Letters to the editor


Author: Readers

Editor’s note: Letters that appeared in the spring print issue are marked with a double ##.

That step toward inclusion

##The article “An Act of Inclusion,” left me totally shocked. Is Notre Dame heading down the proverbial slippery slope of moral mediocrity? Why on earth would the University consider having a student organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (GLBTQ) students? I was under the impression we have a free will and a choice in how we live our lives. This is in direct opposition to the bishops who wrongly proclaimed sexual orientation is a given, not as something freely chosen and so not considered sinful.

It is my fondest hope that modern-day liberalism and all that accompanies the gradual erosion of basic moral and ethical principles be re-evaluated and that a back-to-basics philosophy be studied and relied upon. If so, maybe the older generation will not be dissuaded from proudly claiming we were once students at the greatest Catholic university in the world.

Patrick N. Hart ’58
Saint George, Utah

##Notre Dame is still, and always will be, at the top in moral balance and commitment to a Catholic way of life. I admire the University for including all the students with its new pastoral plan and student organization for the GLBTQ students. This inclusion is a strong example of the integrity of our University in these changing times.

Evolution is, of course, uncontrollable, and it can be positive or negative, depending on your point of view. But it still proceeds in an unrelenting and powerful movement. At first it is a little hard to watch the changes in what your life experiences were and what you have been exposed to all through your formative years. But this is 2013, and the United States and the world are changing in so many ways. At first you may not be comfortable with this but, according to a recent survey, 80 percent of the college students and the young people of this country support the acceptance of gay rights.

All of our students are talented and, in the end, all of us no matter how we feel about this issue will continue our love for God, country and Notre Dame.

Thomas R. Vecchione, M.D., ’63
San Diego, California

##The article on the bureaucratic tapestry of the innocuous GLBTQ calls for a follow-up illuminating problems encountered, real-life examples and how they might be resolved by the organization. You might show us the honesty of an organziation that believes that a complete, holistic life can be lived in context with the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and marriage for GLBTQs. What is the profile of a GLBTQ; who wants to belong to an organization that mandates a future of perpetual chastity? Please thread this needle for us.

Donald F. Cuddihee Sr. ’54
Greer, South Carolina

##It’s about time Notre Dame formed a GLBTQ student organization. Would that it existed when I was a student trying to figure out how to deal with my gay identity, given how important it is to do so in a supportive environment. As someone who has spent 35 years in higher education as a professor and dean, I know firsthand the necessity of providing GLBTQ people a safe place.

Yet ND still has to enter the 21st century and include sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination clause, as all major universities and colleges do. It has to go beyond the contradiction of claiming that sexual activity must be limited to the marital relationship while not supporting marriage equality for gays and lesbians and turning a blind eye to the reality of heterosexual students’ sexual activity. ND has to get away from the hypocrisy of asking gays and lesbians to engage in chastity, as it ignores one of the fundamental human experiences. The goal is to provide students with a full understanding of the beauty, the power and the centrality of love in romantic relationships, regardless of the gender of the partners. Pull down the remaining barriers, add sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination clause and embrace the reality that college students of all kinds engage in sexual activity and need supportive assistance in ensuring it is safe, loving and responsible.

Peter Nardi ’69
Los Angeles

##We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for Student Affairs, for her leadership in the recent decision to establish a student organization for GLBTQ students and their allies.

Students have been attempting for years to create a more fulfilling mechanism that would provide the support and services that have been available for other groups within the University. This new organization will, we hope, promote a safe environment in which any and all students can be themselves without the fear of discrimination or harassment and flourish within the Notre Dame community.

There will be some in opposition to this important and long-coming change. They will be vocal and suggest that this will condemn us all to hell. To those individuals, we would say that the world around us has changed — nine states recognize same-sex marriages, 80 percent of U.S. college students support LGBT rights, and our military now welcomes gay and lesbian service members. And Notre Dame is changing with it. Notre Dame is a much better place as a result of this change, and its students are better prepared for the real world outside of the “bubble.”

So our thanks and congratulations to Ms. Hoffmann Harding and all of the students, faculty and staff — past and present — who worked tirelessly over the years to make this organization a reality. We are excited to see what will unfold.

