News » Archives » December 2008

Letters to the editor

By Readers

Editor's note: The letters that appeared in the winter 2005-06 print issue are marked with a double asterisk (**)

Footing the bill

** "The Village of Notre Dame" in the Autumn 2005 issue failed to address the upwardly spiraling costs of a Notre Dame education. While the wealthy name buildings after themselves, tuition and fees for one year at Notre Dame rapidly approach the median household income in America. Lowering the shamefully excessive cost of a Notre Dame education should be the first priority of the new president, Rev. John Jenkins, CSC. With roughly 75 percent of all Notre Dame students on financial aid, shouldn't this be converted into lower tuition and fees? If you ask any prospective Notre Dame parent what's more important, affordable tuition or a new lacrosse field, you'd better be ready for an earful.…

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The Irish of Phi Beta Kappa

By Kristen Kramer '02 and Ed Cohen

What do Father Hesburgh, former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, John Updike, Stephen Sondheim and former Buffalo Bills Coach Marv Levy all have in common?

They’re all members of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most distinguished academic honor society in the United States.

Notre Dame is one of 270 colleges and universities nationally that every spring induct the top 10 percent of their graduating seniors from specific fields into the society. Not every college qualifies to have a chapter, however. In fact Notre Dame wasn’t granted one until 1968.…

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In search of Rockne's grave

By Ed Cohen

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Notre Dame has two cemeteries, but the most famous person associated with the University isn’t buried in either.

After Knute Rockne died in a plane crash in Kansas in 1931 his body was brought back to South Bend for burial. He was interred in Highland Cemetery, a few miles west of campus at the intersection of Portage Avenue and Lathrop Street.…

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Fathers Hesburgh and Joyce sculpture unveiled

By Ed Cohen

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Even promoted to 7 feet tall, Father Hesburgh appears appropriately shorter than his friend and partner in running the University for 35 years, Father Edmund P. “Ned” Joyce.

The famous duo, separated by Joyce’s death in May 2004 at age 87, are reunited in bronze in a new sculpture installed on the south side of the Hesburgh Library.…

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Indiana's ex-governor joins ND political science faculty

By Ed Cohen

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A former governor is teaching at Notre Dame this semester

Former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan is teaching “The Executive Branch and Public Policy,” a one-credit political science course focusing on such issues as state and local budgets, welfare, economic development, health care, capital punishment, urban development and crime…

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'Jesus' actor appears at Grotto

By Ed Cohen

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Notre Dame students flocked to the Grotto in October to hear actor Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ. Caviezel was quoted in The Observer, the student newspaper, as announcing, “I came here to Notre Dame to tell you students to have the courage to step into this pagan world and shamelessly express your faith in public,” and he said he believed Notre Dame was called to a “major act of faith right now.” Caviezel also said he didn’t like the fact that the stadium expansion obscured some views of the Word of Life (“Touchdown Jesus”) mural on the side of the library. “The image needs to be resurrected so everyone can see it.”

The actor’s appearance was sponsored by the Right to Life club, Student Government, Children of Mary, Knights of the Immaculata and the Orestes Brownson Council.…

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Speak like an Incan

By Ed Cohen

Contrary to popular perception, not everyone in South America speaks either Spanish or Portuguese. Millions speak Quechua, the language of the ancient Incas. Now Notre Dame students can learn to speak it too.

The University began offering classes in Quechua (pronounced KAY-chew-uh) last spring, becoming one of fewer than a dozen universities in the United States to do so. Only a few others in other countries offer it either, according a faculty member in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. So far a handful of Notre Dame students have given the language a try, including two graduate students in Latin American history, both from Lima, Peru.…

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Katrina relief, Irish style

By Kristen Klein '06

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, students, employees and alumni raised money—more than $240,000 total. They collected clothing, organized blood drives, welcomed refugee students as temporary transfers students. Some even traveled south to help people rebuild.

Like its counterparts nationally, the Notre Dame Law School offered visiting-student status to second- and third-year students from the ravaged area. The Law School enrolled two students from Tulane University in New Orleans, both of whom had attended Notre Dame as undergrads. Additional students were accepted into Notre Dame Law, but they decided to attend schools closer to home, said Gale Peshel, assistant dean for students.…

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Hall portrait: Fisher

By Kristen Klein '06

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Year Built:

1952

Capacity: 184

Male or Female? Always male

They call themselves: the Green Wave but also refer to themselves as Fishermen. Others call the hall Fishy Fisher for its location next to the South Dining Hall’s trash receptacle. First-floor residents sometimes refer to Ellie, the 6-year-old basset hound of Rector Bob Moss, CSC

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Letter from Campus: Autumn Rituals

By Kerry Temple ’74

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The USC football team came to South Bend in October to play the Fighting Irish, and 45,000 fans showed up in Notre Dame Stadium for . . . the Friday night pep rally.

Any doubt that the new coach had had a seismic impact on the sweeping cultural phenomenon that is Notre Dame football was dispelled that electric evening. Those who saw the next day’s game were treated to one of college football’s most dramatic climaxes in recent memory—and further evidence that something special was taking place this fall. Notre Dame football was back. And for a school that derives much of its identity from the fortunes of its football team, it’s been a grand revival indeed.…

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Seen and Heard on campus

By Ed Cohen

Notre Dame has reached an agreement to sell WNDU-TV for $85 million. The buyer is Gray Television Inc., an Atlanta-based company that operates 34 other local TV stations. Notre Dame founded WNDU, South Bend's NBC affiliate, in 1955. Last year University officials announced that they were considering selling the station because it didn't fit with Notre Dame's core business, education. . . .Workers

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Seen and heard, web extra

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

Turning Over a New Leaf, a program in which students help disabled and elderly people living near campus rake their leaves in the fall, had a problem this year: not enough leaves. An unusually warm early autumn resulted in many leaves still clinging to branches by the scheduled, late-October date for the event. So the students helped with other yard work instead. The 5-year-old program was organized by the service group Circle K, Badin Hall and the classes of 2007 and 2008. . . . A new documentary

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Coach Weis fulfills child's last wish

By Ed Cohen

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Fans watching the Notre Dame football game at Washington last September may have been struck by Coach Charlie Weis’s daring in calling a pass play with the team at its own 1-yard-line to start its first possession.

