The year in review: “Spirit of Notre Dame” among highlights

Author: Dennis Brown


Each year at Notre Dame is filled with highlights, achievements and accomplishments. Here are some of the significant moments from 2007:

  • The seventh capital campaign in the University’s history,The Spirit of Notre Dame,was publicly announced on the first weekend in May. The $1.5 billion goal is the largest fund-raising effort in the history of Catholic higher education. It will provide significant financial support to four primary pillars of the Universitys life: the undergraduate educational experience, research and graduate studies, diversity and international studies, and Catholic intellectual life.
  • Richard C. Notebaert, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Qwest Communications International, was elected to a three-year term as chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, effective July 1. He succeeded Patrick F. McCartan, who served on the Board for 18 years and as chair for the past seven.
  • A Notre Dame delegation led by President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., participated in the beatification ceremony in September in France of the Blessed Father Anthony Moreau, the 19th century French churchman who founded the Congregation of Holy Cross, the University’s founding religious community. A person who is beatified by the Catholic Church has significantly advanced toward canonization, or the status of being officially and solemnly proclaimed a saint.
  • On the evening of Oct. 9, amid the majesty of the Great Hall in the Smithsonian Institutions Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, an audience of more than 250 family members, friends and comrades in battles for civil rights and a host of other causes paid tribute to Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president from 1952 to 1987. The event featured the inclusion of a photograph of Father Hesburgh into the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. The image, by an unidentified photographer, captures Father Hesburgh and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. linking hands in solidarity during a civil rights rally at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1964. Work in support of civil rights, marked most prominently by his service on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, was among the many major national and international issues in which Father Hesburgh was involved. The guest list included Notre Dame alumna Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, numerous current and former members of Congress, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as well as many Notre Dame trustees, advisory council members and friends of the University.
  • The University’s third annual Notre Dame Forum, held in October, focused on the myriad issues associated with immigration. The panel of experts was composed of Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida; Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano; Hazleton, Pa., Mayor Louis Barletta; and Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles.
  • Notre Dames study abroad programs continued to be among the best in higher education. The University has the sixth-highest percentage of students participating in international study among American research universities, according to a report from the Institute of International Education.
  • Father Jenkins led a delegation of University administrators and faculty to Jerusalem for a conference marking the 35th anniversary of the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies at Tantur. The conference, Perspectives on Hope – The Perspective of Hope,explored the role of religious faith in making peace.
  • At Notre Dames 162nd Commencement exercises, Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Co., urged graduates to be our greatest generation.Patrick McCartan, chair of the Board of Trustees, received the Laetare Medal at Commencement. The University also held its first separate Commencement ceremony for the Graduate School.
  • The South Bend Common Council voted in July to approve the rezoning of 25 acres of land south of campus for the construction of Eddy Street Commons, a $200 million, mixed-use project that will include more than 86,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 75,000 square feet of rental office space, a full-service hotel, a suites hotel, more than 25 apartments, some 80 town homes, and about 120 condominiums. The retail and restaurant space, apartments and hotels are targeted for completion in the summer of 2009.
  • Robert J. Bernhard, associate vice president for research and professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, was elected by the Board of Trustees to the newly created position of vice president for research.
  • Don Pope-Davis, a professor of psychology at the University, was elected vice president and associate provost.
  • Peter Kilpatrick, most recently chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University, was appointed dean of the College of Engineering.
  • Anna Thompson, previously executive director for fine arts programming at the College of Saint Benedict and St. Johns University, was appointed executive director of the Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts and the Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Director of Performing Arts.
  • Five faculty members – Michael Brownstein, Margaret Doody, Mary Ann Burgess Smyth, James Turner and Catherine Zuckert – received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), bringing to 29 the number of NEH fellowships awarded to Notre Dame in the past eight years, more than any other university in the nation.* Sabine G. MacCormack, Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor of Arts and Letters, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). Founded during the American Revolution by John Adams, John Hancock and others, the AAAS is the nations leading learned society. It recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science, scholarship, public affairs and the arts.
  • A 35-year gender barrier was broken at Notre Dame with the election of the University’s first ever all-female ticket for student body president and vice president — junior Elizabeth Brown from Ft. Wayne, Ind., and sophomore Maris Braun of Cincinnati.
  • Charles M.MikeHarper, retired chair and chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods and of RJR Nabisco, made a $10 million gift to Notre Dame to support the construction of Harper Hall, a new building for expanded medical school and cancer research initiatives at the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) in partnership with Notre Dame. The gift will be combined with $10 million appropriated by the state to IU for the project.
  • The University received a $10 million gift from Robert S. and Elizabeth Nanovic to support the undergraduate programs of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.
  • Alumnus John Arlotta, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc., and his wife, Bobbie, pledged a lead gift toward a new lacrosse stadium to be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the Universitys new athletics quadrangle. The Arlottaschildren – Mindy, Andy and Jon – also pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project. The lacrosse stadium, to be named Arlotta Stadium, is expected to be a $5 million project.
  • Gifts totaling $14 million, primarily from Michael and Sheila Geddes and Thomas and Mary Cabot, will fund the construction of a new building for the Institute for Church Life and the Center for Social Concerns. To be called Geddes Hall, the building will be approximately 64,000 square feet in size and will include a chapel named after the Cabot family.
  • A anonymous donor made a $15 million gift to underwrite construction of a permanent ice arena in the Joyce Center.
  • Hundreds of Notre Dame alumni, faculty, administrators, students and friends began the year by participating in several service projects in conjunction with the football teams visit to New Orleans to participate in the Sugar Bowl.
  • The Irish hockey team was the national surprise of the year, earning a No. 1 ranking for the first time, winning its first conference regular season and tournament championships and reaching the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Jeff Jackson was selected conference and national coach of the year.
  • Mike Brey was selected Big East Conference coach of the year after leading the Irish mens basketball team to a 24-7 record and a No. 17 national ranking.
  • A survey by Forbes magazine estimated the Notre Dame football program to be worth $101 million based on what the team contributes to the University’s athletic department for non-football sports and its academic use. Notre Dame ranked first in the Forbes survey overall, and also – by a wide margin – for the football programs contribution to the academy.* The Fighting Irish finished 22nd in the final standings of the United States Sports Academy’s Director’s Cup all-sports competition.
  • The 35th anniversary of womens athletics at Notre Dame culminated with a variety of events April 28-29 attended by more than 500 former and current women student-athletes.