News » Archives » December 2005

Poet Fennelly investigates the soul

By James Raper

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Beth Ann Fennelly ’93 came down to South Bend in 1989 from Chicago with a few lead roles in high school plays among her credits and the notion that Notre Dame would shape her into a full-fledged actress.

She tried out for a campus play “and didn’t get the lead,” she recalls. “In fact, I didn’t get a speaking role. In fact, when the Notre Dame Observer

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Child's Play Advertising

By Child's Play Advertising

It’s a boyhood fantasy, for sure: You dribble down court, soar high through the air, and —here’s the best part—with an awesome flourish, complete a perfect tomahawk dunk while an arena-packed crowd cheers wildly. That kid fantasy is, in reality, one of more than 60 free computer games, ranging from road races and shooting galleries to backgammon and “arithmetiles,” at Nabiscoworld.com, the website of the giant snack food company. And there’s lots more like it these days at similar company websites.…

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Genetic judo may kill dengue fever

By John Monczunski

Dengue is a potentially deadly tropical illness that infects up to 100 million people per year. Unfortunately, no effective vaccine exists for the disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. But Malcolm Fraser Jr., Notre Dame professor of biology, thinks a nifty bit of genetic judo he invented may be able to turn the virus against itself.…

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Purple Landings

By John Monczunski

In the not distant future you may notice two remarkable things about a landing airplane: The landing gear glow purple and the landing is much quieter than you’d expect. The two linked curiosities result from some innovative technology developed at Notre Dame.

For some time, engineers have known they could make an airplane touchdown less noisy by streamlining the landing gear. Manufacturers, however, haven’t incorporated the designs because mechanical wind screens add weight, don’t stow easily and are difficult to maintain.…

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Notre Dame's Furniture Maker

By John Monczunski

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Say “research,” and most people think experiments, books and papers. But in Robert Brandt’s case it may be a cabinet that looks like a circus popcorn machine or a massive, magnificently detailed mahogany and ebony cabinet housing rare books. Trained as a wood sculptor, the director of the School of Architecture’s furniture design concentration has constructed nearly 100 pieces of fine furniture since joining the faculty in 1992.…

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Fortune magazine shines on student website pioneers

By Ed Cohen

Four Notre Dame alumni, including founders of the popular campus websites NDToday.com and NDbay.com, reached the finals of Fortune magazine’s national collegiate business plan competition with their idea for an online store that provides same day delivery.

(UPDATE: The team finished in the top five and won an honorable mention in the Fortune

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Class of 2009 by the numbers

By Notre Dame Magazine

A statistical look of this year’s freshmen, the Class of 2009.

Number: 1,985
Percentage male: 53
Percentage Catholic: 84
Percentage from outside the U.S.: 3
Percentage legacies (at least one parent an alum): 22
Average SAT: 1,375
Average class rank: top 6 percent
Percentage Eagle Scouts or Girl Scout Gold Award winners

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Rozum the rector reaches record for residency

By Ed Cohen

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Imagine you’re allergic to dust and mold and need 10 hours of sleep every night. For some strange reason you’ve been appointed resident director in a men’s college dormitory. You wouldn’t last a week, right?

Wrong. Father George Rozum, CSC, ‘63, ’80M.S., has lasted 27 years as the abundantly allergic, sleep-dependent rector of Notre Dame’s Alumni Hall. With the start of the academic year he broke the record for longest tenure in charge of the same dorm.…

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ND Writing Center offers helping word

By Emily Howald '05 and Colleen Ganey '03

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Students who go to the Notre Dame Writing Center looking for someone to write a paper for them or rewrite one they’ve started are in for a surprise.

“We don’t write students’ papers for them, edit students’ papers for them, grade student papers, or take the place of the professor,” declares John Duffy, director of the center since its inception in 1999.…

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Mugglenet founder chooses Notre Dame over Hogwarts

By Megan Teigen '07

Freshman Emerson Spartz went on a business trip to Scotland last summer. His business: interviewing Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling—at her invitation—on the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the phenomenally successful series.

