The Notre Dame Alumni Association recognized a number of distinguished alums during its annual winter board meeting in January. The Alumni Association presents awards three times per year in six categories where the University encourages excellence: the arts, athletics, service to the Alumni Association, service to country, service to humanity and service to the University.
Four award winners were announced when the Alumni Board assembled on campus Jan. 17: the William D. Reynolds Award to Patricia Jacques Emmanuel M.D., ’82; the Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C., Award to Don Criqui ’62; the Rev. Robert F. Griffin, C.S.C., Award to Christina Gorman Telesca ’91; and the Rev. Anthony J. Lauck, C.S.C., Award to Patrick Vassel ’07.
The William D. Reynolds Award
Established in 1985, the William D. Reynolds Award is conferred on an alum, living or deceased, doing exceptional work with youth for the betterment of their quality of life.
In recognition of her lifelong commitment to medical care and fighting infectious diseases, especially on behalf of mothers, children and youth, Patricia Jacques Emmanuel M.D., ’82, was presented with this award.
Dr. Emmanuel received her B.S. in biology from Notre Dame in 1982 and her M.D. from the University of Florida in 1986. After completing her residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of South Florida, she joined the faculty, where she has served as the Lewis A. Barness Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics since 2012. Previously she served as USF’s Associate Dean for Clinical Research and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease.
The focus of Dr. Emmanuel’s clinical and research activities has been HIV infection in infants, children and pregnant women. She has implemented many treatment and prevention trials, directed an HIV education program in India and spearheaded the establishment of a youth clinic that provides sex education and preventive services to underserved youth in Tampa. She directs USF’s Zika Referral Center and a clinical trials network that is using technology to help prevent HIV infection.
Dr. Emmanuel has been involved with training medical students and residents and served as Councilor for the Alpha Omega Honor Society from 2007-14. She and her husband, John ’82, have three adult children, including their oldest daughter Jacqueline, a 2012 Notre Dame graduate.
The Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C., Award
Established in 2000, the Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C., Award recognizes an alum, living or deceased, for their outstanding accomplishments or achievements as practicing performing artists.
This year’s recipient, Don Criqui ’62, earned distinction for an outstanding career as one of the longest-tenured sports broadcasters in American history, including a half-century of announcing college and NFL games.
Criqui’s career in broadcasting began as a student at Notre Dame. As a Communication Arts major, Criqui learned under Professors Thomas Stritch and Edward Fisher. Tapes of his Notre Dame basketball broadcasts and an audition led Criqui to join WSBT in South Bend as Sports Director less than a year after graduating. Two years later, Frank Gifford brought Criqui to New York’s WCBS-TV, and a tape of a Notre Dame vs. Bradley basketball game landed him the job as the radio and TV voice of the New York Knicks.
In 1967, CBS Sports named Criqui an NFL play-by-play broadcaster, launching a streak of 47 consecutive seasons broadcasting the NFL for CBS and NBC. He is the longest-tenured NFL broadcaster on network television, and was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003 as the winner of the Pete Rozelle Award.
Criqui was the radio voice of Notre Dame football for 15 seasons. He also teamed with John Gambling on WOR radio in New York. For 20 straight years, “Rambling with Gambling” had the most listeners of any radio station in America.
Criqui and his wife, Molly, are the parents of four sons and one daughter, and have 15 grandchildren. Three are continuing the family tradition as students at Notre Dame, with hopefully more to follow.
The Rev. Robert F. Griffin, C.S.C., Award
This award was established by the Alumni Board in 2003 to recognize outstanding accomplishments or achievements in writing.
In recognition of her distinguished career as a playwright, and for bringing the vision of Notre Dame’s founder to the stage in Sorin: A Notre Dame Story, Christina Gorman Telesca ’91 was the 2020 Griffin Award honoree.
Telesca’s plays have been produced and/or developed at numerous acclaimed institutions such as The Public Theater, Luna Stage, American Blues Theater, Alley Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Summer Play Festival, Central Works Theater Company, Hangar Theatre, and Capital Repertory Theatre, among others.
Telesca is a recipient of TCG’s Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Playwriting Award, Samuel French Short Play Festival Award and New York International Fringe Festival Award for Overall Excellence in Playwriting. Her work has been published by both Samuel French and Smith & Krauss.
Telesca was an inaugural member of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and is also recognized as a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Ensemble Studio Theatre New Voices Fellow, Stella Adler Studios Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence, Women’s Project Playwright Lab member and Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater.
Telesca graduated from Notre Dame with a B.A. in American Studies. Her son, Jack, will graduate from Notre Dame in May 2020 with a B.S. in aerospace engineering.
The Rev. Anthony J. Lauck, C.S.C., Award
Established in 2000, the Rev. Anthony J. Lauck, C.S.C., Award for fine arts and visual arts, recognizes an alum, living or deceased, for their outstanding accomplishments or achievements as practicing artists. In recognition of his superior work as a Broadway director, writer and teacher, and his leadership in crafting Sorin: A Notre Dame Story, Patrick Vassel ’07 was presented with this award.
Vassel is a director and playwright from Akron, Ohio. He is currently the Associate and Supervising Director of Hamilton.
Some of Vassel’s other credits include, Freestyle Love Supreme (associate director) and Magic/Bird (assistant director) on Broadway; In a Little Room (The Wild Project), Two Rooms (79 Clifton Place), Rum for Sale (Columbia University), The Gravediggers (Theatre East Reading), Connect (Workshop - Ten Bones), The Adventures of Boy and Girl (FringeNYC ’13), Font of Knowledge (Shelby Company) and The Little Dog Laughed (The Gallery Players, 1st NYC Revival) in New York.
Additionally, Vassel has directed The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Homecoming (Stella Adler), Lombardi (Palace Theatre, Wisconsin) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (University of Notre Dame, Original Adaptation). His work as a co-writer/director includes Nothing Left to Burn (Ars Nova ANTFest, The Public Theater New Work Now!, O’Neill Semi-Finalist, The Lark Playwrights Week 2015).
Vassel is a member of the Notre Dame Performing Arts Advisory Council and the Notre Dame Media and Entertainment Leadership Committee. He is a former teaching artist and current member of the Artistic Advisory Board of Opening Act, a non-profit providing free, after-school theater programs in New York City high schools. He is also a 2019 honoree of the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Rev. Mahar Outstanding Alumni Award.