Alumni Association to honor two graduates

Author: Shannon Roddel

Two University of Notre Dame graduates will receive special awards from the Notre Dame Alumni Association during ceremonies on campus Sept. 4 and 6 (Thursday and Saturday).p. ? Robert M. Bennett, a 1962 graduate from Tonawanda, N.Y., will receive the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award during alumni board meetings Sept. 4. The Cavanaugh Award is given annually to a graduate in recognition of distinguished service to young people.p. As president of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County for 15 years, Bennett founded programs in support of families, abused children and the elderly. Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Bennett has advocated higher academic standards and increased family involvement in schools. A Eucharistic minister, he regularly takes communion to the homebound and is co-founder of the local food bank. Bennett, a former two-term president of the Notre Dame Club of Buffalo and Western New York, received the club’s Award of the Year in 1980 and was named a University Exemplar in 1997.p. ? James J. Gillis, a 1951 graduate who is president of Gillis Broadcasting, Inc., of Beverly Hills, Calif., will receive the Harvey G. Foster Award during a halftime ceremony at the Notre Dame-Washington State football game Sept. 6. The Foster Award is given annually to a Notre Dame graduate distinguished for athletic endeavors and community service.p. A past president of the Notre Dame Monogram Club and three-time monogram winner in baseball, Gillis played professionally for the Philadelphia Phillies. For more than 40 years, he and his wife, Jane, have been involved with fund raising for Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank, Calif. They established the Jim and Jane Gillis Grant-in-Aid Scholarship for Notre Dame baseball this past January. An active member of the Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles, Gillis received the club’s Award of the Year and was named a University Exemplar, both in 1997.

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