News » Archives » March 2009

International Quran conference to be held at Notre Dame

Author: Shannon Chapla


“The Quran in its Historical Context,” an international conference addressing the most recent theories, controversies and discoveries in the field of Quranic studies, will be held April 19 to 21 (Sunday to Tuesday) at the University of Notre Dame. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference, which will provide a unique forum for discussion of the historical circumstances in which the Quran was formed and of its relationship to the Bible, will open with a lecture titled “The Multi-dimensional Quranic Worldview: Tartib al-Tilawa versus Tartib al-Nuzul” by prominent Egyptian Muslim scholar Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd of the University of Humanistics in The Netherlands. Abdolkarim Soroush, a philosopher, innovative interpreter of the Quran and one of the leading opposition figures in Iran, will give a response. Robert Hoyland of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland will deliver a lecture titled “The Earliest Written Evidence of the Arabic Language and Its Importance for the Study of the Quran” on April 20.

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Performing Arts Center unveils visiting artist season

Author: Kyle Fitzenreiter

Performing Arts Center

The University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center has announced its Visiting Artist Series for the 2009-10 season, which begins Sept. 4 with a “welcome home” performance by opera star Nathan Gunn.

One of the nation’s most in-demand opera singers, South Bend native Gunn has won awards and critical praise for his performances in such works as “Billy Budd” and “Hamlet.”

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GE to receive Hesburgh Ethics Award

Author: Carol Elliott

General Electric

The General Electric Co., a multinational technology and services conglomerate, is the 2009 recipient of the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Award for Exemplary Ethical, Environmental, Social and Governance Practices given by the University of Notre Dame.

Keith Sherin, chief financial officer for GE, will accept the award on behalf of the company during a ceremony at 5:15 p.m. on April 1 (Wednesday) in the Jordan Auditorium of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

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Symposium to explore Catholicism in Asia

Author: Mollie Zubek

Church in Asia

The University of Notre Dame will host “The Church in Asia,” a symposium to explore the past, present and future of Catholicism in Asia on March 31 (Tuesday) in the University’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

The symposium, the first in a series of three, will feature presentations by scholars who will focus on the Church in Japan, China and South Korea.

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FTT play “Our Town” to open March 31

Author: Mollie Zubek

Our Town

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) will present Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Our Town” from March 31 to April 5 in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the University’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Admission is $15 for the general public; $12 for faculty, staff and seniors; and $10 for students. Ticket information is available at the performing arts center box office or by calling 574-631-2800 or at on the Web.

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1998 Laetare medalist Edmund Pellegrino to give Clarke Lecture on medical ethics

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Pellegrino Edmund

Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine and medical ethics at the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, will speak on “A Moral Foundation for the Helping Professions: Medicine, Law, Ministry and Teaching” at 4 p.m. Friday (March 27) in the auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

The lecture is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture and the Alumni Association’s Alumni Continuing Education office as the 24th annual J. Philip Clarke Family Lecture in Medical Ethics.

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ND economics professor Charles Craypo dies

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Craypo Charles obit

Charles Craypo, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Notre Dame, died Sunday. He was 73.

A native of Jackson, Mich., Craypo served for two years in the Marines before attending Michigan State University where he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in economics. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1978 as an associate professor of economics leaving in 1982 for Cornell University, where he was a professor of industrial and labor relations until 1984. He returned that year to Notre Dame to serve as chairman of the department of economics. In 1993, he became first director of Notre Dame’s Higgins Labor Studies Program, which supports research, teaching, discussion and publication on labor and the economy based on Craypo’s premise that “an understanding that social justice and efficiency are essential ingredients of a truly successful economy.”

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The secret life of frogs

Author: Carol C. Bradley


University of Notre Dame biologist Sunny Boyd’s research is a little like “” for amphibians. Say you’re a female tree frog looking for a mate—how do you choose among a number of potential suitors?

Boyd, along with two postdoctoral researchers, two graduate students and three undergraduates, goes out into the real world—the real world being UNDERC, the University’s environmental research center in Land O’Lakes, Wis.—and observe what frogs are doing in nature.

“Then we create computer models where we explore what might be causing the behavior,” says Boyd, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Biological Sciences.

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Research sheds new light on Rwanda killings

Author: Joan Fallon

Christian Davenport

Fifteen years ago, up to a million people were killed in Rwanda in a massive wave of violence over a 100-day period. Since then, the international community has focused on tracking down and convicting Hutu “genocidaires” responsible for murdering minority Tutsi and moderate Hutu.

While this focus is important, it ignores many of the perpetrators of genocide, as well as hundreds of thousands of victims of civil war, reprisal killings and random violence, according to Christian Davenport, a political scientist and professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

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Easter Mass from Notre Dame to be televised on NBC

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Basilica of the Sacred Heart

A special telecast of Mass in the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart will be aired Easter morning (April 12) on NBC.