How did an 18-year-old from LaPorte in northwest Indiana come to merit such an honor? By heading www.mugglenet.com

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New provost Thomas Burish

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

Thomas G. Burish ‘72 gave up the presidency of one of the country’s top liberal arts colleges, Washington and Lee University, to take the No. 2 executive’s post at his alma mater. Trustees elected him Notre Dame’s new provost in July 2005.

A distinguished researcher in clinical psychology, he also was appointed professor of psychology.…

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ND law professor hired by Bush

By Ed Cohen

A Notre Dame law professor has been appointed deputy general counsel to President Bush.

William K. Kelley, associate professor, has been a member of the Law School faculty since 1995. He will be on leave during his service to the president.

In the 1980s Kelley clerked for Judge Kenneth W. Starr on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and then for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.…

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Checkback: Dome regilding

By Ed Cohen

Was the regilding of the Dome and repair work on the Main Building’s roof finished in time for the start of fall 2005 classes?

Yes. Ideal summer weather allowed the work to be finished four weeks early.…

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Spin breakthrough for computers

By John Monczunski

Consumers have come to expect new computers to be always smaller, faster and cheaper. But as the industry approaches the physical limits of silicon-based chip technology—some experts say as soon as 2010—those days may be over.

Or maybe not. An emerging technology known as “spintronics,” which literally promises a quantum leap in speed and capacity, is waiting in the wings. And now thanks to a breakthrough from Notre Dame physicist Boldizsár Jankó and his colleagues, that technology, which exploits an electron’s spin as well as its charge, appears one step closer to feasibility.…

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Letters to the editor

By Readers

Editor’s note*: The letters that appeared in the autumn 2005 print issue are marked with a double asterisk (**)

Canceled subscriptions

** It is indeed sad when someone removes themselves from a discussion, but sadder still is that this attitude is symptomatic of the polarization afflicting today’s world. In ever-increasing numbers we are marching into walled encampments flying either the red or blue flag. We choose our candidates, our justices and our leaders because they either never waver from “the cause” or are simply too nondescript to offend or challenge anyone. Today, perhaps like never before, we need intelligent and informed discussion. We face issues with immense complexity that demand to be seriously examined from all points of view. Only through the crucible of reasoned, open debate can we find a common ground and bring the best of all our resources to bear on crafting truly workable solutions.…

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Hall Portrait: Stanford

By Ed Cohen

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Year Built: 1957

Male or Female: Male

They Call Themselves: Griffins. They used to call themselves Studs. The switch was made in February 1999 to honor Father Robert Griffin, CSC, University chaplain for 30 years and a campus icon until his death in October 1999.

Named For: Grattan T. Stanford, who underwrote construction of the dorm. Stanford was an Indiana native and 1904 Notre Dame graduate. He spent three decades as general counsel for Sinclair Oil Corporation before serving as a trustee for the University.…

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Notre Dame principal building and landscape projects

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

Principal Building Projects:

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  1. Law School Expansion
  2. Potential McKenna Hall Addition
  3. Engineering Multi-Disciplinary Learning and Research Facility
  4. Potential Social Sciences Building
  5. Potential Mendoza College of Business Executive Education Expansion
  6. The Ernestine Raclin and O.C. Carmichael Center for Medical Education and W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research

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Gift inspires law school expansion

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

The next major addition to campus likely will be an expansion of the Notre Dame Law School.

The project took a giant step forward earlier this year with a $21 million gift from Frank E. Eck, a 1944 Notre Dame graduate.

The gift, fifth-largest in Notre Dame’s history, will go toward the $57.3 million price tag on the expansion, which entails a new building, Eck Hall, to be erected on the site of the former campus post office and connected to the existing law school via Eck Commons.…

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Letter from Campus: Oldies and Goodies

By Ed Cohen

The meeting started, as it always does, with a question. Make that a directive: “Say who you are and what song you have stuck in your head.”

