Ken Hackett, former CRS president, to receive 2012 Laetare Medal

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ken Hackett

Ken Hackett, former president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, at Notre Dame’s 167th University Commencement ceremony May 20 (Sunday).

“Ken Hackett has responded to a Gospel imperative with his entire career,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “His direction of the Catholic Church’s outreach to the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and unsheltered of the world has blended administrative acumen with genuine compassion in a unique and exemplary way.”

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Notre Dame to host conference on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Pope Benedict XVI

Before he was Pope Benedict XVI, before he was a cardinal and a Vatican bureaucrat, and before he was archbishop of Munich, the German priest and professor Joseph Ratzinger taught theology at the Universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen and Regensburg, served as a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council and wrote several widely acclaimed and influential books of theology.

Touching on nearly every imaginable theological topic, that career, uninterrupted and even magnified by the theologian’s election to the papacy, will be the subject of a conference, “God is Love: Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI,” to be held at the University of Notre Dame March 25-27 (Sunday-Tuesday).

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Notre Dame MBA ranks in U.S. News top 25 B-schools

Author: Carol Elliott

Mendoza College of Business

The University of Notre Dame MBA program jumped 12 slots to earn a No. 25 ranking in the U.S. News & World Report 2013 survey of “Best Graduate Schools.”

The Notre Dame MBA, located in the Mendoza College of Business, was noted by the publication as one of the “most improved” schools in the ranking for moving from a tie for 37th to the 25th rating, which it shares with four other schools.

“We’ve continued to emphasize ethics-based leadership throughout the program, but at the same time, we’ve pushed ourselves to innovate and improve,” said Roger Huang, interim dean of the Mendoza College. “The significant move in our ranking is welcome news for the program and the College.”

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$6 million scholarship gift is largest ever for Notre Dame engineers

Author: Notre Dame News

Engineering students in classroom

The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame has announced a $6 million gift from the Fotsch Family, to establish the William E. Fotsch Family Undergraduate Scholarship in Engineering.

“This is by far the largest scholarship gift for engineering students in the history of Notre Dame,” said Peter Kilpatrick, the Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering. “The Fotsch family’s generosity will enable numerous aspiring young engineers to attend Notre Dame, undeterred by finances.”

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Congregation of Holy Cross celebrates its 175th birthday

Author: Michael O. Garvey


The Congregation of Holy Cross, the international Catholic religious order whose members founded the University of Notre Dame, celebrates its 175th birthday March 1.

The Congregation was established in France on that day in 1837, when Blessed Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., and six other priests of the diocese of Le Mans joined with 54 Brothers of St. Joseph, a religious community founded by Father Jacques Dujarie, the pastor of a rural parish in the diocese, to form a single community of priests and brothers. They were later joined by a community of sisters, the Marionites of Holy Cross.

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Father Jenkins makes staff changes in president’s office

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Blue Seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. president of the University of Notre Dame, has made three staff changes in his office, effective over the next month.

Frances L. Shavers, chief of staff and special assistant to the president, has been appointed to the newly created position of chief diversity officer; Ann M. Firth, most recently associate vice president and counselor to the president and previously associate vice president for student affairs, will become chief of staff; and Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., executive director of the Center for Social Concerns, will take on the new position of vice president for mission engagement and church affairs.

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Robinson Center I-Robotics team to compete in Germany


The team is coached by assistant vice president of student affairs, David Moss, and graduate assistant Lionel Pittman

The Robinson Community Learning Center ’s LEGO Robotics team, in only its fourth year, is heading to Mannheim, Germany, to compete in the Open European Championship June 7-9 (Thursday-Saturday).

The team, comprising 10 students ages 10-15 from South Bend area schools, went to Fort Wayne, Ind., in December to participate in the state tournament. Out of 52 teams statewide, the RCLC’s I-Robotics team earned the top prize and the opportunity to travel abroad.

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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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