Kid turns his empty ragged trouser pockets inside out.

"Then how do you expect. . . ?

Where are you from? How did you get here?"

"I expect to go through the University.

I am from Connecticut.

I worked my way here on a freight."

The Dean grasps the kid's hand: "I'm beginning to like you, boy."

 

II

Field Hospital in France. Battle in Progress.

The kid dangerously wounded with the bayonet. Delirious.

Kid: "Is there a Notre Dame man here? Is there a Notre Dame man here?

Is there a Notre Dame man here? Is there a Not . . . "

Surgeon arriving: "Go easy, buddy. I'm a Notre Dame man.

You're at home."

The Kid: "A-ah. At home.

There's a Notre Dame man. . ."  Falls to sleep.

 

Ill

Notre Dame University. Office of the President. Time: Evening of Commencement Day.

Kid enters, diploma in one hand, envelope in the other. President: "What is it, David?"

David: "My bit for the endowment fund."

President: "Two hun—. This is too much. Two hundred dollars.

You shouldn't do it. Wherever did yon get it, David?"

David: "Saved her up. S'all right."

President: "But — ah — have you other — funds?"

Kid turns his pockets inside out.

"But how will you get home?" "Same way I got here. Work my way on a freight."

President seizes the boy's hand in both of his and says never a word.

When the boy is gone the president says to himself,—

"The Riches and Power and Glory of Notre Dame."

 

These two “poor boy” stories reminded me of Jay Lee, who was briefly one of our back-up QB’s.

 

Here’s what was reported about him…………………….

 

In 1925 Biffy,…….gave up coaching and entered the equally competitive field of insurance. He founded the Buffalo Alumni Club, and was head of a large agency there before transferring to Detroit in 1937. Since then his team has written over 30 million dollars in policies in Detroit. Biffy is past president of the Detroit Sales Executive Club, and head of the Detroit Notre Dame Club three times. His greatest claim is that he entered Albion (Mich.) College in 1908 with 26 cents and graduated in 1912 from Notre Dame with 80 cents and a wife.

I feel very fortunate to have attended the college of Fr. Sorin and Fr. Ted!


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