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2012: The year in review

December 27, 2012 Julie Hail Flory

Snow on Golden Dome

The calendar year 2012 was filled with many notable moments of accomplishment, celebration and reflection at Notre Dame. Here are some of the significant happenings.

Notre Dame and Alabama to join forces for Miami service project

December 23, 2012 Julie Hail Flory

Roots in the City Garden planted by Roots in the City

Alumni and fans from the University of Notre Dame will join their counterparts from the University of Alabama for a service project in Miami in conjunction with the BCS National Championship football game between the two institutions, to be played Jan. 7 (Monday) at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

In partnership with Roots in the City, an organization based in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami that aims to promote community development and beautification in inner-city areas, volunteers will come together Jan. 6 (Sunday) to build an urban garden, transforming a city lot into rows of raised garden beds and beginning the planting process.

Notre Dame MBA ranks No. 1 for ethics in Bloomberg Businessweek survey

December 18, 2012 Carol Elliott

Mendoza blue banner reads: University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business

The University of Notre Dame MBA program ranked No. 1 for ethics in the Bloomberg Businessweek MBA Specialty Ranking, announced Monday (Dec. 17). The ethics ranking was released as part of the publication’s 2012 Best B-Schools ranking, where the Notre Dame MBA program landed at No. 20, improving four slots compared to its 2010 result.

The specialty ethics ranking is based on responses to an online survey of graduates from the MBA Class of 2012, who ranked their program’s ethics offerings from “poor” to “outstanding.” According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the average ethics score for all 82 U.S. and international schools in the ranking was 4.64. The Notre Dame MBA located at the Mendoza College of Business had the top rank of 5.87, followed by University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Statement from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., on the Newtown tragedy

December 15, 2012 Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Blue Notre Dame seal

The following is a statement from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, on the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.:

“The senseless slaughter of innocent children, coming as it does in this Christmas season, is an unspeakable tragedy. Such acts of violence – whether in schools, malls, theaters or street corners – are becoming far too common, and our nation must take all reasonable steps to end these horrors. We at Notre Dame pray for the victims, their families and for all who were touched by this terrible killing. Our profound condolences go to all who are grieving.”

Notre Dame concludes comprehensive review of GLBTQ student services and support

December 05, 2012 Dennis Brown


After a five-month review process, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has accepted recommendations from the Office of Student Affairs to expand and enhance the support of and services for students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ), including the creation of a University recognized student organization.

The recommendations are part of a comprehensive pastoral plan that includes an array of initiatives grounded in the Catholic mission of the University.

“I appreciate the careful and thoughtful work of this review that considered both the needs of our students and the teachings of the Catholic Church,” Father Jenkins said. “As articulated in the University’s ‘Spirit of Inclusion’ statement, Notre Dame’s goal remains to create and sustain a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, and I am confident that this multi-faceted, pastoral approach represents the next step in advancing our efforts toward this aspiration for our GLBTQ students.”

Ten Notre Dame faculty members named AAAS fellows

November 29, 2012 William G. Gilroy


Ten University of Notre Dame faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in honor of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

AAAS, founded in 1848 as a nonprofit association, is the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the prestigious journal Science.

Notre Dame MBA ranks in Bloomberg Businessweek top 20 best b-schools

November 16, 2012 Carol Elliott

Mendoza blue banner reads: University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business

The University of Notre Dame MBA ranked No. 20 among U.S. business schools in the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine’s biennial survey, "The Best U.S. Business Schools 2012,” released Thursday (Nov. 12). The program, located in the Mendoza College of Business, jumped four spots from its 2010 ranking.

“We continually focus on providing the rigorous, values-based education that Notre Dame has always stood for,” said Mary Goss, senior director of the Notre Dame MBA. “But over the past two years, we’ve put a great deal of effort into enhancing our career development curriculum and engaging in an aggressive outreach to corporations across the country. We’re very proud of our students, who have competed well in an incredibly difficult hiring environment.”

