News » Archives » March 2010

Father Timothy Lowe appointed rector of Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies

The Very Rev. Timothy S. Lowe has been appointed rector of the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies at Tantur, Jerusalem, according to Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame.

Father Lowe will succeed Rev. Michael B. McGarry, C.S.P., who has served as Tantur’s rector since 1998. Father McGarry, a Paulist priest, recently was elected president of the Paulist Fathers, whose headquarters are in New York City.

Father Lowe, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, will begin the transition with Father McGarry at the beginning of April.

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Notre Dame partners with YMCA to provide executive training

Author: Carol Elliott

YMCA logo

The University of Notre Dame Nonprofit Professional Development recently announced a new agreement with YMCA of the USA to provide executive education to the service organization’s leaders. The program is aimed at executives at the vice president level.

“The University of Notre Dame is committed to helping others as an outgrowth of our Christian faith,” said Marc Hardy, director of Nonprofit Executive Programs at the Mendoza College of Business. “We understand the importance of having excellent leadership skills and being a good steward of resources. Our expertise combined with the YMCA will be of great benefit to both organizations and most importantly to the attendees.”

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Notre Dame to award nine honorary degrees at Commencement

Author: Michael O. Garvey and Brendan O’Shaughnessy

Brian Williams

Eight distinguished figures in education, engineering, law, philanthropy, science and the Church will join principal speaker Brian Williams as honorary degree recipients at the University of Notre Dame’s 165th University Commencement Ceremony May 16 (Sunday).

For the first time, the ceremony will occur on Sunday morning at Notre Dame Stadium in order to accommodate more guests than the renovated Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Arena could hold. Undergraduate diploma ceremonies for each college and school will be held that afternoon.

Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Other honorary degree recipients are:

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Finalists selected for the 2010 Notre Dame Invention Convention

Author: Carol Elliott

Robinson Community Learning Center

The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, in conjunction with the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC), has announced seven finalists who will advance to the eighth annual Invention Convention Youth Business Plan Competition.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event, which will be held March 30 (Tuesday) from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Giovanini Commons of the Mendoza College of Business.

Invention Convention participants are students at South Bend Community School Corporation high schools and will compete for $1,000 in cash prizes. Notre Dame undergraduate and MBA students participate as mentors and event judges. The youth finalists will present business plans of their own design.

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Geddes Hall receives LEED Gold Certification

Author: Notre Dame News

Geddes Hall

The University of Notre Dame’s Geddes Hall has received LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The 65,500-square-foot home of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and Institute for Church Life, Geddes Hall achieved all 42 LEED NC 2.2 credits originally sought at the outset of the building’s design.

The building opened in August 2009 and includes many sustainable design and construction features.

Geddes Hall is the first building to be LEED certified at Notre Dame. Other completed buildings pending final certification review by the USGBC include Ryan Hall, Stinson-Remick Hall, Purcell Pavilion and Innovation Park at Notre Dame.

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Conference to celebrate Notre Dame poets

Author: Coleen Hoover

The Open Light

The University of Notre Dame will present “The Open Light: A Celebration of Notre Dame Poets,” a conference that will be held March 29 to 31 (Monday to Wednesday), highlighting the accomplishments of the diverse group of poets who have studied or taught at Notre Dame.

An accompanying anthology, “The Open Light: Poets from Notre Dame, 1991-2008,” will be published, featuring a foreword by Orlando Ricardo Menes, professor of poetry in the Creative Writing Program at Notre Dame.

All readings, which are free and open to the public, will take place in Seminar Room 100-104 of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

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International scholarship flourishes in Notre Dame's London Program

Author: Gene Stowe

Notre Dame London Program

The London Centre, the majestic Edwardian building at Trafalgar Square that houses the University of Notre Dame’s London Program, has become a hub of international scholarship. A broad and growing network of collaborations among faculty, institutes and other universities now uses the center for international conferences and other events, while the center also enriches the experience of Notre Dame undergraduates studying abroad.

“In our new global era, first-rate universities must develop and establish a vibrant global presence,” says Greg Kucich, who became director of the London undergraduate program nearly two years ago. “Notre Dame’s goal to rank among elite universities as a premier Catholic research and teaching institution involves positioning itself as a distinguished global university. The London Program plays a leading role in this mission as an outstanding center that promotes Notre Dame’s international prestige, particularly through its rapidly developing scholarly dimension.”

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Parents rank Notre Dame among top “Dream Colleges”

Author: Shannon Chapla

Golden Dome

The University of Notre Dame is a top choice for parents of college applicants, according to an annual survey of prospective students and their parents by the Princeton Review.

