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Author: Notre Dame Magazine

Club sports athletes are always unsung, so let’s sing about a couple here from this past year: Freshman Leigh Hellrung took gold in both the slalom and giant slalom at the Midwest Collegiate Snowsports Association Divisionals and then won silver in the slalom and gold in the giant slalom at the MCSA Regionals. At the latter she competed against skiers from six varsity teams ranked in top 20 nationally. Senior Tes Salb was a repeat National Rifle Association All-American and finished as the No. 1-ranked intercollegiate woman in the country in pistol marksmanship.Erin (McCauley) Tervo ‘93 and Molly (O’Neill) Whelan ‘96 are collecting e-mail addresses of one-time Lewis Hall residents (“Chickens”) who have “flown The Coop,” that is, graduated. They want to start an e-mail newsletter. To re-establish contact with the flock, write to whalen007@msn.com. . . . Like cherry trees blossoming in the Potomac basin, the awarding of honorary degrees to Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC, has become a sure sign of spring. This year Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, handed the 84-year-old president emeritus an honorary doctor of humane letters, as did Georgian Court College in Lakewood, New Jersey, bringing his world-record total to 147. . . . A new graduate fellowship program aims to reduce rancor in American politics. The McCullough Program in Government and Journalism will provide stipends to students wanting to pursue advanced studies in journalism and public policy with an emphasis on cultivating a gentler political climate in the nation. Funded by a $1 million gift from philanthropist Jane Bradley Pettit of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the program is named for John McCullough ‘55 and his wife, Sandra. He was the long-time principal news anchor for WTMJ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee. The McCulloughs are long-time friends of Pettit and plan to match her benefaction. . . . The class projects of two juniors in a graphic design course made the finals in a competition to select Indiana’s new license plate. The design of Emily Hallinan of Centerville, Ohio, a marketing major, featured a cardinal, the Indiana state bird. The plate designed by Tiffany Roman, a graphic design major from Granger, Indiana, showed a sunrise on the banks of the Wabash River. The winning design, by an Indianapolis graphic designer and artist, pictured a green pasture above the words “Back Home Again.”. . . In the final round of an on-line poll comparing college football’s best traditions, ND’s painting of the helmets by student managers before each game finished second to Texas A&M’s “12th man” tradition of students standing ready to play if called upon. To reach the final matchup, which attracted nearly 70,000 votes, the helmet painting first won vote-offs against Auburn’s War Eagle battle cry, Georgia’s Uga the English bulldog and Florida’s Gator Chomp. The contest was sponsored by Tostitos tortilla chips. . . . In a study by The Sporting News that attempted to grade sports-playing universities on standards ranging from on-field success to academic performance, Notre Dame tied for second-best among the 115 NCAA schools that play both Division I men’s basketball and Division I-A football. Receiving the same overall grade as Notre Dame were Washington and Purdue. Tying for first were Michigan, Stanford and North Carolina. . . . One more sports comparison: A poll for ESPN found that the Irish continue to have the broadest appeal of any team in college football. A research group asked fans 12 and older to name their favorite team. Notre Dame was the only school to make the top 10 in all four regions surveyed. . . . . A familiar face at the Center for Social Concerns, Kathleen Maas Wiegert ‘72Ph.D., has left. Formerly the center’s associate director for academic affairs and research, as well as an American studies associate professor and fellow of the Kroc peace institute, Maas Wiegert was named director of Georgetown University’s new Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service. . . . The Basilica’s gigantic Saint Anthony of Padua bell — seven feet in diameter — is rarely rung. Usually it’s heard only for great solemnities like priests taking their final vows or grand celebrations like the opening Mass of the school year. Since Father Peter Rocca, CSC, became rector of the church in 1997, the bell has also been sounded for football victories. . . . Cash is fast becoming a non-essential item for students. The University is buying new laundry and vending machines and retrofitting old ones to accept “Domer Dollars,” money encoded on a student’s magnetic-strip ID card. The machines still take regular coins and currency. . . . Any alumni involved with a student group in the 1990s will remember the name Joe Cassidy, director of student activities. He resigned his post last summer (2000) after 13 years to become director of the Colis (student) Center at Dartmouth. In his last official act, Cassidy established a special student award honoring Sister Jean Lenz, OSF, ‘67M.Th., assistant vice president for student affairs and rector of Farley Hall from 1973 to 1983, during the start of coeducation. . . . Former Flanner and Morrissey hall