The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association honored the achievements of seven distinguished graduates during its annual Alumni Senate events last week.
Brian Doyle, a 1978 graduate, was presented with the Rev. Robert F. Griffin, C.S.C., Award for outstanding accomplishments in writing. Since 1991, Doyle has edited the University of Portland’s Portland Magazine, which has been named the best university magazine in America by Newsweek. He has received numerous honors including the Christopher Award, the Catholic Press Association Book Award, and has been a four-time finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Doyle, the author of ten books, will have a collection of short stories called “Bin Laden’s Bald Spot” published in October by Red Hen Press.
Stefanie Marshall, a 2005 graduate, was honored with the Young Alumni Award for her commitment to the University and its alumni in the Columbus, Ohio, area. Marshall has been the young alumni coordinator of the Notre Dame Club of Columbus since 2008 and has organized a wide array of recreational and service opportunities. A guidance counselor at Pickerington High School Central, she anticipates earning her principal’s license in August.
John Crowley, who received his law degree from Notre Dame in 1992, and Aileen Crowley received the Family Exemplar Award for their perseverance in finding treatments for a rare disease affecting two of their three children and others around the world. John, now the chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc., co-founded Novazyme Pharmaceuticals following the diagnosis of son Patrick and daughter Megan with Pompe disease, a disorder which leads to the degeneration of heart and skeletal muscles. John and Aileen live with their three children – John, Megan and Patrick – in Princeton, N.J., and more than 500 children worldwide are taking the same medication treating the Crowleys.
Michael (Mike) Danch, a 1967 graduate, was recognized with the James E. Armstrong Award for his years of distinguished service to the Notre Dame community. Danch has worked at the University since 1972, going from events manager at the Joyce Center to his current post as associate athletics director, where he oversees facilities including Notre Dame Stadium and acts as the primary administrator for the men’s swimming and diving program. An active member of community boards, he was instrumental in bringing events such as the AAU Junior Olympics and International Summer Special Olympics to campus.
Lt. Col. Jason Mims, a 1975 graduate, was presented with the William D. Reynolds Award for his years of dedication to improving the lives of young people. Mims, who retired in 1995 with the coveted Legion of Merit award for outstanding service and achievements, attended Notre Dame on an Army ROTC scholarship and served around the world during his more than two decades on active duty. The founder of the MIMS Institute, he focuses on encouraging minority students to achieve academic excellence, participate in advanced placement classes, and apply to the nation’s top universities, including Notre Dame.
The Rev. Louis J. Putz, C.S.C., Award was given to Christopher Walsh, a 1959 graduate, for his exemplary dedication to improving the lives of others and Neil Hitz, a 1962 graduate, for his role in facilitating improvements in Catholic parishes and schools. Walsh, who spent most of his 40 years in marketing with Eastman Kodak Company, and Hitz, a retired advertising and business executive from companies such as American Motors, have been part of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit’s work with local Catholic parishes and schools. These efforts have provided strategic and marketing planning support to 16 schools over the past several years. Walsh and Hitz have recently been asked to facilitate a three-year plan for the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Detroit.