News » Archives » March 2004

Seen and Heard: Web Extra

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

One of the films in this year’s Student Film Festival, “Bye Bye Birdie,” followed a pet owner in his search for an appropriate final resting place for his dog, Birdie, diagnosed with a fatal illness. A scene near the end of the film shows Birdie’s owner accidentally running over an animal (not Birdie). Viewers are then treated to a shot of the road-kill. In the credits the producers said, “No animals were hurt or killed in the making of this film. We found it that way.” . . . Trucks from ESPN

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NBC Contact Extended Through 2010

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

NBC Sports will have exclusive rights to broadcast Notre Dame home football games through 2010 under a five-year contract extension. The extension continues a relationship begun in 1991 and is expected to quiet speculation that Notre Dame football would end its independence and join a conference.

Financial terms of the deals have never been disclosed, but the University acknowledges that most of the proceeds are funneled into student financial aid. A press release said 111 undergraduates at the University this year are receiving need-based scholarships averaging $17,600 from an endowment funded by revenue from the contract. Since the inception of that fund, 1,263 undergraduates have received more than $12.6 million.…

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Siegfried Ramblers win one for 'The Owner'

By Ed Cohen

In fall 2003, the Siegfried Hall Ramblers made it to the interhall football championship game, played in Notre Dame stadium, for the third consecutive season. Quite an accomplishment. But the achievement also held special poignance.

As junior Matt Mooney, The Observer’s sports wire editor and a Siegfried resident, explained in the student newspaper, all season long the Ramblers wore the initials RHS

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How successful was the ticket office in cracking down on football ticket reselling?

By Ed Cohen

As promised, the ticket office monitored websites where Notre Dame football tickets were being offered for sale without authorization in the 2003 season. And in cases where the original purchasers could be identified from row and seat numbers, the purchasers were held accountable for their misdeeds.

The office says it caught 86 season ticket holders and as punishment revoked their right to purchase tickets for a period of between two and five years depending on how many game tickets the person was offering for resale. The office confiscated a total of more than 1,300 tickets that were either being offered for sale online or scalped on campus.…

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How did Notre Dame's hurling team do in its first year?

By Ed Cohen

It’s a hurling club, not a team, so it didn’t win or lose any games.

In its first year as an officially recognized instructional club — supposedly the first university hurling club in the United States — the student organization mostly raised money to buy equipment and worked to publicize the sport and the club by holding coaching clinics. The club has about 20 members.…

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How's the endowment looking after a year in which the stock market recovered?

By Ed Cohen

2003 was a good year for the stock market and, not surprisingly, for Notre Dame’s investments as well.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index rose 28.7 percent for the calendar year while Notre Dame’s diversified pool of endowment and other invested capital returned just under 25 percent. (The U.S. equities portion of Notre Dame’s investments rose 38.6 percent for the year while its international equities were up 39.4 percent.)…

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Letter from Campus: Love, Notre Dame Style

By Joe Muto '04

There’s always been a lot of talk about the battle between the sexes at Notre Dame. But for insight into the gender wars at Notre Dame, one need look no further than dorm décor during the first two weeks of February. Female dorms plaster the walls with construction-paper hearts and run pink streamers from the ceiling. The residents write notes on their friends’ dry-erase boards and pin cards to their doors. Compare this to the three years I lived in the dorm. One time my RA left a bowl of candy hearts in the TV lounge. That was it for three years. This year, living off-campus, I didn’t even get that.…

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Core Course: A Death in the Curriculum

By Ed Cohen

Hell, as depicted in Dante Alighieri’s epic poem the Inferno, is a multilevel maze-like place. It’s not easily navigated without expert direction. Which is probably why Dante has a guide, the Roman poet Virgil, conduct him through the underworld.

In a similar way, the 19 sophomores enrolled in Section 22 of the College of Arts and Letters Core course this past winter didn’t have to glean the dense layers of meaning in the landmark Italian work alone. Their guide: a woman with a calm, knowing demeanor and a Ph.D. in American literature.…

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What Our Lives Will Be

By Ronald Blubaugh ’60

We sat by the gate, my oldest daughter and I, waiting for the plane that would return her to Texas. This was not the return trip I had envisioned two years earlier, when at my urging she had gone to Austin to get a master’s degree in music. I had expected that she would return to Northern California. Now after a brief post-graduation visit home, she was returning to Austin, to stay.…

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Now They Call It Pre du Chevaux

By Thomas Washington

Mom and Dad said they moved because they knew that old Wayne, the Illinois landscape of corn and wheat fields, the windmills and barns, and the crumbling brick silos, would soon be steamrolled into the vortex of Chicago land sprawl. The writing was on the wall, they said, with plans for bridges to connect the country lanes to the city’s arterial flow of traffic, and the farmers parceling their fields to developers.…

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Letting Go

By Andrew Santella

When my wife and I moved to Chicago’s suburbs last year, we had to launch a search for all the essentials in our new neighborhood: dry cleaning, auto repair, some decent Chinese takeout.