Melanie LeMay ’10, Jack Bergen ’77, Lance Gallop ’05, Tanya Barrios ’11, Chris Collins ’11
The Officers of GALA-ND/SMC (the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College)

##“An Act of Inclusion” provides a few ideas for comment. I agree with the position of the Catholic bishops’ teaching that the homosexual tendency is not sinful, but other questions arise. Since more states are legalizing same sex marriage (an oxymoron in my opinion), will people justify sexual acts within these “marriage” unions as morally acceptable? And what is or will be the response of the University to a request from a same-sex couple to have their union blessed in Sacred Heart Basilica or the Log Chapel?

Frank F. Conte ’56
Harwick, Pennsylvania

The article, “An act of inclusion” is at least a start. However, that no authorship is attributed to the writer or writers says a great deal. Was it written by the editorial staff of Notre Dame Magazine or inserted by the University administration? Someone should have taken responsibility for this announcement.

That homophobes do not recognize the difference between “average” and “normal” continues to plague this conversation. Who are these among God’s creatures we detest and who we now decide to “include.” And their “allies”? Is this a war?

By far the worst wording is the instruction “that sexual activity must be confined to the marital relationship and that all sexual activity be open to the gift of life. As a result, the catechism maintains, ‘homosexual persons are called to chastity.’” If not intended to be hypocritical this must have been intended as humorous.

Charles H. Calisher ’61M.S.
Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Notre Dame has become one weird place.

A gay and lesbian organization has been recognized by the authorities, who mandate that “neither the organization nor its staff will engage in political advocacy, such as the issue of gay marriage.”

Meanwhile, we have the spectacle of athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, defending a football linebacker who carried on a cyber-romance with an imaginary girlfriend.

The message here seems to be: at ND it’s better to imagine love than to pursue the real thing.

Or, maybe a better explanation is the one Anderson Cooper gave on CNN. ND officials learned about the Manti Te’o affair days before the BCS championship game against Alabama but kept it under wraps. ND had to protect its brand, which, in dollars, is worth hundreds of millions. So what if sportswriters and their readers were duped?

So too with the ban on discussing gay marriage: ND is out to protect the brand, the Vatican brand, even if that entails curtailing free speech. In the wake of so many cases of pedophilia brought against the Church, it’s a wonder there’s any brand left to polish.

A Franciscan priest once told me he thought the Church should get out of the marriage business. With no ministerial role in the sacrament, priests serve merely as witnesses, providing an altar with flowers, church steps for throwing the rice. Priests should forget about deciding who can marry and who cannot. They’d do better to emulate Christ at the marriage of Cana, where he made sure the wine was topnotch, nothing more.

John Zaugg ’61

Anatomically and physiologically, homosexual activity would appear to be opposed to natural law. Christian tolerance is one thing but does Notre Dame really want to encourage omosexual lifestyle by establishing an organization for “GLBTQ” students? Do you really want to be known as encouraging opposition to natural law and run the risk of becoming the university of choice for “GLBTQ” students?

From a theoretical and practical (fund-raising) standpoint, it would seem that Notre Dame should reconsider its decision. Christian tolerance is one thing but the action taken goes way beyond that.

William J. Fayen, M.D.
Donnellon, Florida

Raising children

##The article “Give them what they need” was an example of what America does not need. It was full of the misinformation and self-denigration that prevents Americans from being grateful for the blessings we have.

First of all, the author completely mischaracterizes “cry-it-out.” This is a sleep-training method that is not the same as finishing what you are doing before going to pick up a crying infant. A study released this fall showed that, properly used, this technique resulted in better sleep in toddlers (and parents) and that using this method caused no measureable harm to the children in the study. Many past studies on cry-it-out compared infants who were left alone crying for hours and didn’t adequately reflect the effects of this sleep-training method.

Second, it is a normal developmental phase for a 3-year-old to explore what kind of control they have on their world and for them to explore what they can get away with when not under adult supervision. The author offered no evidence that “modern” parenting leads to healthy adults, only her own self-doubt. I encourage her to spend more time enjoying and encouraging her “great kids” and less time second-guessing herself. And if she sees me and my 3-month-old daughter in the grocery store line, hold off on the parenting advice, please. Just tell me how cute she is.

Sara Dechter ’02
Flagstaff, Arizona

Drug war

##In reading “One of the Good Guys” I was extremely disappointed at the profound lack of appreciation — or even recognition — of the fundamental cause and effect at the heart of the drug market, drug trade and current “War on Drugs.” The cause: the drive to satisfy a craving so great that vast riches — amounts so large that they surpass national economies — will be spent in its pursuit. A craving so irresistible that mere statutes have no deterrent ability.