In the survey of 9,132 college applicants and 3,042 parents of applicants, Notre Dame ranked seventh as a “dream college” among parents of college applicants who were asked the question “What ‘dream college’ do you wish your child could attend if acceptance or cost weren’t issues?”

Announced today, the rankings are, in order: Stanford, Princeton and Harvard Universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, University of California Los Angeles, Notre Dame, Brown University, University of Southern California and New York University.

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Oxfam president to discuss careers in nonprofit industry

Author: Carol Elliott

Raymond Offenheiser Jr

Raymond Offenheiser Jr. travels through disaster zones about as routinely as most of us drive to work. From Africa to Afghanistan, New Orleans to most recently Haiti, Offenheiser has walked through cities and villages devastated by wars, famine and natural disasters. He has seen human suffering on a grand scale, and the heartening – and heartbreaking – efforts as people struggle to put the pieces of a life back together again.

Offenheiser is the president of Oxfam America, the international relief and development agency that helps communities rebuild after a disaster. He will be speaking at the University of Notre Dame March 30 (Tuesday) at 6:30 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Andrews Auditorium.

His talk is part of the eighth annual “Making a Living Making a Difference” program, which aims to inform students and others from the community about employment opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors.

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Women Writers Festival underway at Notre Dame

Author: Coleen Hoover

Lorrie Moore

The University of Notre Dame is hosting its third annual Women Writers’ Festival March 23 and 24 (Tuesday and Wednesday), featuring authors Lorrie Moore, Lolita Hernandez and Frances Hwang.

All events, which are free and open to the public, will be held in Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

The festival begins Tuesday at 6 p.m. with a public reception, followed by a reading by Moore in the auditorium. Wednesday’s events include a panel on the short story and its interplay with other genres featuring all three authors at 3 p.m., and readings by Hernandez and Hwang at 7:30 p.m., with a reception to follow.

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Whole Foods CEO Mackey to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Carol Elliott

John Mackey

John Mackey, chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market, will speak at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame on Friday (March 26).

Mackey’s talk, “Conscious Capitalism,” is part of the Mendoza College’s Ten Years Hence Speaker Series, an annual spring lecture series that explores trends likely to affect business and society in the next decade. The lecture takes place at 10:40 a.m. in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium.

“Conscious capitalism” is a departure from the traditional model that views business as a machine with the primary purpose of producing profits. Instead, this perspective of business recognizes a deeper purpose toward benefiting the human community, and takes into account the interconnectedness of the various stakeholders, including consumers, employees, investors and suppliers.

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Jennifer Younger to step down as director of libraries

Author: Dennis Brown

Jennifer Younger

Jennifer Younger is stepping down as Edward H. Arnold Director of Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame, effective at the end of the current academic year, to take on a new role with the Catholic Research Resources Alliance. Thomas G. Burish, Notre Dame’s provost, will initiate a national search for Younger’s successor.

“We are indebted to Jennifer for the vital role she has played in the many advances in the Hesburgh Libraries over the past 13 years,” Burish said. “From significantly advancing across the disciplines electronic access to materials, to renovating the lower level of Hesburgh Library, to expanding collections, to planning and implementing the libraries’ capital campaign efforts, she has provided the leadership and made the strategic decisions that have enabled the libraries to experience substantial growth and improvement.”

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“A Chinese Home” events to explore China’s evolving identity

Author: Shannon Chapla

Yin Yu Tang House

The University of Notre Dame will explore China’s evolving identity through a series of events including a photography exhibition, musical performance and panel discussion of “Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home.”

An exhibition of photographs of the 200-year-old Yin Yu Tang home, moved piece-by-piece from the Chinese village of Huang Cun to the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, is on display through April 25 (Sunday) in the Scholz Family Works on Paper Gallery at the Snite Museum of Art.

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Archbishop Romero to be commemorated at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Archibishop Oscar Romero

The 2010 Romero Days, a series of events commemorating the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be held at the University of Notre Dame March 24 to 26 (Wednesday to Friday).

Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini of San Marcos, Guatemala, will speak on the state of civil and human rights in his diocese on March 24 at 12:30 p.m. in Room 1130 of the Eck Hall of Law. An internationally recognized human rights activist, Bishop Ramazzini has been an outspoken and frequently threatened advocate for the campesinos, immigrants and landless people of Guatemala. Also on March 24, he will preside and preach at Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 5:15 p.m.