Much more difficult was finding a Catholic church we could stomach.

The problem with my new parish church was that everyone there wanted to hold my hand. At 9 o’clock Mass each Sunday, when the time came to say the Lord’s Prayer , our pastor would instruct all of us in the pews to join hands. On cue, all around the church, grinning strangers would stretch across aisles and reach over seat backs to take hold of each other, as if the world record for hand-holding was at stake. When the gymnastics were complete and the celebrant could be assured that no hand was not encased in someone else’s, the praying could begin.…

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Persimmons for My Mother

By Peggy Vincent

The persimmon tree, graceful and beautiful in every month, puts on its most spectacular show in late autumn of the year. About 20 feet tall, it stands on a sloping hillside in my neighbor’s backyard. The dark and glossy leaves passed through their yellow stage and now have fallen, leaving only the brilliant orange globes hanging heavy on barren branches like illuminated Christmas ornaments. Their sheer weight gives an impression of a weeping willow, boughs bent and heavy with the abundance of their offerings. Rich saffron-orange fruit against the spareness of almost-winter in California.…

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Alone Among Many

By Larry S. Cunningham

There is something magical about how the mind works. Not only can I recall the opening refrain of Duke Ellington’s moving song “In My Solitude” at will, but I can hear it in my head in the haunting vocal version of Billie Holiday. When recalling that music I often simultaneously think of a scene from a long-forgotten movie in which a man sits alone in a bedroom of a cheap hotel in the evening, smoking a cigarette near an open window while, across the street, a red neon sign announces a “café.” The café, I am sure, would look exactly the way Edward Hopper would paint it (as in his famous “Night Hawks”).…

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Escape from Purgatory

By John M. Nichols '72

When I told Sister Frances in the second grade how good I felt after confession, now that the stain of sin had been removed from my soul, she looked at me sternly and said: “That’s pride, and pride is a sin.”

I was taught in Catholic school that God was everywhere and knew everything. I pictured him just as he was illustrated in the Catholic Reader

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Core: A Death in the Curriculum, page 2

By Ed Cohen

Previous page Phillip R. Sloan is chair of the Program of Liberal Studies, a traditional great-books program that has been offered as a major at Notre Dame for more than half a century. He also chaired a 1996-97 committee of the Arts and Letters College Council that studied possible revisions to the Core course. He says attitudes like Norton's fail to recognize the distinction between informed scrutiny of texts, a worthy pursuit, and the broader aims of a general liberal education.…

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Deaths in the Family

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

One of Notre Dame’s legendary teachers, TOM STRITCH, died in January at age 91. Stritch arrived on campus as a freshman in 1930 and, with the exception of four years of naval service during World War II, spent nearly the rest of the century here. He taught English, American literature and, especially, journalism into the 1970s, becoming an emeritus professor in 1978. Stritch was admired for his wide range of knowledge that embraced the arts, architecture, music, even sports. He believed anyone could learn to be a reporter, but to be a great journalist one needed to understand the deeper issues and background. He personally helped infuse that liberal-arts approach into journalism study at Notre Dame while serving as chair of, first, the journalism department from 1946-1957 and then its successor, the Department of Communication Arts. He headed that department until it was reborn as the Department of American Studies in 1970. Among the many popular courses Stritch developed and taught were The Arts and America and The American Character. Students passing his room immediately knew he was the one leading the discussion by his distinctive deep baritone voice. He is remembered by some as the last of the “bachelor dons,” male professors who remained single, lived in the dormitories and became counselors and friends to generations of students. Actually Stritch lived in the annex of Lyons Hall only a short time at the start of his teaching career, hated it and moved off campus as soon as he could afford to. He lived on nearby Eddy Street for decades, and, in the words of one former student, “he loved Notre Dame and everyone associated with it and loved nothing so much as talking about it.” This he did at length in his memoir, My Notre Dame: Memories and Reflections of Sixty Years

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Back in the Fold

By Mitch Finley

I became Catholic at age 9, one fine May morning in 1956. In the manner of the pre-Vatican II church, my parents, my sister and I gathered around the baptismal font in the back of the little parish church in Grangeville, Idaho,with only our various godparents in attendance. One by one, we each leaned over the baptismal font—my younger sister and I standing on a little stool—as Father Lafey poured the blessed water over each of our foreheads and spoke the ancient words—in Latin, of course: “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”…