The effect of such riches for products and sensations, immune to simple prohibitions on their production, availability and use? Fierce and deadly competition.

A “War on Drugs” that focuses exclusively on effect without recognizing and realistically addressing the cause can never, never succeed. It will, as we see, increase the profits in the drug market and enhance the lure of this unimaginable wealth, and will most certainly intensify the ferocity and deadliness of the competition. Still, such a simplistic approach to a “War on Drugs” may satisfy a moralistic and self-righteous dogma — indeed the failure of such policies only solidifies the rigidity of the dogma — but such policies reflect a failure to understand and address deeper moral, societal and economic fundamentals, and will only perpetuate and intensify the problem it is attempting to solve.

William H. Newman ’79M.S.
Portland, Oregon

The profile of DEA agent Jack Riley seemed to unintentionally illuminate the great problem with our nation’s war on drugs: the way it is used to justify an emergent police state. Riley brags that in Chicago there are police “on every corner of this city . . . operating in the shadows where nobody sees them watching people.” All this in the service of a war that “he knows he’ll never win.”

Could anyone read this and not be a little frightened at what this “war” is costing us? And not just the billions of dollars it costs to militarize law enforcement at every level, as outlined in the article. Far worse is the way it is undermining our freedom.

Todd Tucker ’90

What America really needs

##I was disappointed with David Shribman’s conclusion in “What is to be done?” that what is needed is more contemplation and compromise by our nation’s leaders. In 1989, 12.5 percent of our population lived in poverty. Since then, 27 percent of the people added to America’s population have joined them.

What America needs now — indeed, what the world needs now — is a field of economics with the courage to end its self-imposed ban on the subject of population growth, look beyond the narrow Malthusian focus of the strain on resources and consider the full range of economic implications of population growth. Only when economists acknowledge the folly of trying to grow our way out of growth-induced problems will there be any hope of a brighter future for the generations to come.

Pete Murphy ’71
Clarkston, Michigan

##I suspect that many of the speech suggestions proffered by 21 distinguished professors proved especially disheartening to readers holding even a remnant of reverence for the U.S. Constitution as well as for the great Catholic moral principle of subsidiarity. But of the 21 suggestions, Jeffrey Bergstrand’s “Declaring War on Ignorance” was particularly unsettling.

He notes that 50 years ago U.S. primary and secondary school students’ scores in reading and math put them among the top in the world; today the typical performance ranks in the middle of the top 30 industrialized countries.

What happened? While the U.S. Department of Education didn’t exist until 1980, large-scale federal involvement in education began in 1965. I do not entirely blame federal involvement for declining academic results; there are cultural, societal and educational causes as well, most notably the rise of progressive education. However, the overall collected data on student performance indicate that the Department of Education, after 32 years and spending hundreds of billions of dollars, has not contributed to any meaningful improvement in scholastic performance.

Yet Professor Bergstrand would ask Congress for an additional 100 billion annually for the next 10 years. In light of the declining academic achievement associated with massive federal spending on education over decades and our current deficits, this is incredibly naïve.

Joseph Lewis Heil ’59
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

##Noticeably absent among the recommendations was any discussion of our perilous financial condition. Here is what I recommend the president say:

“Our nation is in peril and the state of the nation is not good. Our yearly deficits are more than one trillion dollars and our national debt is $16.4 trillion and rising. The interest on the national debt was $224 billion in fiscal 2012. If interest rates remain low, interest paid in 2022 will be $524 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If we allow for the expected rise in interest rates, those interest payments will be $778 billion in seven years, perhaps $1 trillion in 2020. Plus we already have $85 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

“I will no longer do nothing to stop the red ink. I will become a leader, not a spectator in the work that we must do to bring down the deficits and the debt.”

Steve Scharfenberg ’61
Rainbow City, Alabama

I am an assistant professor of history at the University of Scranton, I am writing to inform you not to ever send me another issue of the Notre Dame Magazine. I have watched the magazine become increasingly left-wing until it was nothing more than Notre Dame’s version of The Nation. However, when the main article of the issue that starts out praising Vladimir Lenin and his book “What is to Be Done?” I am through with you. “What is to be done?” (Chto Delat in Russian) was the Mein Kampf of the Soviet Union. The “lonely revolutionary” Lenin sent hundreds of thousands to their deaths, including countless priests, monks, and nuns. Shame on everyone at Notre Dame Magazine for publishing this, an insult to the memory of millions of Christians who died at the hands of atheistic communists like Lenin. Father Sorin would be ashamed of you.

