Inauguration of Father Jenkins tops highlights for 2005

Author: Dennis Brown


Every year at the University of Notre Dame is filled with highlights, magical moments and significant accomplishments. But 2005 was a little extra special with the first leadership change in 18 years.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., became Notre Dames 17th president on July 1, succeeding Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., who had led the University since 1987. A professor of philosophy, Father Jenkins had previously served as a vice president and associate provost. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Notre Dame and other advanced degrees from Oxford and the Jesuit School of Theology.

Father Jenkins was inaugurated in ceremonies on campus Sept. 22 and 23. In his inauguration speech, the new president challenged the University community tobuild a Notre Dame that is bigger and better than ever – a great Catholic university for the 21st century, one of the preeminent research institutions in the world, a center for learning whose intellectual and religious traditions converge to make it a healing, unifying, enlightening force for a world deeply in need. This is our goal.

Notre Dame also welcomed a new provost in 2005. Thomas G. Burish, formerly the president of Washington and Lee University, was elected by the Board of Trustees in the summer to replace Nathan O. Hatch, who on July 1 became president of Wake Forest University. Burish, also a Notre Dame graduate, is a professor of psychology.

Other news highlights in 2005 included:

  • The Golden Dome atop Notre Dames historic Main Building is shining brighter after receiving a sparkling new layer of 23.9-karat gold leaf in the summer. The 10th regilding of the famed landmark began last March when a scaffolding system was erected up to and around the dome and Our Lady statue. Artists from Conrad Schmitt Studios of New Berlin, Wis., handled the regilding of the dome and statue, a process that involved the application of 3,500 square feet of the micro-thin gold leaf. The material is so delicate that workers could apply it only in wind-free conditions. The weather throughout the summer was nearly perfect in South Bend, and the project was completed ahead of schedule. In addition to the regilding, workers painted and made repairs to thedrumon which the dome stands.* Continuing a trend of strong growth, incoming Notre Dame research dollars topped the $80 million mark for the first time in the fiscal year ending June 30. Notre Dame faculty received more than 400 research awards and $80.8 million in externally sponsored research funding. Research funds, about two-third of which come from federal government grants, have more than doubled in the past five years.* The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges granted a full, 10-year accreditation to the University, remarking in its report thatif any institution can take ownership of the dynamic relationship between ‘great universityand ‘Catholic university,it is Notre Dame: The Universitys history and proven strengths give it that authority.* The Association of International Educators cited Notre Dame as one of just 13 U.S. schools with international study programs that are making innovative, wide-ranging efforts to integrate global approaches to teaching into campus learning. The University supports 24 programs in 17 countries and is rated among the nations top five in the percentage of students who study abroad.* National, regional and local news organizations descended upon Notre Dame faculty members to comment on the death of Pope John Paul II and the selection of Pope Benedict XI. Among the experts on the Church and papacy who were called upon by the print and broadcast media were Scott Appleby, John Cavadini, Father John Coughlin, Lawrence Cunningham, Jay Dolan, Father Michael Driscoll, Father Jenkins, Father Theodore Hesburgh, Cathleen Kaveny, Father Edward Malloy, Timothy Matovina, Father Richard McBrien, John McGreevey, Thomas Noble, Father Timothy Scully, Rabbi Michael Signer, David Sikkink, David Solomon, Father Robert Sullivan and Father Richard Warner.* Three faculty members – Susan Youens in music, Ian Kuijt in anthropology and Alyssa Gillespie in German and Russian languages and literatures – received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, bringing to 20 the number of NEH fellowships awarded to Notre Dame in the past six years, more than any other university in the nation.* Astrophysicists Ani Aprahamian, Mitchell Wayne and Terrence Rettig represented Notre Dame at the dedication in Arizona of the Large Binocular Telescope. The University is part of a consortium that funded the $120 million instrument that, when fully operational, will be the most technologically advanced ground-based telescope in the world.* Alumnus Frank E. Eck made a $21 million gift to fund construction of a second building for the Notre Dame Law School, as well as an archway that will link the new structure to the existing building. The gift is the fifth largest in University history, the largest ever to the Law School, and one of the largest in the history of American legal education.* The Ernestine Raclin and O.C. Carmichael Jr. Hall was dedicated in October. The facility on the corner of Angela Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue houses the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend and Notre Dames W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research, as well as other research faculty.* Gray Television Inc. and Notre Dame announced in November an agreement in which Gray will acquire all of the capital stock of Michiana Telecasting Corporation, the University-owned company that operates WNDU-TV, for $85 million in cash. John Affleck-Graves, the Universitys executive vice president, said the $85 million will be used for student and academic initiatives, with most of the money to be invested in the Universitys endowment. He added that student internships at WNDU-TV will continue.* A collection for the relief of victims of Hurricane Katrina that was taken up at Notre Dames home football game Sept. 17 against Michigan State raised $195,871. Other collections on and off campus – in residence hall chapels, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, dining halls, departmental fund-raisers and through the mail – have brought the total contribution from members of the Notre Dame family to $314,913. The funds are being distributed to Catholic Charities USA, Congregation of Holy Cross ministries in Louisiana, and Alliance for Catholic Education schools in affected areas.* Proving that academic and athletic excellence need not be mutually exclusive, Notre Dame was one of just four universities to rank among the top 20 in both the U.S. News&World Report surveyAmericas Best Collegesand the U.S. Sports Academy DirectorsCup competition for top overall athletics programs. Notre Dame is 18th in the U.S. News rankings that were released in August, and was 16th in the 2004-05 DirectorsCup standings. The other schools that best combine sports and scholarship are Stanford (No. 5 in U.S. News and No. 1 in the DirectorsCup), Duke (5/5) and the University of California (20/15).* In his first season as football coach, alumnus Charlie Weis led the Fighting Irish to a 9-2 record and a berth in the Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. The season included record-breaking performances by quarterback Brady Quinn and wide receiver Jeff Samardzija. The University announced that the majority of the $14.5 million Fiesta Bowl payout will be directed toward undergraduate and graduate student financial aid, library acquisitions and scientific equipment and instruments for the Jordan Hall of Science.

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