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“From Old 2 Gold” sale moved to June 26

Author: Shannon Chapla

From Old 2 Gold

The University of Notre Dame’s sixth annual “From Old 2 Gold” year-end campus yard sale, formerly held over Memorial Weekend, will be moved to June 26 (Saturday) from 7 to 11 a.m. in Notre Dame Stadium.

Beginning this year, the University will hold Commencement ceremonies in the stadium in mid-May, so the sale date has been moved to allow sufficient time for organization.

“From Old 2 Gold,” which benefits participating local charities, will feature items left behind and donated by students, including electronics, clothing, computers, carpeting, furniture, appliances and sports equipment. Customers must pay with cash and be able to carry and transport items.

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Hitchens and D'Souza to debate religion at Notre Dame

Author: Notre Dame News

D'Souza and Hitchens

Two titans of the religious spectrum – atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian writer Dinesh D’Souza – will engage in a public debate at the University of Notre Dame.

The debate, titled “Is Religion the Problem?” will take place April 7 (Wednesday) at 7:30 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

The event is sponsored by more than 10 campus departments and organizations, including the College of Arts and Letters, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Center for the Philosophy of Religion, as well as notable campus figures such as Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame.

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Tonk appointed director of sustainability

Author: Notre Dame News

Heather Tonk

Heather R. Tonk, previously director of strategic planning in the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed director of sustainability at the University, effective April 1. Tonk replaces interim director Robert Zerr.

A 1998 Notre Dame graduate, Tonk previously served in the Office of the Executive Vice President as continuous improvement project manager. She also has held numerous engineering positions in the Chicago area, most recently with BP Chemicals, where she was responsible for execution of production plans, maximization of asset utilization and managing working capital levels for world scale manufacturing sites in a global $1.5 billion-revenue business.

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Physicist Garnavich will play key role in largest Hubble project

Author: William G. Gilroy

Peter Garnavich

Peter Garnavich, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, is co-investigator on the largest Hubble project ever undertaken, one that will watch galaxies form and hunt for distant explosions. Astronomers will peer deep into the universe in five directions to document the early history of star formation, galaxy evolution and find distant supernova explosions in the ambitious new project, which will require an unprecedented amount of time on the Hubble Space Telescope.

“The new instruments installed and ones repaired by astronauts last year have made this investigation possible; it is like having a new, even bigger telescope,” Garnavich said.

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Asian Film Festival to explore Asian identities

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Asian Film Festival

Showcasing the creativity of contemporary Asian filmmaking, the University of Notre Dame’s annual Asian Film Festival will bring five films to the Browning Cinema of the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts March 19 and 20 (Friday and Saturday).

“It’s a rare opportunity to see films exploring Asian identities in the context of globalization, dislocation and migration,” says Sylvia Lin, associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures, who served on the student-faculty committee that organized the event. “Most of the films will be screened for the first time in the U.S. here at Notre Dame.”

“The festival gives people an opportunity to learn about other cultures and values,” said Notre Dame senior Sunny Chung, who co-chaired the festival committee with sophomore Priscilla Choi.

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Dana Gioia to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia, poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2010 Laetare Medal. He will be awarded the medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, during Notre Dame’s 165th University Commencement Ceremony on May 16 (Sunday).

“In his vocation as poet and avocation as arts administrator, Dana Gioia has given vivid witness to the mutual flourishing of faith and culture,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “By awarding him our University’s highest honor we hope both to celebrate and participate in that witness.”

A native of Hawthorne, Calif., Michael Dana Gioia was educated in Catholic elementary and secondary schools before, as he has joked, he “traded down” for Stanford University, from which he was graduated in 1973, and Harvard University, from which he earned a master’s degree in comparative literature in 1975, studying with the classical translator Robert Fitzgerald and the poet Elizabeth Bishop. He returned to Stanford to earn a master’s of business administration degree in 1977.

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Roads will be closed south of the Joyce Center during ice arena construction and utilities work

Author: Dennis Brown


Construction on a new ice arena at the University of Notre Dame, to be located on the north side of Angela Boulevard south of the Joyce Center, will begin the week of March 15 and continue until December 2011. In addition to construction of the new facility, the project will include an extension of campus underground utilities infrastructure, which will commence first.

The following four diagrams show the progression of construction activities and the related construction site requirements. This information also is available online at

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New book advances bold new vision of peacebuilding

Author: Joan Fallon

Gerard Powers and Daniel Philpott

Oxford University Press has just published “Strategies of Peace,” a collection of provocative essays that explore innovative models for building peace after genocide, civil war and terrorism. The book features the writing of eight faculty members of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and seven other scholars of peace and conflict from around the country.