Sean Brennan ’09Ph.D.
Peckville, Pennsylvania

I commend you for devoting an entire issue to the timely theme, “What America Needs Now.” However, the most significant prescription for beginning to deal with the country’s ills may be found in Father Jenkins’ Wesley Seminary commencement address last year, printed in your summer edition under the headline: “The Danger of Our Convictions.” All who engage in public debate to advance their principles should read and heed Father Jenkins’ advice for reducing the hatred in our discourse.

Melbourne Noel ’65

I was disappointed with the conclusion of David Schribman in “What is to be done?” that what’s needed is more contemplation and compromise by our nation’s leaders.

In 1989, 12.5 percent of our population lived in poverty. Since then, 27 percent of the people added to America’s population have joined them.

What America needs now — indeed, what the world needs now — is a field of economics with the courage to end its self-imposed ban on the subject of population growth, look beyond the narrow Malthusian focus of the strain on resources and consider the full range of economic implications of population growth. Only when economists acknowledge the folly of trying to grow our way out of growth-induced problems will there be any hope of a brighter future for the generations to come.

Pete C. Murphy ’71

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when I read “What Would You Say” in your most recent issue. In response to the question, “Hey Notre Dame faculty, what does our nation need most in these dire times?”, the answers were: “Full funding for National Public Radio! Increased environmental regulation! New government agencies! Amnesty for 12 million illegals! Additional federal hiring! Growth in entitlements!” Yes, according to 20 of ND’s best and brightest, this is the cure for what ails us: more government, more spending. There were some dissenters, but depressingly few. One professor spoke up for the unborn (who invited him?); none mentioned the recent assault on religious freedom. I wanted to laugh because this was all so predictably ivory-tower liberal and divorced from reality; I wanted to cry because THESE PEOPLE ARE EDUCATING MY KID.

William F. Buckley famously commented that he’d rather be governed by the first 400 people in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard. Bill, I know just how you feel.

Joe McGrath ’85Architecture
Warrington, Pennsylvania

I read the article by David Shribman in the Winter 2013 Notre Dame Magazine which discusses the challenges to our community in the 21st century. He postulates that “[t]he principal challenge facing the United States in the second decade of the 21st century is to adjudicate between the two social goods of conviction and compromise….”

If this is true, then “how does a nation built on individualism construct a caring, gentle community?” A community that is at once idealistic and stridently supportive of individuals, yet respectful and nurturing to those that are not of our own persuasion — in whatever respect? Is this a way to think of a sustainable community? Surely, it seems that when there is no caring, respect, and nurturing in a community, it becomes one of strife, conflict and discordance. And where there is one that is so focused on individuals, it no longer forms a community of multiple members, but rather communities of one.

A Shribman notes, in Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy writes of the lawmakers he selected for his profiles of the Senate at the time: “Some demonstrated courage through their unyielding devotion to absolute principle. Others demonstrated courage through their advocacy of conciliation, through their willingness to replace conflict with co-operation.” He argued that politicians should develop “compromises of issues, not of principles.” He believed that “we can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves.”

However, it seems that in a world where we have become so used to identifying closely with our causes, our “political positions” have become “ourselves.” Or perhaps it’s the other way around: Our principles have become our “political positions.” And we do not feel that we can separate the two. It is, perhaps, this inability to separate the two that divides our society into a splintered collection of special interest groups. When some see individuals that support a given cause (i.e., a “political position”), that individual is labeled and differentiated from an otherwise indistinguishable morass of humanity. Unfortuntely, people who apply the label do not often take time to understand the rest of the person behind the label, and the label is who that individual becomes.

Shribman also asks, “How do we balance our twin values of order and freedom?” As a preservation architect, I extend the question and ask: Of preservation and progress? Of heritage and the wide open future?

The answers to these three questions are very closely related, I believe. They are also closely related to the courageous separation of our principles from our “political positions.” We are mentors to generations who typically give enough time to a subject to hear the sound bite or read the tweet before judging and labeling. This seems to apply equally to people, video games, and death defying stunts as it does to historic buildings. Too often I see someone shut down after they hear that a building is a landmark. They have heard all they need to know and made their judgment. It might be “cool” or “that thing” but rarely is there further discussion of why a structure is designated a landmark unless we can set a hook.