Notre Dame students will comprise the congregation for the one hour Mass, at which Rev. Lou DelFra, C.S.C., director of spirituality for Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program, will preside and preach, and Rev. Richard Warner, C.S.C., director of Notre Dame’s campus ministry office, and Rev. Peter Rocca, C.S.C., rector of the Basilica, will concelebrate.
Sacred music for the Mass will be provided by Notre Dame’s 56-member Folk Choir under the direction of Steven Warner.

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Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal. She will receive the medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, during the University’s 164th University Commencement ceremony May 17 (Sunday).

“Both as a public intellectual and as a diplomat, Mary Ann Glendon has impressively served our Church and our country,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “She is an articulate and compelling expositor of Catholic social teaching who exemplifies our University’s most cherished values and deserves its highest praise.”

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President Obama to deliver Notre Dame’s Commencement address

Author: Dennis Brown

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Notre Dame’s 164th University Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. May 17 (Sunday) in the Joyce Center on campus.

Mr. Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to be awarded an honorary degree by the University and the sixth to be the Commencement speaker.

The University will confer degrees on approximately 2,000 undergraduates, 420 MBA students and 200 Notre Dame Law School students.

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Journalist Palumbo to give 2009 Romero Lecture at ND

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Eugene Palumbo, journalist and historian of the Catholic church in El Salvador, will give the 2009 Oscar Romero Lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 24 (Tuesday) in the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Center auditorium.

The lecture, “Now I Understand,” is sponsored by Latin America North America Church Concerns (LANACC) and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. A public reception will follow.

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Lecture by Nobel Prize Laureate rescheduled

Author: Joan Fallon

Shirin Ebadi

A lecture at the University of Notre Dame by Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, has been rescheduled. The event, originally planned for April 21, now will take place at 12:30 p.m. on April 23 (Thursday) in Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Ticket holders must exchange their tickets. Please call the ticket office at 574-631-2800 as soon as possible to obtain new tickets.

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Magazine ranks ND among “Top 25 Colleges for Hispanics”

Author: Shannon Chapla

Hispanic Magazine

Hispanic Magazine has ranked the University of Notre Dame 16th on its 2009 list of “Top 25 Colleges for Hispanics,” the seventh year the University has made the list since its debut in 1999.

The magazine based its evaluations on academic excellence, Hispanic enrollment and achievement, selectivity, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of Hispanic faculty, financial aid, cultural programs, and support for Hispanic students. It gathered information from numerous sources, including the universities, Hispanic scholarship organizations, U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey “America’s Best Colleges,” and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, which publishes a list of the top 100 institutions that award bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics.

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Kronos Quartet to present world premiere of Riley composition

Author: Kyle Fitzenreiter

Kronos Quartet

The University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will host the world premiere of “Transylvanian Horn Courtship” by composer Terry Riley and performed by the legendary Kronos Quartet on March 27 and 28 (Friday and Saturday).

The performances, which will include other original compositions and take place in the Leighton Concert Hall of the performing arts center, will begin at 7 p.m. March 27 and at 7:30 p.m. March 28. Admission is $48 for the general public, $38 for faculty and staff, $36 for senior citizens, and $15 for all students. Tickets are available online at, or by visiting or calling the center’s ticket office at 574-631-2800.

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Schmuhl to present R.I. Best Memorial Lecture in Ireland

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Robert Schmuhl

Robert Schmuhl, Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Professor of American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame, will present the National Library of Ireland’s R.I. Best Memorial Lecture on March 25 (Wednesday) at the library in Dublin, Ireland.

In his lecture, titled “Easter 1916 and America: A Provisional Appraisal,” Schmuhl will discuss the U.S. influence on key participants in the Easter Rising rebellion and its aftermath, and the reactions to the events both in the American press and among American-Irish.

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Committee on Campus Safety, Security and Hospitality submits final report to Father Jenkins

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame football stadium

The ad hoc Committee on Campus Safety, Security and Hospitality at the University of Notre Dame has submitted its report and recommendations to the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

The 12-page report includes 21 recommendations from the committee, which reviewed protocols and practices and considered concerns or suggestions that people have raised in regard to on-campus activities during home football game weekends.

Father Jenkins will take the recommendations under advisement and, in consultation with other University leaders, determine which initiatives should be accepted, and whether those that are accepted can be implemented immediately or should be phased in over time.

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A new glimpse of an ancient image

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Virgin of Guadalupe

Among the most arresting aspects of Maria Tomasula’s work is the refulgence—“magic realism,” as some critics call it—of her technique. Meticulously rendered flowers, berries, beads, twigs, rodent skulls and bone fragments fairly swell and glow as they bulge from the painted wooden panels so vividly that even a forerunner like Georgia O’Keefe might look twice, and approvingly, at them.

These commonplace objects are often so anomalously arranged in her widely viewed and reviewed oil paintings that the assortments invite a reverent attention, much as religious icons are able to do.