rector Father Bill Seetch, CSC, ’74, ’78M.Th., who also serves as alumni chaplain, has been appointed religious superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross priests and brothers at Notre Dame. The position carries with it appointments as a fellow and trustee of the University, and a room in Corby Hall instead of a dorm. The religious superior provides ministerial support to the approximately 80 Holy Cross religious assigned by the congregation to Notre Dame. . . . R. Scott Appleby, history professor, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and occasional contributor to this magazine, has been appointed the John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. . . . Confirming common knowledge on campus, nearly 90 percent of more than a thousand students surveyed by the Student Senate said they don’t consider LaFun (nickname of the LaFortune Student Center) to be a fun place to go for entertainment on weekend nights. Students had several suggestions for additions to LaFortune, including a bowling alley, a nightclub, and a movie theater. . . . If you want to find a varsity baseball or softball player during the winter, a good place to look is inside a windowless block building with blue peaked roof outside Frank Eck Stadium. The building contains four new batting/pitching cages — three baseball-length, one softball-length. Before the facility’s construction more than a year ago, pitchers and hitters had to compete for time and space inside the Loftus Center when weather precluded practice outdoors. Loftus has two batting cages made of nets that have to be lowered from the ceiling over one end zone of the artificial turf football field. Not only does the new building have more cages, but pitchers can throw wearing spikes from regulation, dirt pitching mounds. (They actually look more like rectangular dirt wedges since there’s no “back” to them.) In Loftus, pitchers had to wear sneakers and throw from a portable fiberglass mound, which had to be hauled in and out of storage. Coaches expect the new facility, underwritten in part by the same Franklin E. Eck ‘44 who paid for the stadium, will not only help keep players sharp over the winter but impress potential recruits, including youth who attend baseball and softball summer camps at Notre Dame. . . . Recent visitors to campus may have caught a glimpse of a little white Geo parked next to the east entrance of the Cushing Hall of Engineering. With ruffling American flags painted on its sides and hood, the tiny vehicle looks like a refugee from a trade show or mall display. A closer look reveals the words “electric car” painted in several places. The vehicle was donated to the engineering college a few years ago by Delphi Energy and Engine Management Systems, a General Motors division that supports the college’s electric race car program. There was only one problem with it. It didn’t work. Professor William Berry, adviser to the program, says the early ‘90s-vintage vehicle was produced with an internal combustion engine and at some point was converted to electric power in California. Unfortunately, before being given to Notre Dame its batteries sat unused in a parking lot for three years. Many students tried to recharge the batteries, which occupy almost all of the interior behind the front seats, before a team finally succeeded this past school year. The car is usually stored in a space outside the high-bay lab between Cushing and Fitzpatrick. Students now use it to transport themselves and equipment between Cushing-Fitzpatrick and the Security Building, where the electric race car is garaged. . . . Students can now dine in the South Dining Hall well after traditional dinner hours. Some of the participants in the ever-growing number of student groups were having trouble making it to the dining halls during normal dinner hours, 4:30 to 7, so Food Services decided to keep the doors open till 9 Monday through Thursday at the SDH only. About 300 to 400 students each day take advantage of the extended hours. The remodeled South continues to be the more popular of the dining halls by a margin of about 1,000 people a day. . . . More food news: Thanks to the Flex plan, which lets students take some of their meals at the Huddle and other eateries on campus, the number of off-campus students buying meal plans has more than doubled to about 900. . . . The esteemed David T. Link didn’t remain unemployed long. In July 1999, Link stepped down as dean of the Law School after 24 years, the longest tenure of any U.S. law school head. He was soon announced as dean of the University of Saint Thomas Law School in Saint Paul, Minnesota and founding vice president of academic affairs and academic dean of the University of Saint Augustine in South Africa. . . . We liked this question The Scholastic some time back put to long-time business professor James O’Rourke, author of a collection of essays about Notre Dame history, Reflections on the Dome. Scholastic asked, “If Father Sorin and Father Hesburgh were in a celebrity death match, who would win?” O’Rourke said, “Sorin. He was bull of a man. He was big, tough and highly self-reliant. Hesburgh is wily. He would find a way to talk Sorin out of it. If Rockne were still alive, he’d want to charge admission.”

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