Molarity Classic: 406-410

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Parietals? It’s settled law. See Justice Machiavelli writing for the majority in Mitch v. University of Notre Dame (1981).

406. By University policy, published in The Observer, the cheerleading squad had some minimal representation rules: at least one woman from Saint Mary’s, at least one woman from Notre Dame, and at least one black member, male or female.

407. Among the rectors with the toughest reputations on campus was Father Matthew Miceli, CSC, ’47 of Cavanaugh Hall. Cavanaugh men loved him dearly and it was at their request that I created the character I called Father Machiavelli. I was told the pipe was an essential prop.

408. This edition of The Observer announced that President Reagan would speak at the 1981 Commencement and receive an honorary doctorate of law. This continued Father Hesburgh’s policy of inviting new U.S. presidents to speak on campus. Previous presidents who spoke and received honorary degrees at graduation or special academic convocations were Jimmy Carter in 1977, Gerald Ford in 1975, Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 and Franklin Roosevelt in 1935. Since then other chief executives have come: George H.W. Bush in 1992, George W. Bush in 2001 and Barack Obama in 2009. This announcement in 1981 started a firestorm of protests that would be repeated with each president invited.

409. A headline in The Observer reported terrorists seizing a Pakistani airliner and holding it hostage on the tarmac in Damascus, Syria.

410. This Observer had Tom Jackman’s last Inside Column as a new editorial staff prepared to take over the paper after spring break. The Inside Column was an opinion column written on a rotating basis by all the core editors. Tom ’82 is still in the reporting game, working for The Washington Post.


See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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