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Author Chinua Achebe to address Notre Dame students

Author: Katie Louvat

Chinua Achebe

Nigerian novelist and poet Chinua Achebe, winner of the 2007 Man Booker International Prize, will deliver the third biennial Blessed Pope John XXIII Lecture Series in Theology and Culture at the University of Notre Dame on March 23, 25 and 26 (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Widely regarded as the father of modern African literature, Achebe is best known for his 1958 novel “Things Fall Apart,” which has been listed as one of the most important books of the 20th century.

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Alumni Association to honor distinguished students

Author: Shannon Chapla and Angela Sienko

Alumni Association Logo

Matthew Gelchion, a senior from Bayonne, N.J., and Sophia Barbato, a master of divinity candidate from Bastrop, Texas, have been selected recipients of the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association’s 2008-09 Distinguished Student Award and Distinguished Graduate Student Award for their outstanding academic performance and service to the University.

The students will be recognized at a luncheon in their honor April 24 (Friday) on campus.

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Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for March 21

Author: William G. Gilroy

Science and Engineering Fair

The Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair will take place March 21 (Saturday) at the Stepan Center at the University of Notre Dame. The event is open to the public at 1:30 p.m. and parking is available in the D lot east of the Stepan Center at the corner of Wilson and Stepan Drives.

The fair will feature some 275 science, engineering and mathematics projects by students in grades three through 12 from more than 50 public and private schools in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Fulton and Marshall counties.

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Nanotechnology symposium scheduled for March 19

Author: William G. Gilroy


The University of Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values and the law firm Baker & Daniels will sponsor a program titled “Nanotechnology: The Legal and Ethical Issues” from 3 to 5 p.m. March 19 (Thursday) at McKenna Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will gather experts in various fields related to nanotechnology who will describe the present state of nanotechnology research and examine the ethical and legal questions it raises.

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Saint Patrick’s Day at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Saint Patrick

One of the many songs his devotees—at Notre Dame and elsewhere—will be singing on March 17 begins:

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
And he came from decent people,
In Dublin town he built a church,
And on it put a steeple;
His father was a Gallagher,
His mother was a Brady,
His aunt was an O’Shaughnessy,
And his uncle was a Grady.

Whatever Notre Dame’s founder and first president, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., thought of Saint Patrick’s manners and ancestry (if he thought of them at all) he certainly gazed down through his pince-nez with disapproval at the Gallaghers, Bradys, O’Shaughnessys and Gradys of this world.

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Notre Dame students fare well at design competition

Author: Mollie Zubek

IHA logo

Two University of Notre Dame seniors placed second and third in the 16th annual Student Design Competition sponsored by the International Housewares Association (IHA).

Second place and $1,800 was awarded to Kat Cummins, an industrial and graphic design major from Wayzata, Minn., for her design of “spice,” and third place and $1,200 went to Kaitlyn Benoit, an industrial design major from Aurora, Ill., for “slice and scoop.”

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Romero Days to remember archbishop with speakers and Mass

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Romero Days

The University of Notre Dame’s annual commemoration of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s life and work, Romero Days, will be held March 23 and 24 (Monday and Tuesday), featuring two distinguished speakers, as well as a student panel and Mass. All events are free and open to the public.

Romero Days is organized annually by Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC), which seeks to interpret Latin American Catholicism to U.S. Catholics and others through films, publications and public events. Rev. Robert Pelton, C.S.C., a faculty fellow of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, serves as LANACC director.

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Electrical Engineering's Merz elected fellow of Materials Research Society

Author: William G. Gilroy and Nina Welding


James L. Merz, the University of Notre Dame’s Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering, has been named a fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS). He was cited for his “outstanding achievements in electronic materials, particularly compound semiconductors… and for intellectual leadership in advancing materials research in the U.S. and internationally.”

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Notre Dame MBA Marketing Club goes green for marketing symposium

Author: Carol Elliott

Marketing Symposium

As global resources shrink, sustainable business practices are now as integral a part of doing business as financial reporting or customer service. And increasingly, a company has the responsibility to not only enact these practices, but describe them to its customers, suppliers and others who are impacted.

The third annual Notre Dame Marketing Symposium will examine “Marketing’s Role in a Sustainable Society” during a two-day event March 26 and 27 (Thursday and Friday) on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame research plays prominent role in alternative stem cell method

Author: William G. Gilroy


President Obama’s decision to sign an executive order Monday easing restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research comes on the heels on an announcement last week in the journal Nature of a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells. Research by University of Notre Dame biologist Malcolm J. Fraser Jr. provided a crucial key in establishing the practicality of the alternative method.

Stem cells are the body’s master cells, producing all of its tissues and organs. They offer hope for regeneration of tissues and even organs and for curing many diseases.

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Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute finds fans on Facebook

Author: Joan Fallon


We all know that Facebook is the ocean in which students swim (when they’re not in class or studying, of course). So it makes perfect sense that universities are increasingly diving into this pool as a way to engage prospective students.

The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies has launched a Facebook page dedicated to inquiring students. Anyone can become a “fan” of the Kroc Institute (no “friend” requests required) and can learn about Kroc people, academic programs and news.

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