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$1.4 million awarded for scientific research into generosity

Author: JP Shortall

Christian Smith 2010

The University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative has awarded $1.4 million to four research projects that will study the origins, manifestations and consequences of generosity. The winning projects were chosen from among 325 proposals by scholars in 32 countries and numerous disciplines.

“These four projects rose through a highly competitive evaluation process to the top of the list. They were the most scientifically rigorous research endeavors headed by top scholars, the findings of which hold the most promise for advancing our scientific understanding of generosity,” said Christian Smith, Notre Dame professor of sociology and director of the generosity initiative.

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Supporting Scholarship: The Center for Social Research

Author: Josh Stowe

A Notre Dame professor analyzes the resilience of the human spirit in war-torn, poverty-stricken Uganda. A graduate student explores a collection of charter schools to determine how teachers’ networking affects their classroom performance. And a group of faculty and staff helps a national organization assess and redesign the training it offers to managers.

All three efforts are among the social research projects the University supports through a significant investment its Strategic Academic Planning Committee has made: the Center for Social Research (CSR), which is online at The new center aims to help University faculty, students and staff of all disciplines who conduct research on social questions.

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Notre Dame Expert: Standing by the rule of law in terrorism trials


O'Connell, Mary Ellen

As President Obama considers a recommendation to reverse the decision to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, in a civilian court and instead try him in a military tribunal, legal questions from both parties continue to cloud the issue.

University of Notre Dame legal expert Mary Ellen O’Connell believes that the original ruling by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. was legally sound.

“President Obama and Attorney General Holder made a politically tough, but legally correct, decision when they announced that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others would be tried in civilian courts for the crime of terrorism,” says O’Connell, who specializes in international law, international legal regulation and use of force and conflict resolution.

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Senior Ryan Lash to receive Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Author: Lisa Walenceus

Ryan Lash_Gates scholarship

Ryan Lash, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in medieval studies and anthropology, has been awarded a Gates Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge.

Lash is one of only 29 American students who will become new Gates Scholars in 2010–2011. More than 800 U.S. students applied for this honor in the 2009 competition.

In a rigorous evaluation process, Gates Scholars are identified by academics in their fields of study, from Cambridge and other institutions of higher education, as exceptional researchers who have the ability to make a significant contribution to their intended disciplines. They also are recognized for their strong leadership skills and understanding of how their research can be applied to the challenges facing the world today.

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Planetary geologist Neal helps link asteroid impact, mass extinction

Author: William G. Gilroy

Clive Neal

In 1980, a group of scientists suggested that a large meteorite slammed into Earth 65 million years ago, causing one of the most severe mass extinctions of life in the planet’s history and ending the Age of the Dinosaurs. The discovery in 1991 of a 200 kilometer wide impact crater in Chicxulub in the Yucatan, Mexico, coincided with the mass extinctions and the ”Chicxulub impact” hypothesis gradually gained overwhelming acceptance in scientific circles.

However, in recent years, a number of scientists have challenged the asteroid impact and mass extinction hypothesis. In response, a distinguished panel of 41 experts from Europe, the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Japan that included Clive Neal, professor of civil and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, re-analyzed the relevant literature in the field and examined new data from the analysis of ocean drilling and continental sites. In a paper appearing in today’s edition of the journal Science, Neal and the team of researchers find that alternative hypotheses fail to explain the mass extinction and contend that the Chicxulub impact hypothesis is stronger than ever.

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Corke to receive aerodynamics award

Author: Nina Welding

Tom Corke

Thomas C. Corke, Clark Equipment Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerodynamics Award for 2010. The award is presented annually in recognition of meritorious achievement in the field of applied aerodynamics and notable contributions in the development, application and evaluation of aerodynamic concepts and methods.

Corke will be honored at the AIAA Awards Luncheon during the Applied Aerodynamics Conference in Chicago this summer, where he will receive a bronze medal and certificate that reads, “For his strong commitment to academic and research achievement, consistent record of superior technical accomplishment and numerous experimental and computational contributions to aerodynamics.”

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Notre Dame again ranked among top Peace Corps universities

Author: Shannon Chapla

Peace Corps

For the 10th year in a row, the University of Notre Dame is ranked among the nation’s top 25 medium-sized universities (those with undergraduate enrollments between 5,000 and 15,000) producing Peace Corps volunteers. With 21 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, Notre Dame is ranked 23rd on the list.

Since its inception in 1961, the Peace Corps has enrolled volunteers from more than 3,000 institutions nationwide. At present, 7,671 Peace Corps volunteers are serving for 27-month commitments in 76 countries.

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