As mentors to the speed dating generation, we can help balance and broaden their principles by preparing the sound bite response and being able to tweet the importance of a structure to someone else. For instance, are we able to look at the Taj Mahal in Agra India and say that it was built by the emperor in memory of his third wife. Myth: his mausoleum was going to be black marble across the river. In two brief sentences we can not only capture the importance of the existing building, but also convey an interesting myth that generates further interest in the subject. And it’s tweet-able at only 124 characters!

More importantly, we can be examples of the courage that Kennedy reveres. Often, people’s convictions are right on the surface of their conversations. Perhaps, rather, we should withhold those immediate convictions a bit — especially when we aren’t sure of the whole story. As the saying goes, we can know what we know, come to know what we don’t know, but it’s very difficult to succeed when we don’t know what we don’t know. We may hold personal beliefs and principles that are founded on the questionable ground of what we suspect or even verge into the don’t know we don’t know. However, I suggest that certainly our principles should be based on the bedrock of what we know we know. “Political positions” ought to based on the same, but allowed to be negotiated for the good of the whole.

What does this have to do with preservation? Preservation professionals are trained to appreciate the broad history of multiple different cultures. To see them at their best — and worst — and understand their influence upon each other, yet not convict them. This broad view allows us to be that mentor to the seemingly endless array of self-interested special interest groups that our culture is evolving into. We can show to one culture what they value and why. And then we can show them other cultures and help them to understand why something is “other” can be valuable to them and worthy of their respect.

As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, “screw your courage to the sticking place,” bridge this gap and keep our principles where they belong.

Brian D. Rich ’94
Seattle, Washington

“What Would You Say?” was one of the finest articles presented in the Notre Dame Magazine!!

The issues chosen by the responders and the way they were thought out and presented were full of wisdom, ethical and moral leadership. I have shared this article with friends. Would it be possible to send to to members of the U.S. congress OR put it on the Notre Dame website and let them know it’s there? I’m so proud of Notre Dame!

Ruth Kettman, CSJ, ’76M.A.
Cincinnati, Ohio

I have enjoyed Notre Dame Magazine since its inception. Was especially interested in the latest issue, the article “What America Needs Now” and “What Would You Say?” My interest was great, having just read the book The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn.

The book, a compelling writing, examines “America’s loss of God,” with examples of actions and writings relevant to that premise.

It was interesting that on pages 14 through 25 of the winter edition 2012-13 edition there was no mention of God. The closest being C. Scott Appleby’s reference to the “ad hoc Worker’s Group on Religion and Foreign Policy.”

Would it be worthy to assign a research mission to review the book as it may relate to the future of America? Perhaps ask the faculty writers to readdress their “speech” after an analysis of The Harbinger.

Edwin H. Matthewson ’49
West End, North Carolina

Part and apart

##Mel Livatino’s essay “Dogged by the Dark” grabbed my most secret parts — the parts that are hidden to all but a few very special friends or family members, the parts that matter the most. Being alone is a critical component of humanness, yet how differently we all approach it, see it, manage it. Thank you, Mr. Livatino, for elevating my heart, soothing my spirit and stimulating my brain. I shall now continue to explore an understanding of physicists’ “God particle,” knowing that, whatever it is, it’s inside each of us.

Paul J. Zalesky ’68
Huntington Beach, California

I don’t normally gush so, but I just read “Dogged by the Dark” in our latest Notre Dame Magazine and it is exceptional. Kerry Temple is one of my idols — he ALWAYS produces a superior magazine. But, WOW! This exceeded my expectations.

And du Chardin’s quote: We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.

Quite literally knocked my socks off.

Patrick E. Ward ’65

I am writing to thank you for the quality and diversity you consistently provide in the Notre Dame Magazine Mel Livatino’s article “Dogged by the Dark" is exceptional. I have been receiving the magazine since 1980, and I pass the magazine on to family and friends.

My name is Sister Julia Heslin, Sisters of Charity, Halifax, Nova Scotia and I participated in the Religious Leaders Program 1978 -1979. This program was initiated by Father Ted Hesburg and administered by Father Jack Egan and his able assistant, Peggy Roach. It was a great experience to be on campus at that time getting an update on theology as well as a change after 25 years in education administration.

