Notre Dame year in review: New research initiatives highlight 2008

Author: Dennis Brown


Each year at Notre Dame is filled with highlights, achievements and accomplishments. Here are some of the significant moments from 2008:

  • Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, other state and local politicians and University leaders announced in the spring the establishment of the Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery (MIND), a new research consortium led by Notre Dame and created to discover and develop the next nanoscale logic device, which will be the basic building block of future computers. In collaboration with the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative of the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the support of the state of Indiana and city of South Bend, the MIND consortium also includes Purdue University, the University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan, Argonne National Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
  • Notre Dame announced in the spring an $80 million commitment in internal financial resources in support of two phases of integrated research initiatives. The first phase, funded up to $40 million, is for five initiatives, including two that reflect an exciting expansion of existing research strengths at the University ñ in nanoelectronics and global health ñ as well as one for advanced diagnostics and therapeutics through the use of micro-instrumentation; another for an imaging core facility that brings together a broad array of imaging instruments, services and expert users; and one for a new multidisciplinary"think tank"to attract leading scholars who want to germinate research, scholarship and creative thought in the humanistic and faith-based environment that is Notre Dame’s hallmark. The University has committed another $40 millionfor a second round of proposals for the current fiscal year.
  • Three new deans were appointed to Notre Dame colleges ñGregory P. Crawford, previously dean of engineering and professor of physics and engineering at Brown University, was appointed dean of the College of Science; John T. McGreevy, previously departmental chair and professor of history at Notre Dame, was appointed I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters; and Peter Kilpatrick, previously chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University, was appointed dean of the College of Engineering.
  • Gregory E. Sterling, previously executive associate dean in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and professor of theology, was appointed dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School.
  • The University’s 2,000-member freshman class, selected from a pool of 13,948 applicants, is the most academically accomplished in its history. The students arrived on campus with an average SAT score of 140516 points higher than last year’s freshmen who represented an all-time highand 72 percent were ranked in the top five of their graduating classes.
  • Notre Dame has joined forces with the city of South Bend and the regional economic development organization Project Future to develop Innovation Park, a technology incubator site immediately south of campus. David Brenner, an entrepreneurial executive with some 30 years of experience, was appointed director of the project. The first phase is expected to be completed by summer 2009.
  • Construction is well under way on Eddy Street Commons, a mixed-use development on the corner of Eddy Street and Angela Boulevard. The first phase of the 24-acre site will include apartments, retail, restaurant and office space, and a structured parking garage, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2009. Future phases of the project include two proposed Marriott hotels as well as a variety of for-sale residential housing options.
  • Linking Eddy Street Commons to the campus is Irish Green, a new 16-acre park that was underwritten with a gift from Notre Dame Trustee Fritz L. Duda and his wife, Mary Lee.
  • The fourth annual Notre Dame Forum, held Sept. 24, was dedicated to the topic of sustainable energy. The expert panelists who spoke represented a variety of perspectives: Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. of Colorado, General Electric Co. chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Immelt, Sustainable South Bronx founder Majora Carter, and Ernest Moniz, Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They were joined by the moderator, Anne Thompson, a Notre Dame alumna and the chief environmental affairs correspondent for NBC News.
  • A groundbreaking ceremony for Harper Hall, the new home of expanded medical and cancer research initiatives at the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) and Notre Dame, was held Nov. 21 at a site adjacent to Raclin-Carmichael Hall on the corner of Angela Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue.
  • Actor and human rights activist Martin Sheen was awarded Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal for 2008. He received the medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, during the University’s 163rd Commencement ceremony in May. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., was the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the ceremony.
  • Don Pope-Davis, professor of psychology and previously acting dean of the Graduate School, was elected vice president and associate provost by Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees in August.
  • The Mendoza College of Business was rated No. 3 by BusinessWeek Magazine in its third annual ranking of undergraduate business programs. BusinessWeek also ranked the custom programs offered by Executive Education at the University 15th in its biennial survey of such programs worldwide. The magazine placed the MBA Program 20th , up six spots from its previous ranking. The Wall Street Journal ranked the Executive MBA Program ninth for best return on investment.
  • Building on its strong foundation of educating peace builders, Notre Dame established a doctoral program in peace studies in its Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and began admitting students in fall 2008. The new program is made possible in part by a gift from 1953 Notre Dame alumnus John R. Mullen, chair of the Kroc Institute Advisory Council, and his family.
  • Hispanic Magazine ranked Notre Dame 13th on its 2008 list of"Top 25 Colleges for Latinos,"the sixth year the University has made the list since its creation in 1999.
  • Eight faculty members received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for 2008, bringing to 37 the number of NEH fellowships awarded to Notre Dame in the past nine years, more than any other university in the nation. This year’s recipients were Joseph Amar, professor of classics and concurrent professor of theology; Sotirios Barber, professor of political science; Li Guo, associate professor of classics; Thomas A. Kselman, professor of history; Peter Martens, visiting assistant professor of theology; Christian Moevs, associate professor of Romance languages and literatures; Samuel Newlands, assistant professor of philosophy; and John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History.
  • Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame, donated one of his kidneys in a four-patient procedure in August at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Father Malloy donated a kidney to an anonymous recipient and his nephew, Johnny Rorapaugh, received a kidney from the recipient’s son.
  • Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program has established a new task force to examine the participation of Latino children and families in Catholic schools.
  • ACE’s co-founder, Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., received a 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal from President Bush in an Oval Office ceremony held Dec. 10.
  • “The greatest of all university fight songs”turned 100 years old in 2008.“Notre Dame Victory March”was composed in 1908 by Rev. Michael Shea and his brother John. Some 500 band alumni joined with the current band for a centennial salute to the fight song during halftime of the Notre Dame-Stanford football game Oct. 4.
  • A remarkable run through the NCAA Tournament by the Notre Dame hockey team highlighted the year in athletics. The Irish icers finished the regular season with a record of 24-15-4 and were one of the final teams selected to the tournament. They then recorded three consecutive upsets over New Hampshire, Michigan State and Michigan to reach the national championship game against Boston College. The Eagles prevailed in the final, 4-1.
  • The women’s soccer team was ranked No. 1 all season, but lost 2-1 in the championship game to North Carolina.
  • The men’s basketball team finished in a tie for second in the Big East Conference with a final record of 25-8 overall and 14-4 in league play, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year and fifth time in eight seasons. The team has won a school record 43 consecutive games in the Joyce Center.
  • Men’s basketball coach Mike Brey was named Big East Coach of the Year for a second straight time, and sophomore Luke Harangody was the conference Player of the Year.
  • John B."Jack"Swarbrick Jr., a Notre Dame graduate and nationally known lawyer, consultant and executive in the collegiate and Olympic sports industries, was appointed as the University’s 12th director of athletics, succeeding Kevin White. Swarbrick is a 1976 magna cum laude graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He earned his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1980 and had been a partner in the Indianapolis law firm Baker&Daniels since 1987. As a member of the Indiana Sports Corp., including the chairmanship from 1992 to 2001, he led many of Indianapolis’ successful proposals to host the Super Bowl, NCAA and Big Ten Conference basketball tournament games, the Pan American Games, and a variety of other Olympic sports competitions.
  • Notre Dame ranks No. 1 in the country in terms of graduating its student-athletes, according to statistics released by the NCAA. The Graduation Success Rate for all student-athletes is 98 percent at Notre Dame, which ties for first nationally with Northwestern University and the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • The University and NBC reached agreement on a new five-year contract giving NBC the rights to televise Irish home football games from 2011 to 2015, which will extend the partnership between Notre Dame and the network to 25 years.

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