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God's Arms Are Very Long

By Jennifer Moses

The Other Women in the Room

Fiona is in the next bed. She is a trim blond woman with a worried face and a breathless, whispery way of speaking. She’s always hot. At night, when I’m huddling under the blankets, hugging myself for warmth, Fiona is resting under a single bed sheet while an oscillating fan, placed above her bed, makes whirring sounds like rain falling. Perhaps she is going through menopause, but I am unable to confirm this one way or another, as she is also currently menstruating, as am I. Fiona is 53: a fairly standard age for menopause. I, however, am only 43. Both of us carry thick hospital sanitary pads back and forth to the one shared bathroom. Fiona’s husband died more than 20 years ago, of cancer, after only three years of marriage, in this very same hospital. Fiona recognizes some of the oncology nurses from then. “So I guess you figured that you’ve had enough crap dropped on you for one lifetime?” I ask her on the third day of our being neighbors in the two beds on the west side of the room. “Something like that,” Fiona says.…

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The Soul of a University

By Anthony DePalma

To survive, every major university plays a con game, pretending to have all the answers to what it is, what it does and what it wants to be when it knows full well that every response is at best only a temporary solution to a limitless list of competing expectations.

Such juggling never ends, nor does the institutional introspection that for better or worse continuously engulfs most campuses, including Notre Dame’s. Are we up in the rankings? Are we down? Too much research? Too many business majors? Not enough graduate students? Can football come back? What about endowment growth? Theological imprimaturs? Too Catholic? Not Catholic enough?…

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Sole Survivor

By Gil Loescher

I left for Baghdad from my home in Oxford last August 18. I remember waving and smiling at Annie, my wife, from the window of the bus to London’s Heathrow airport. The last words I shouted to her from inside the bus were “I’ll see you in a week!” In a little over 24 hours I was crushed, covered in dust and fighting for my life in the rubble that had been the United Nations headquarters in Iraq.

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The Day My Life Changed Forever

By Dustin Ferrell '00

On March 22, 2003, life as I knew it changed forever. On the third evening of Operation Iraqi Freedom, my infantry battalion raced north on a starless night through the wide-open desert of Southern Iraq, headed for uncertain dangers. I sat patiently in the backseat of a HMMWV (High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle or Humvee), contemplating what lay ahead, and falling in and out of uneasy slumber.…

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Worth Fighting For

By Andrew J. DeKever '95

May 2, 2003; an airfield south of Baghdad:


The anonymous command came just seconds after a massive explosion rocked the building serving as our battalion headquarters. I immediately darted out the door and ran 50 or so feet toward the adjacent building that was serving as our makeshift barracks. Other soldiers were doing the same. Holding my breath, I looked to the left and saw the source of the explosion—a mushroom cloud that rose hundreds of feet into the air, not more than a mile from our location.…

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React Online: The Soul of a University

By Readers

Editor’s note: The following letters were received through the magazine’s React Online form and from those written or emailed to the magazine.

Reading Mr. Anthony DePalma’s article on the “Soul of a University” was both moving and enlightening. As the parent of an only child, who is currently a senior in high school, I am fraught with anxiety about letting go while being concerned whether my child will be well taken care off at the college she selects to attend and still get an excellent education that will help her prepare well for a productive future.…

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Christmas in Iraq

By Michael J. Baxter, CSC, '83M.Div

I went to Iraq over Christmas a couple of months before the bombing started. The idea to go came from Tom Cornell, a longtime peace activist I had met 20 years ago. In July 2002, he sent an e-mail that read simply, “Christmas in Iraq? Could happen.”

After kicking the idea around for a few months, we arranged to go as part of a delegation that would obtain visas at the Iraqi embassy in Amman, Jordan, and drive as a group into Iraq on December 17. The plans came off without a hitch, a remarkable achievement for an organization operating on the anarchist principles that mark so much of the Catholic peace movement.…

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A note on the contents

By Kerry Temple ’74

The "Soul of a University" story in the Spring 2004 issue may be one of the most important stories we’ve ever done.

It originated this past fall during a lunch conversation with the author, Anthony DePalma, a longtime New York Times correspondent who was here as a visiting scholar at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute. I had planned to discuss his doing a piece for us on his areas of expertise (Latin America, Cuba), but I also wanted to know how his son, a Notre Dame senior, was doing. Aahren had had a terrible time with leukemia as a student here.…

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