This was at the start of a meeting earlier this year of a student group I belong to; I’m the only non-student. The membership is fluid, which is why we always begin by introducing ourselves and responding to an icebreaker question someone thinks up.…

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Seen and Heard on the ND campus

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

During the July 7 terrorist bombings in London, law student Patrick Roach got off an Underground train that was headed to a station where an explosion would occur a few minutes later. When he got back to his apartment he found a bomb had gone off on a double-decker bus in front of his building. A police officer escorted him through the bloody scene to his door and told him to stay inside. Roach said he had been taking the Tube to the King’s Cross station, site of an explosion that involved trains on three different lines. He was going there to buy tickets for an amusement park. At the last second he decided to get off at an earlier station and go to the Notre Dame London Centre near Trafalgar Square. He was in London taking law classes. . . . Junior Raquel Elena “Rocky” Garza

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Alternative campus plan from ND architecture students

By Megan Teigen '07

In 2001, 12 fifth-year architecture students spent a semester studying the new campus master plan. Then they developed what they felt was a better alternative, although it was not accepted or used in the official plan.

Their main criticism of the official plan was that it focused too much on classroom and office space at the expense of living and social space. In recent years large numbers of upperclassmen, frustrated with the restrictiveness of dorm life, have been moving to houses and apartments off-campus. Despite this, the residence halls remain filled to capacity and three new dorms are on the drawing board to relieve overcrowding.…

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Key to Marian prayer cards

By Notre Dame Magazine

The back cover of Notre Dame Magazine’s autumn 2005 print issue featured Marian prayer cards that were handed out during the Notre Dame presidential inauguration ceremonies for Father John I. Jenkins, CSC.

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A Random Act of Destiny

By Michael Varga '85M.A

The water slide was steep, crafted with vertical drops that were bound to make my 50-year-old bones ache afterward. What was I doing here? I was clearly the old geezer in the lot. A local radio station, frequency 98.7, had chosen 98 listeners to compete for 98 prizes in a contest that involved going down a water slide. Once in the small pool at the bottom, contestants would grab a numbered ping-pong ball that would match a prize.…

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Moral Relativism on the Phoenix Streets

By William T. McGrath '02

I walk through the parking lot of the homeless shelter where I work. The benches under the shade tent are occupied with sleepers and readers, men rolling cigarettes by hand, a guy named Raul listening to a beat-up transistor radio. They are waiting for the soup line to start. The Phoenix sun is unleashing its full salvo upon the city, and the parking lot is pacific. It is too hot to do much other than sit still.…

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The Tired Samaritans

By Lisa McKay '03M.A.

I expected to lose some weight on this trip, I thought grimly, kneeling on the cold cement floor of the dorm’s bathroom. Just not all at once. I blinked the sweat out of my eyes and tried to read my watch. It was hard to focus. Three hours since it had started. I’d given up trying to figure out whether it could be malaria, hepatitis or dengue fever. Deciding whether I was actually on the right continent for dengue fever, or whether that was only Asia, kept me entertained for at least 10 minutes. But by 3 a.m. I was past that. I was just sure that whatever it was, I’d probably be dead by dawn.…

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The Haunting Absence of John Francis Sloan

By Mark Sloan, M.D. '75

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I keep a photograph of my grandmother, Nell Sloan, and her sons John Francis and Nicholas on my writing table. It’s a harvest scene taken in a wheat field near the family farm just north of Hoopeston, Illinois. The picture is undated, but from the fact of the harvest and the ages of the boys—John Francis is no more than 3 and Nicholas still wears a baby’s dress—the photo was likely taken in September of 1918. My father is also in the picture, though his presence is not at all obvious. My grandmother was several months pregnant with him on that hot afternoon, now 87 harvests gone.…

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A Confederacy of Forces

By Farrell O'Gorman '90

Last Memorial Day, channel-surfing past commercials for Botox and Viagra, I came across a spokesman for a group offering its own radical rejuvenation scheme: Christian Exodus seeks to relocate “12,000 or more Christians” to a single state, secede from the Union and establish “a Christian nation with government similar to the early United States.” ChristianExodus.org promises that the new nation will offer “a small government based upon capitalist free enterprise and Christian morality.” The three states under consideration—Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina—have a relatively small population, a seaport, a “Christian conservative citizenry” and (the band can play “Dixie” now) “a rich history of standing up for its rights.”…

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Other Notre Dame Initiatives in Haiti

By Walton Collins '51

Louverture Cleary School is not Notre Dame’s only connection with Haiti. Father Thomas G. Streit, CSC, assistant research professor of biological sciences, has been working in Haiti since 1993 to combat lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease that can result in elephantiasis.

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