S. Julia Heslin, SCH

Good evening, I don’t have the article in front of me, and I cannot remember the author’s name off the top of my head, but I wanted to thank you for publishing the article “Dogged by the Dark.” It was beautiful and honest and made so much sense of so many complicated feelings around the issues of faith. If you would kindly pass my most sincere thanks to the author I would very much appreciate it.

Dominic Pepper ’08, ’10M.Ed.

Music essentials

Regarding “The Sensible Musician” by Eric Butterman, I enjoyed reading your article on Dennis Wolfe, however I believe it was seriously missing information that would be really interesting to Notre Dame alumni in a Notre Dame alumni publication. This article is more suited to an in-flight airlines magazine. Why did Dennis choose to leave Florida to go to Notre Dame? At ND, what was his music education and experience? The article fails to indicate any ND connections except that he is a grad. Was he in the Marching Band? In LA, Dennis has been very active in the ND Club of LA and has chaired the Alumni Schools Committee (high school info & recruiting) for many years. The numbers of applicants and commitments from the LA area are unprecedented! He has chaired numerous events — NDCLA seating to LA Kings’ games last Stanley Cup season and music and entertainment coordinator for IrishFest, the NDCLA’s huge tailgater preceding the USC game. I was hoping to read more about how ND helped form Dennis and his path in life. Now that he is a Grammy nominee (as of 12/6/12), maybe a follow-up article connecting him to ND would be called for. Overall, the article was good about the music business side but woefully lacking the real Notre Dame connection.

John Dlugolecki ’75
(Former Notre Dame Magazine photographer)


There is magic in her name as well as in her. Sky for the idealism, the beauty, the grace in action; Diggins for the tenacity, the practicality, the earthiness. She may be the best athlete in ND history; she is certainly the sexiest. Her ordinariness is a large part of her loveliness: her dedication to family, duty, studies, and teammates. There may be political advantage in the attention she will receive at ND. If ever anything like racism approaches her anywhere it will stall in its tracks and rot away.

Joseph F. Ryan ’59

More on Father Simonitsch

Regarding Notre Dame Magazine, Winter 12/13, From Readers, pg 5.

Father Simonitsch was from North Dakota. In the fall, he cooked a special meal for ND/ND (Notre Dame/North Dakota) students. The feast was incomparable; venison, elk, pheasant, grouse, duck, goose and other game.

Patrick Goggins ’ 58

Another look at Fr. Simonitsch Winter 2012 edition. Following my discharge from the Navy and enrollment at ND in 1945, my first religion class was with Father Roland. When he was discussing Ouija boards, fortune telling, mind reading, etc. a fellow classmate and I were laughing that anyone would believe in these areas. Father stopped the class, asked if I was a veteran and to see him after class. He then proceeded to say I was taking the course too lightly and to write an essay on the existence of the devil in human activities. When I explained what we were laughing at he excused me from the essay, but advised me to take more seriously the class, especially when covering exorcism and possession of one body and mind. I wrote the essay anyway — those were the days Catholics could only read some books re: our religion with special permission as they were placed on the Index in the library. Upon completing the essay I learned so much more about the devil’s existence and through Father Roland’s instruction although I was enrolled in the College of Commerce I minored in Philosophy, receiving my degree Bachelor of Philosophy in Commerce — a rather unusual degree. Father Roland was an excellent teacher — very knowledgeable, strict, but understanding and very fair. My association with him had a profound impression on my career.

John J. O’Rourke ’49

Washington Hall

As the architect responsible for major campus renovations between 1979 and 1988, I read Mark Pilkington’s article about Washington Hall in the Notre Dame Magazine with great interest. The Washington Hall renovation completed in 1985 was the culmination of work which began with a survey of the building in 1981, to evaluate all aspects of the structure from physical condition and code compliance to program use.

With regard to Marks suggestion to restore the murals I think it would be a good idea. Our limited budget in 1985 prohibited such an undertaking. In addition there was no way the auditorium could be taken offline for the length of time required to finish such a project. I do not know if the Gregori murals remain. In the areas where we did penetrate the ceilings I did not see any evidence of them. Since we lacked the funds and time in 1985 to search for and restore any murals, I did the best I could to replicate at least the panels layouts of the original artwork. The shapes and sizes are based on photos and other information from the ND archives. The entire facility had been painted over which left no trace of the original, so ironically James Edward’s gold mine, that is the Notre Dame archives, was invaluable to me for this project, as it was for many others.

Christopher J. Nye ’77
Joliet, Illinois

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