Notre Dame mourns the death of graduate student

November 13, 2012 Dennis Brown

The crucifix in Moreau Seminary chapel

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has asked that the Notre Dame community keep Michael Thigpen and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

Thigpen, a first-year master’s degree student in the Global Health Program from Monument, Colo., passed away unexpectedly at his off-campus residence, where he was found early Tuesday morning (Nov. 13).

Notre Dame alumnus wins prestigious award for work with homeless

November 08, 2012 Megan Zagger

Dr. James O'Connell Dr. James O’Connell

James O’Connell, M.D., a 1970 University of Notre Dame graduate and founder and president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, was recently awarded the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.

Presented by The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, this prestigious award recognizes O’Connell for his advocacy and direct service to people experiencing homelessness. The Schweitzer Prize is given to an individual whose life example has significantly improved the health of people in the United States or abroad, and whose commitment to service influences and inspires others.

Notre Dame offers new study abroad program in Paris

November 08, 2012 Kate Cohorst

Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Paris, the legendary City of Lights, is the newest destination for University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters students who want to study abroad.

“We are delighted to offer this new opportunity for students seeking to spend a full year or one semester in Paris beginning in 2013-14,” says Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. “The new exchange program at the Université Paris Diderot will expand existing offerings by allowing advanced students in the humanities to enroll directly in courses with French students at one of the youngest and most dynamic universities in Paris.”

Three Notre Dame graduates elected to House, one to Senate

November 07, 2012 Susan Guibert

200x American flag

Three University of Notre Dame graduates were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election, and alumnus Joe Donnelly of Indiana is the second graduate to be elected to the Senate, but the fourth to serve.

Father Jenkins offers prayers for those affected by Hurricane Sandy

October 31, 2012 Dennis Brown

University seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has offered prayers and support from the University to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“As we continue to learn about the tragic consequences of this massive storm, it’s obvious this was a hurricane of historic proportions” Father Jenkins said. “On behalf of the entire Notre Dame community, I offer prayers for all who have been affected, including alumni, families and friends of the University.”

Notre Dame to host open house for new nuclear accelerator

October 30, 2012 William G. Gilroy

Tour the University's new nuclear accelerator

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Physics will hold an open house for its new nuclear accelerator from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 3) in the Nieuwland Hall of Science. Tours of the accelerator will leave 124 Nieuwland Hall every 15 minutes.

The accelerator is housed inside a new 40-foot-tall tower located above the existing Nuclear Science Laboratory in the center of Nieuwland. The University’s astrophysics program, started in the 1980s, is one of the leading global centers, attracting visiting researchers from 20 to 30 countries each year.

Father Jenkins mourns death of Saint Mary’s student

October 19, 2012 Dennis Brown

University seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has extended his sympathies to the family and friends of Saint Mary’s College student Ziqi Zhang, who died Thursday night (Oct. 18) in a bicycle-automobile accident near the entrance to the College.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ziqi Zhang and to the entire Saint Mary’s community,” Father Jenkins said. “Ziqi also was well-known here at Notre Dame, where she was enrolled in the College of Engineering and involved in various clubs and activities. On behalf of the University, our prayers are with all who knew and loved her."

Notre Dame magazine essays honored

October 15, 2012 Claire Stephens

Into the Deep Into the Deep

Two essays published in Notre Dame Magazine last year have been honored in this year’s edition of “The Best American Essays,” edited by David Brooks and Robert Atwan.

Among the “Notable Essays of 2011” are “Into the Deep,” which appeared in the Spring 2011 issue. Written by 1960 Notre Dame graduate Patrick Dunne, the piece is about a letter to a friend dying of melanoma.

A Summer Night” by Kerry Temple, editor of Notre Dame Magazine and a 1974 alumnus, was also chosen as a Notable Essay. Temple’s essay reflects on a summer evening in southern Indiana and comments on the loss of childhood in America today.

Father Jenkins to lead 'Rosary for Life' Oct. 9

October 08, 2012 Notre Dame News


A “Rosary for Life” will be led by University of Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 9) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The rosary, which is open to the public, will include scripture passages and meditations read aloud by Notre Dame students, faculty and staff in an event hosted by the Office of University Life Initiatives in observance of Respect Life Month and in appeal for a greater respect for the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.

