Nobel Prize winner in physics to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Brian Schmidt

Brian Schmidt, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, will deliver a public lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 (Monday) in Room 101 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame. The talk, titled “The Accelerating Universe,” is part of the John A. Lynch Lecture Series coordinated by the Department of Physics and is free and open to the public.

Schmidt was awarded the Nobel Prize jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter for their research in the 1990s that revealed the expansion of the universe is accelerating. An accelerating expansion implies that most of the universe is made of a mysterious dark energy.

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Spring Notre Dame Forum events to bring K-12 education thought leaders to campus

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation

A number of events exploring important issues in K-12 education will be held this spring on the University of Notre Dame campus as part of the 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation.”

A yearlong discussion of the profound and challenging questions that shape the national debate about K-12 education, the Forum features a series of panel presentations, symposia and workshops spanning the entire academic year. Fall events included addresses by notable speakers including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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Statement from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Blue Seal

The following is a statement from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, on the change announced Feb. 10 regarding the religious liberty concerns related to the Health and Human Services ruling on birth control coverage in insurance plans:

“The widespread concerns expressed by Catholics and people from other faiths have led today to a welcome step toward recognizing the freedom of religious institutions to abide by the principles that define their respective missions. We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.

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Notre Dame reaches No. 10 on Peace Corps’ college rankings

Author: John Guimond


For the twelfth year in a row, the University of Notre Dame has placed on the Peace Corps’ list of top universities nationwide producing Peace Corps volunteers, and its rank is steadily rising.

This year, with 35 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Notre Dame moves up to the No. 10 spot among medium-sized universities (with between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates), from last year’s No. 18 ranking with 25 volunteers in service. In 2011, Notre Dame moved up to No. 18 from the 2010 No. 23 spot. Since Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 858 Notre Dame alumni have served in Peace Corps.

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Father Jenkins and students, faculty and staff attend March for Life

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Father Jenkins at March for Life

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, was among some 350 Notre Dame students, faculty and staff who traveled to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 23 to take part in the March for Life.

The annual march, which marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, has drawn increasing numbers of people over the years, and this year, the 39th anniversary of the decision, tens of thousands of marchers braved raw temeratures and intermittent rain to participate.

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Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to deliver Hesburgh Lecture

Author: Joan Fallon

Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel laureate in economics, will deliver the 18th annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy April 17 (Tuesday) at 5:30 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Sen is best known for his commitment to addressing the challenges facing the world’s poorest people.

“Professor Sen has spent a lifetime fighting poverty through research, analysis, and advocacy of human development informed by what the Nobel committee called ‘the ethical dimension,’” said Scott Appleby, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

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Notre Dame dedicates Conway Hall in London


Conway Hall

A blessing and dedication ceremony for Conway Hall, the University of Notre Dame’s new residence hall for students studying abroad in London, took place Friday (January 20).

After undergoing a complete façade restoration and interior renovation, Conway Hall opened in August 2011, welcoming students more than four months ahead of schedule.

The new hall is named in honor of Robert and Ricki Conway. Mr. Conway has been a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees since 1990 and former chair of the academic affairs committee of the Board. A longstanding London resident, he currently serves as senior director of Goldman Sachs in London.

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Memorial Mass to be held Feb. 6 at Notre Dame for Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F.

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F.

A live webcast of Sister Jean’s Memorial Mass will be available by clicking here at 5:15 p.m. EST. on Monday, Feb. 6.

A Memorial Mass will be held at the University of Notre Dame on Feb. 6 (Monday) in memory of Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F., former assistant vice president for student affairs at the University. Sister Lenz died Jan. 21 at Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home in Joliet, Ill., after a long illness. She was 81 years old.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, will preside at the Mass, which will begin at 5:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus.

Visitation will be held Wednesday (Jan. 25) from 2 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home, 1201 Wyoming Ave., Joliet, Ill., followed by a funeral Mass at 7 p.m. Burial will be Thursday (Jan. 26) at 9 a.m. in Resurrection Cemetery, 200 W. Romeo Rd., Romeoville, Ill.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race to begin Jan. 25

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race

The University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race will feature four consecutive Wednesday night discussions led by prominent athletes, coaches, university athletic directors and sports scholars.

All the conference discussions, collectively entitled “Playing with Fire: Race and Sport in American Culture,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Legends nightclub each Wednesday night from Jan. 25 through Feb. 15. The series is open to the public.

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2011: The Year in Review

Author: Julie Hail Flory and Paul Murphy

Dome and Clouds

The calendar year 2011 was filled with numerous moments of accomplishment, celebration and reflection at the University of Notre Dame. Here are some of the highlights.

