Five graduates to be honored by Alumni Association

Author: Shannon Chapla

Four University of Notre Dame graduates and an honorary alumnus will be honored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association during ceremonies on campus this month.p. The Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes achievements in the performing arts, will be presented posthumously to Richard J. Kavanaugh, a 1963 graduate.p. Kavanaugh played many prominent roles in University productions under the direction of Father Harvey, including Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” “Iago” and “Othello.” A Fulbright Scholar at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in 1964-65, Kavanaugh later became a leading member of the Tony Award-winning Trinity Square Repertory Company of Providence, R.I. During that time he also played the role of Renfield in the Broadway production of “Dracula” and was nominated for a Tony Award for “The Hot House.” He died in 1988.p. Gareth D. Zehrbach, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Notre Dame in 1998 and 2000, will receive the Young Alumni Award, which honors an outstanding recent graduate who has shown leadership and inspiration to young alumni through Notre Dame Club participation.p. Through the University’s Alliance for Catholic Education, Zehrbach taught at St. Anthony’s Middle School in Robstown, Texas, from 1998-2000. He demonstrated leadership in dealing with a funding crisis, the death of a student, and a fire that destroyed most of the school building. Zehrbach currently is pursuing his doctorate in education administration at the University of Wisconsin and is an active volunteer with the Notre Dame Club of South-Central Wisconsin.p. Joseph A. Russo, named an honorary alumnus in 1992, will receive the James E. Armstrong Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the University by an employee.p. Russo has served as the director of Notre Dame’s Office of Financial Aid since 1978. He is editor of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ “Journal of Student Financial Aid.” Elected to two terms on the College Scholarship Service’s National Council, Russo also has served as a charter member of the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism, and is an active participant in student loan reform initiatives.p. Katherine A. Kersten, a 1973 graduate, will receive the Family Exemplar Award, presented each year to an individual, couple or family which has made an impact on society, the Church, politics, athletics or personal lifestyle, as related to family values.p. Kersten, a writer and attorney, is senior fellow for cultural studies at the Center of the American Experiment ? a conservative think tank in Minneapolis. A regular commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” she is a member of the advisory boards of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington D.C., and the Minnesota Association of Scholars. She earned her master’s degree from Yale University and law degree from the University of Minnesota.p. Darrell R. Gordon, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Notre Dame in 1988 and ‘89 and was a starting linebacker on the 1988 national championship football team, will receive the William D. Reynolds Award, given annually to a graduate in recognition of distinguished service to young people.p. Gordon is chief executive officer of Wernle Children’s Home in Richmond, Ind., and coordinator of the NCAA’s “Education and Stay in Bounds” program, designed to promote the development of character and good sportsmanship in young athletes. He also serves as adjunct professor of sports law at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Gordon earned his law degree from Northern Kentucky University in 1997.p.

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