Thomas Jorling, Jeffrey Faine recognized with Alumni Association awards

Author: Joanne Norell

Notre Dame Alumni Association Executive Director Dolly Duffy, from left, alumnus Thomas Jorling and President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors Liz Trantowski.

The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association recognized the 2023 recipients of two of its most prestigious awards on Oct. 26 during the fall meeting of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.

Thomas Jorling, class of 1962, received the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes an alumnus who has performed outstanding service in the field of government, patriotism, public service or local, state or national politics. The Harvey G. Foster Award, conferred on an alumnus​​ who has been an athlete or involved in athletic endeavors and distinguished themself through civic or University activities was given to Jeffrey Faine, class of 2003.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Jorling went on to earn a master’s degree in forest ecology at Washington State University and a law degree at Boston College. In 1968, Jorling was tapped by Sen. John Sherman Cooper, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Public Works Committee, to act as the minority counsel for each of its five subcommittees. Jorling was instrumental in overriding a presidential veto to pass the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Clean Water Act of 1972, two foundational environmental laws in the U.S. government.

After a stint in academia at Williams College, Jorling was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as the assistant administrator for Water and Hazardous Substances at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he oversaw the implementation of the Clean Water Act, the Ocean Dumping Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Jorling also helped persuade Congress to enact the Superfund Act of 1980, which established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites.

Jorling returned to Williams College for seven more years before becoming commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and later, vice president of environmental affairs at the International Paper Company.

In retirement, Jorling has served on multiple nonprofit boards and given lectures all over the country on the history of environmental policies, inspiring the next generation to make the world a more sustainable place to live.

Faine, an NFL veteran and former All-American center on the Fighting Irish football team, received the Harvey J. Foster Award for his dedication to providing life-changing mentorship, education and support for young people transitioning out of foster care.

Notre Dame Alumni Association Executive Director Dolly Duffy, from left, alumnus Jeffrey Faine, wife Brittnie Faine and children Breck and Kai Faine and President of the Alumni Association Board of Directors Liz Trantowski.

Inspired by his own childhood experience in the foster care system, Faine opened The Faine House in 2011, a facility in the Pine Hills community of Orlando, Florida, that hosts 10 private bedroom suites for 18- to 23-year-olds who are in need of access to safety, stability, opportunity and mentorship. Since its inception, 107 teenagers have completed the program and in 2022, the organization reorganized as The Faine House, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) organization, extending its impact to the larger community.

In addition to his work at the Faine House, Faine has also become a successful entrepreneur in retirement, serving as the managing partner of Enhanced Funding Solutions and EFS Life. He is also president of the Faine Group, which has business interests in several different industries.

Faine maintains deep ties to Notre Dame, having helped organize a social entrepreneurship seminar for NFL players to promote his alma mater and serving on the Monogram Club Board of Directors. Faine assumed the role of Monogram Club vice president in the fall of 2022 and will begin a two-year term as president in 2024. Faine resides in Maitland, Florida, with his wife, Brittnie, and sons Kai and Breck.

Contact: Joanne Norell, assistant director of marketing and communications, Notre Dame Alumni Association, 574-631-1658 or