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Amazement at the Grotto

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Crèche at Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes

It appears early each Advent season, the massive crèche mounted on a platform of hay bales at the western edge of Notre Dame’s Grotto. Vibrantly colored, oversized figures of Mary, Joseph, an adoring shepherd, the oncoming Magi, some eerily well-groomed livestock and a girlish angel overhead, all symmetrically arranged around an empty patch of stable floor. All the figures, even the animals, have credulous and startled faces. The Baby is not yet where their apprehensive gazes fall.

While it is unlikely to be mistaken for a great work of art, this Grotto nativity scene is nevertheless irresistible, and not just for those small children whose parents bring them there to marvel and gawk and wonder where the Baby is. Naivete is commendable in this season.

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Main Building Christmas Tree

Author: Paul Murphy

Main Building Christmas Tree

The Main Building Christmas Tree brings festive cheer to all as student continue to complete their final semester examinations.

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Murphy named associate dean for entrepreneurship and ESTEEM director

Author: Nina Welding

David Murphy

David Murphy, former president and chief executive officer of Better World Books, a for-profit social venture initially created and spun out of the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed associate dean for entrepreneurship for the Colleges of Science and Engineering and director of Notre Dame’s Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters (ESTEEM) program.

A one-year master of science collaborative program between the Colleges of Science and Engineering and the Mendoza College of Business, ESTEEM augments the scientific and technical skills of individuals who have already earned their bachelor’s degree by providing the opportunity to obtain the unique skills required to take science and/or engineering inventions and translate them into commercial ventures.

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Archbishop Louis Kébreau of Haiti to receive Notre Dame Prize for Public Service

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Archbishop Louis Kébreau

Archbishop of Cap-Haitien Louis Kébreau will be awarded the 2011 Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America at a ceremony in Cap-Haitien on Dec. 8 (Thursday).

Presented annually since 2000 by the University of Notre Dame with support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Notre Dame Prize recognizes the efforts of visionary leaders to enhance the region’s welfare by strengthening democracy and improving life for its citizens.

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Notre Dame hosts conference for executives in Catholic higher education

Author: Michael O. Garvey and Jennifer A. Monahan


Presidents and trustees of 14 Catholic institutions of higher learning met last week (Nov. 6 to 8) at the University of Notre Dame for a three-day conference on the maintenance and strengthening of their Catholic identity.

The conference, “What We Hold in Trust,” was sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, and hosted by Notre Dame theologian John C. Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the institute.

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Indiana Supreme Court comes to Notre Dame Law School

Author: Notre Dame News

Indiana Supreme Court

The University of Notre Dame Law School will host the Indiana Supreme Court oral arguments in the case of Jerrme Damar Cartwright v. State of Indiana on Nov. 14 (Monday).

The case involves a defendant who was convicted of attempted battery with a deadly weapon, attempted aggravated battery and possession of a handgun by a felon. The Court of Appeals reversed his conviction on grounds that the jury was selected unfairly.

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to discuss educational innovation

Author: Shannon Chapla

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address during a day-long symposium titled “Educational Innovation and the Law” to be held Nov. 18 (Friday) at the Notre Dame Law School.

The event is part of the 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation,” a year-long discussion of the profound and challenging questions that shape the national debate about K-12 education.

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Notre Dame to host Forum on Global Development in Washington

Author: Shannon Chapla


Investing in development, building infrastructure and enhancing human dignity in fragile communities worldwide are several challenges to be examined during the University of Notre Dame’s Forum on Global Development Thursday (Nov. 10) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington D.C. (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW).

The forum will precede Notre Dame’s off-site “home” football game against the University of Maryland and will feature lunch-time speaker USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg. In addition, Sen. Dick Durbin, along with international experts and Notre Dame faculty, will discuss new U.S. policy that emphasizes partnerships and innovation, and Notre Dame’s global development programs.

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Notre Dame appoints Peter Likins to provide independent review of Declan Sullivan investigation

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Blue Seal

As part of the ongoing internal investigation into the death of Declan Sullivan, the University of Notre Dame will turn over its findings and recommendations to Peter Likins, the president emeritus of the University of Arizona who has been engaged by Notre Dame to provide an independent review of the process.

A junior from Long Grove, Ill., Sullivan died Oct. 27 when the hydraulic scissor lift from which he was videotaping football practice fell.

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Notre Dame among top producers of Fulbrights


Fulbright logo

University of Notre Dame students were awarded 12 Fulbright grants for 21.4 percent of its total number of applicants for the 2011-12 academic year, placing the University among the top universities in the nation.

The U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, Fulbright recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students. The success of the top-producing institutions is highlighted in the Oct. 24 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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