The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association today announced the creation of the Alumni Rainbow Community of Notre Dame (ARC ND), a group dedicated to bringing together its LGBTQ alumni and allies.
ARC ND will officially launch in January, joining the association’s network of groups that provide alumni and friends with the opportunity to connect in community. ARC ND is planned to replace GALA-ND/SMC, an unofficial alumni group formed in 1996 for gay and lesbian alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College.
As an extension of the Alumni Association, ARC ND will serve to strengthen the bonds of Notre Dame graduates to the University and to one another. The association seeks to welcome all alumni and friends into an inclusive and supportive group, to recognize the God-given human dignity of all people, and to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community.
“We have spent many months collaborating with the GALA-ND/SMC organization to incorporate their supportive mission into the fabric of our affinity groups structure,” said Dolly Duffy, executive director of the Alumni Association and associate vice president for University relations. “Today, I am so pleased to take this important step toward ensuring our LGBTQ alumni and allies always feel they have a home at Notre Dame.”
In December 2019, the Alumni Association created an ad hoc alumni task force to explore how to more effectively engage with and serve the needs of LGBTQ alumni. The task force has met monthly with association staff members, who have periodically shared updates with campus administrators.
Leading up to the January launch, the association will be seeking volunteer leaders to serve on a six-person ARC ND advisory board. Paul Burke ’98, a member of the task force and the chair of GALA-ND/SMC, will serve as the inaugural ARC ND chair.
“I want to thank every GALA-ND/SMC leader and member who has built this organization and helped it thrive,” Burke said. “Whether you increased awareness of LGBTQ issues on campus or locally, raised money to support students in need, or joined the community in solidarity with the mission, you have paved the path that led to today's exciting announcement. While this community has positively impacted many, we have a new organization to build — ARC ND. The GALA-ND/SMC officers and board are excited to support ARC ND and to join the NDAA family. Together, we know that we will build an inclusive community that makes everyone proud.”
Alumni groups play a significant role in the association’s engagement strategy, helping to enhance alumni connections to the University through programming and community building that recognizes their shared interests and unique experiences.
Additional groups funded and supervised by the Alumni Association include ND Women Connect, Notre Dame Senior Alumni, YoungND, the Notre Dame Alumni Diversity Council, Asian Pacific Alumni of Notre Dame, Black Alumni of Notre Dame, Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame, and Native American Alumni of Notre Dame.
For more about ARC ND, please visit http://arc.undgroup.org.