“This is the third year that the Office for University Life Initiatives has held Notre Dame’s Rosary for Life,” said Mary Daly, program coordinator for the office. “The Rosary is a beautiful prayer to Our Lady, who is the patroness of our University, and we are asking that she continue to guide us as we work to promote the sanctity of all human life.”

Notre Dame student grants wishes of hospice patients

October 03, 2012 Claire Stephens

Caitlin Crommett

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When Caitlin Crommett was 15 years old, she founded DreamCatchers, a club she created to grant the last wishes of terminally ill hospice patients. Now a University of Notre Dame sophomore majoring in business entrepreneurship and film, television and theatre, Crommett recently expanded DreamCatchers, which began as a high school club and is now a national organization with chapters in California and Indiana.

“I had been volunteering with a hospice near me for a few years, helping out around the office and singing at memorial services,” Crommett recalls. “I then saw the movie ‘Patch Adams,’ which inspired me to do something more to make these patients happy at the end of their lives. I wanted them to be able to have their last dreams fulfilled and help people believe in happy endings once again.”

Notre Dame Vision mentors: Leaven in the world

October 01, 2012 Michael O. Garvey

Notre Dame Vision

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Since it was established by the Institute for Church Life (ICL) in 2002, the Notre Dame Vision program has brought more than 10,000 high school students to the University’s campus for week-long summer sessions of prayer, theological reflection, and celebration of their vocations as members of the Catholic Church.

One of the most conspicuous instances of the University’s service to the Church, Notre Dame Vision owes much of its success to the work of its “mentors in faith,” the 65 Notre Dame undergraduate students who lead the high schoolers in the program’s reflections, discussions and liturgies. The undergraduate mentors, who prepare for their work in special theology courses, pastoral formation workshops and small retreats, are themselves a feature of Notre Dame Vision’s success.

Presidential candidates invited to speak on campus

September 24, 2012 Dennis Brown

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney

The University of Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and student body president Brett Rocheleau have joined in inviting both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney to speak at the University during the fall election campaign.

Continuing a long-standing tradition, Father Jenkins and Rocheleau addressed letters to each of the presidential aspirants, offering Notre Dame as a “forum for serious political discussion” on important issues facing the nation. The intent of the invitations, which include the candidates’ running mates, is to provide the campus community a firsthand impression of the contenders and their messages.

Chicago Shamrock Series events to include four academic programs

September 24, 2012 Julie Hail Flory

Shamrock Series

As Fighting Irish fans descend upon Chicago for the Shamrock Series off-site home football game between the Notre Dame and Miami on Oct. 6 (Saturday), the University will present four academic events highlighting various topics of interest, including the national media, the economy, U.S. foreign policy and the role of religion in politics today.

All events are free and open to the public and will be held at the JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., Chicago.

Historic building being renovated for Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture

September 15, 2012 Brendan O'Shaughnessy

An artist's rendering of an aerial view of the Hansel Center An artist’s rendering of an aerial view of the Hansel Center.

The University of Notre Dame will open a new center for the arts and culture in January in a renovated historic building, bolstering a growing museum district just west of downtown South Bend.

Located in the former Hansel Center, the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture will house the University’s Community Relations Department, its Crossroads Art Gallery and the Segura Fine Art Print Studio — a renowned print studio formerly based in Arizona. The new facility will continue the activities and programming of the department and gallery, as well as provide new opportunities for youth and adult programming.

Notre Dame to join Atlantic Coast Conference; football stays independent but brings 5 games annually to ACC

September 12, 2012 Dennis Brown

Atlantic Coast Conference

The University of Notre Dame accepted an invitation today (Sept. 12) to become a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports except football.

Most Notre Dame athletics programs have been members of the Big East Conference since 1995 after previously competing in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, North Star Conference and as independents. Jack Swarbrick, vice president and director of athletics at Notre Dame, said the University will work with the Big East and ACC on a timetable to transfer athletic membership.

Notre Dame to host Indiana gubernatorial debate

September 11, 2012 Brittany Collins

Indiana flag

The University of Notre Dame will host one of three Indiana gubernatorial debates in October, the Indiana Debate Commission announced today.

