Seen and Heard


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The ticket office had to refund a record $5.1 million to alumni this year because requests for football tickets overwhelmed the number of tickets available in the annual lottery. The ticket office received 4,000 additional applications for tickets, an increase of 6 percent from last season. Alumni have to donate at least $100 to participate in the lottery. Tickets are $48 apiece this year, up $5 from last season. . . . The Rigney family of Rockville, Maryland, had four children attending Notre Dame this year: twins Errin and Meghan, both seniors, plus their brothers, also twins, Patrick and Paul, who are freshmen. Asked by South Bend Tribune reporter Margaret Fosmoe ‘85 how the family can afford it, Bob Rigney ’70, ’73J.D., ’75M.A. replied, "We’re following our president. We’re deficit spending." . . . “What’s the biggest problem in America?" consumer activist Ralph Nader asked in a talk on campus earlier this year. “Hands down, it’s the lack of civic motivation.” Translation: apathy. Near the end of his talk Nader asked students to imagine themselves in the future as grandparents. One day, he said, your grandchild will be sitting in your lap and will turn to you and ask what you did to solve the world’s problems. “What are you going to be able to tell him? That you were too busy? That you were otherwise predisposed? That you spent endless amounts of time looking at reruns of Cheers?” Nader was invited to campus by the Law School to talk about legislating corporate ethics. . . . Father Peter A. Jarret, CSC, ‘86, ’91M.Div., has replaced Father Richard V. Warner, CSC, ’62 as counselor to Father Edward Malloy, CSC, University president. Warner remains director of Campus Ministry. Father Jarret remains rector of Keough Hall and continues to teach a course in the master of divinity program and serve on the provincial council of the CSCs. Readers may remember that Jarret’s niece Amy Jarret was a flight attendant aboard the United Airlines flight from Boston that became the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center. . . . The Department of Chemical Engineering has turned into the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Other institutions making the same switch include Cornell University and the University of Illinois. . . . Joan Kroc is the widow of longtime McDonald’s head Ray Kroc, and her past gifts established the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and built the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Her latest benefaction, $5 million, will establish an international scholarship fund for peace and justice in Father Hesburgh’s name. . . . If you don’t like or can’t drink cow’s milk, the dining halls now offer an alterative: soy milk. Cartons of soy milk have been available on request in the dining halls the past few years, but now students can fill up on soy at the milk dispensers. Slightly more expensive than conventional milk, soy is popular with people who are lactose-intolerant. The head of Food Services says soy now accounts for about 10 percent of the milk consumed in the dining halls. So far only regular flavor is available, but officials are considering adding chocolate, vanilla or other varieties when they become available in bulk . . . . The latest addition to LaFortune’s eateries is a taco and burrito takeout in the Huddle Mart called Buen Provecho. It replaced the deli stand. . . . Want to fly from South Bend to a Notre Dame away football game this fall? You won’t find better fares than those offered by David A. Melkey ‘93MSA, an instructor in the Master of Science in Administration program. Melkey, also a pilot, was looking for passengers to share the cost of flying his private plane to all of the away football games this year except Stanford. He said he expected to have 2-3 seats available, depending on whether his wife decided to come. He estimated the cost per passenger at $40 to $100 round-trip depending on distance. To see if there are any seats still available, write to . . . After being gone for six years, a pilot training course returned to campus this fall. The three-credit course offered by the Air Force ROTC prepares students to take the FAA’s ground school written exam and begin flight training to become either a military or civilian pilot. There’s no actual flying in the class, but the student-led Notre Dame Pilot Initiative, a force behind bringing back the course, promoted enrollment by flinging paper airplanes at guests in the dining halls last spring. The Air Force ROTC offered a similar course complete with flight instruction from 1973 to 1997, at which point it was discontinued because of liability concerns. . . . For years, students taking final exams in large, 100-level courses have been startled to see a fellow student jump up in the middle of the exam, throw the test paper in the air, scream something like “I can’t take this any more,” and race out of the room. Some students are convinced the screamers are teaching assistants planted by their instructors as a joke to puncture test-taking tension. But administrators say they know of no faculty who have pulled or would pull such a stung. They suspect it’s a prank, perpetuated by seniors. . . . Joe Moore, the offensive line coach under Lou Holtz who sued the University for age discrimination and won after Holtz’s successor, Bob Davie, decided not to retain him, died in July at age 71. He had reportedly been battling lung cancer. . . . “One of the worst places I’ve ever lived in my life" is how Kevin Coyne described Turtle Creek Apartments to an audience last spring at the Sophomore Literary Festival. He lived in the apartments the entire 1992-93 academic year, chronicled in his terrific book Domers. Coyne’s latest book is Marching Home: To War and Back With the Men of One American Town, about six residents of his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, who went off to fight in World War II. . . . . Father Gustavo Gutierrez, O.P., Notre Dame’s John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology, is credited with writing the foundational text for “liberation theology,” the church’s vocation to resist the oppression of the poor. Earlier this year he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and the Humanities. Prince Felipe of Spain presides over the foundation that presents the Asturias Awards each year in Asturias, Spain. . . . Junior Charlie Ebersol’s dad, Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports and NBC Olympics (and husband of actress Susan Saint James), won a charity auction to have singer-songwriter Carly Simon whisper in his ear the secret of whom she’s singing about in her 1972 hit “You’re So Vain.” Ebersol bid $50,000 to learn the identity, which he had to promise not to reveal. He also received a private performance and a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the singer. Charlie Ebersol is working in the entertainment industry himself this year as chair of the Student Union Board. . . . Unlike the live leprechaun mascot seen on the sidelines at football games or the jut-jawed Fighting Irish leprechaun emblem, the 9-foot inflatable mascot of the Notre Dame Kids Club has acquired a name: Clancy. The Kids Club, just renamed Clancy’s Kids Club, is a fan club for children 14 and younger. For $15 a year members get a T-shirt and free admission to more than 100 athletic events, including the Blue and Gold spring football scrimmage and a selected hockey game and a men’s and a women’s basketball game. Inflatable Clancy debuted last fall. . . . Visit Notre Dame during the summer and you may be surprised by the number of families with young children frolicking on campus. They’re most likely residents of Notre Dame Family Hall. Each year the Alumni Association rents out rooms in one of the dormitories (this year it was Walsh) for rates that can’t be beat: $25 a night for two adults in one room. For an additional $10 per night two children can stay in an adjoining room. (It’s $5 extra per room on Friday and Saturday nights). The weekly rate is $125 for the one room and $150 for the two. The summer program, said to be a rarity on U.S. college campuses, is popular with wedding parties, parents of sports-camp attendees, and former classmates who want to meet up on campus and bring along spouses and kids. Guests get free use of bicycles and some facilities, and there are free programs during the day for kids. This past summer the hall hosted more than 2,000 guests and was full every weekend. You don’t even have to be an alumnus to get in on this deal. One drawback is that the designated dorm is never one of the air-conditioned buildings, which are reserved for other summer programs.

(October 2003)

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