Three candidates for Indiana governor will take the stage in Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 (Wednesday) to debate the issues in front of a live audience.

Thousands celebrate Ireland and Notre Dame in Dublin

September 06, 2012 Julie Hail Flory

Mass at Dublin Castle Mass at Dublin Castle

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When some 35,000 Americans descended on Dublin, Ireland, for the Emerald Isle Classic football game between Notre Dame and Navy (played Sept. 1 at Aviva Stadium), it was for many a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the country, learn about their Irish heritage, and celebrate Notre Dame’s rich academic, faith and athletic tradition.

Events included academic programs, Masses, service projects and fan celebrations, highlighted by a Notre Dame pep rally that merged the best of American and Irish traditions, and a Mass at historic Dublin Castle.

Notre Dame Forum events to explore future of American democracy

August 23, 2012 Susan Guibert

A More Perfect Union: The Future of America’s Democracy, The Notre Dame Forum

The 2012-13 Notre Dame Forum, “A More Perfect Union: The Future of America’s Democracy,” will present a series of events throughout the academic year that will explore profound questions about the state of the U.S. political system and its capacity to deal with the rapidly changing domestic and international challenges it faces.

“In this election year, issues such as the economy, foreign policy, education and health care are key to the choices American voters will make,” said University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “We do not aim to sponsor another presidential debate with its political give and take, but strive to offer a constructive perspective on our political decisions.”

Notre Dame to celebrate academics, faith and tradition during Dublin game

August 20, 2012 Julie Hail Flory


When the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame meet the Midshipmen of Navy on Sept. 1 (Saturday) at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, it will be the latest installment in a long American football tradition for the two institutions.

The visit also will celebrate Notre Dame’s enduring Irish heritage and its modern-day engagement in Ireland, highlighted by an array of events that will bring a taste of the University’s educational, intellectual, faith and cultural mission to its host country, and offer thousands of visiting fans opportunities to learn about, explore and enjoy Ireland.

Notre Dame Executive Education announces new director

August 10, 2012 Carol Elliott

Paul Velasco

Paul C. Velasco, who has been serving as interim director of Executive Education at the University of Notre Dame, will take over the position permanently, announced Mendoza College of Business Interim Dean Roger Huang on Thursday (Aug. 9).

Velasco joined the Mendoza College in August 2009 as Executive Education’s director of degree programs. He has served as interim director of Notre Dame Executive Education since October 2011.

Notre Dame earns fourth consecutive ‘Great College to Work For’ honor

August 09, 2012 Brittany Collins

2012 Great Colleges to Work For

The Chronicle of Higher Education has selected the University of Notre Dame as one of its Honor Roll schools in its 2012 Great Colleges to Work For survey. This is the fourth consecutive year that the University has received the honor.

The Chronicle identified 12 categories for recognition that each institution competes in. Notre Dame rated highly in six categories: compensation and benefits; facilities, workspace and security; job satisfaction; work/life balance; confidence in senior leadership; and supervisor/department chair relationship.

Thomas E. Bear appointed executive director of student financial strategies

July 27, 2012 Brittany Collins

Dome and Clouds

Thomas E. Bear, formerly vice president for enrollment services at the University of Evansville, has been appointed executive director of student financial strategies at the University of Notre Dame, effective July 30.

In his new role, Bear will oversee financial aid and student accounts in the Office of Student Financial Services.

“We are pleased to have found a talented leader to advance the research and development of strategies and practices aligning Notre Dame’s considerable financial aid and merit scholarship resources to improve our ability to attract the most robust profile of gifted students,” said Don Bishop, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment.

Notre Dame to host national student affairs conference

July 18, 2012 Karen Kennedy

Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities

The University of Notre Dame will host the 2012 Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU) Conference July 24 to 27 (Tuesday to Friday).

Founded in 1999 and affiliated with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, ASACCU membership includes student affairs professionals from 149 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. ASACCU promotes an understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition and its relevance for student affairs professionals working at Catholic colleges and universities. This annual conference provides opportunities for professional growth, networking and increased collaboration and communication among staff from member institutions.