Daring had nothing to do with it.

Weis was fulfilling a promise he’d made a few days earlier to a 10-year-old boy named Montana Mazurkiewicz. Fighting an inoperable brain tumor, the boy had been told earlier in the week by doctors that there was nothing more they could do for him. The avid Irish football fan, named for Joe Montana, asked if a player could visit him. Weis came to the family’s home in Mishawaka instead.…

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Fiesta Bowl ticket demand sets record

By Ed Cohen

Here’s an indicator of how excited Notre Dame alumni were about this year’s football team before the season even started: The University’s ticket office had to mail $5.2 million in refunds to losers in the annual alumni ticket distribution lotteries, a record high.

Alumni who contribute at least $100 to Notre Dame can put in to buy up to two tickets to as many home and away football games as they like, but they usually have to be lucky. A pool of about 33,000 tickets is set aside for contributing alumni to purchase for each home game. Any time the number of tickets requested exceeds that supply, a lottery is held.…

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Where the Fiesta Bowl money is going

By Ed Cohen

The University will use its $14.5 million payout from the Fiesta Bowl—less the expenses of traveling to the game—to support student financial aid, library acquisitions and scientific instruments for the new Jordan Hall of Science, opening late in 2006.

Under Bowl Championship Series rules, Notre Dame, as an independent, got to keep its entire share of the bowl proceeds this year. Teams in conferences had to share their payout with the other schools in their conferences.…

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Are ND student athletes' academics slipping?

By Ed Cohen

In past years Notre Dame was always among the top performers in the NCAA’s graduate-rate reports. Under a new formula designed to track student athletes’ academic progress toward a degree, the University doesn’t shine quite as brightly. But it’s apparently no cause for concern.

All 22 Irish athletic programs easily exceeded the new Academic Progress Rate (APR

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Rockne sculpture unveiled

By Ed Cohen

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A new larger-than-life bronze statue of Knute Rockne stands outside the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown South Bend.

The 7-foot-1-inch figure, weighing 700 pounds, is the work of Jerry McKenna, a 1962 graduate of Notre Dame. He is the same sculptor who did the Frank Leahy statue on the Juniper Road side of the football stadium and a cigar-holding Moose Krause, who sits on a bench alongside the Joyce Center across the street from Leahy.…

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A satirical look at ND football

By Ed Cohen

The satirical online magazine the Onion reported this past fall on Notre Dame’s plans to improve its storied football program—retroactively. (Note: this is all a joke.)

“Although we have great hopes for the future of our football program,” genuine Athletic Director Kevin White was fictitiously quoted as saying, “Notre Dame has great hopes for a facet of that program that is far more important to our university: our past.”…

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What ND items go for on eBay

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

At any given time, more than 5,000 “Notre Dame” items are up for auction at the Internet site eBay. Many turn out to be related to Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame animated film and some pertain to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, but the overwhelming majority have to do with the Notre Dame of Fighting Irish fame.…

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Checkback: AOL video diaries

By Notre Dame Magazine staff

How did Notre Dame freshman Conor Kelly's video diaries for AOL turn out?

See for yourself: http://aolsvc.aolr.aol.com/pfreshman_connor.adp

Kelly and freshmen at five other schools kept video diaries for AOL's Red website during their first semester on campus. The project organizers said these would be viewable only by AOL subscribers, but it turns out anyone can see them. Kelly says he thinks the site will remain up at least through January.…

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FTT alumni savor the art of an industry

By Jessica Mesman

"My dad would've had a coronary if I'd told him I was majoring in this," the alum said to the undergraduate at the first-ever Department of Film, Television and Theatre Reunion, September 15-17, 2005. Variations on this remark could be heard at nearly every event held during the gathering of Notre Dame alumni working in the arts and entertainment industry.

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Enrollment Trends

By Ed Cohen

*Too many students are choosing the same academic paths. What's a college to do?*

It's not often you hear an administrator canonize a flow chart, even at a Catholic school.

But talk to Carolyn Woo, dean of the Mendoza College of Business, about enrollment trends and you're likely to hear her invoke a saint's name in reference to a particular info-graphic.…

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Food for Thought

By Jennifer Moses

I am pushing my pine-green shopping cart—or buggy, as we say in Louisiana—through the wide, colorful aisles of the Whole Foods that recently opened up in Baton Rouge. This food-lover’s nirvana has people running up their credit cards with such items as chocolate almond tangerine cookies, mild basil-chipotle pesto and salmon so fresh it’s practically still swimming. The store opened, to much fanfare, in late July. Now it’s mid-September, just two weeks after Katrina, but business is brisk.…

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If I Were a Christian

By Gary E. Bowman '95M.S., '01Ph.D.

In 1927 Bertrand Russell delivered a lecture called “Why I Am Not a Christian.” I, like Russell, am not a Christian, and so not a Catholic. But if I were to be a Christian, I would choose to be a Catholic.

What I am is a physicist. My primary interest lies in the foundations of our most fundamental physical theory: quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics forms the basis for our understanding of atoms, nuclei, elementary particles, the structure of matter, light and a vast range of associated physical phenomena, from semiconductors to the Big Bang. Yet at its heart, quantum mechanics itself remains mysterious.…

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The Artists of La Grotte Chauvet

By Elizabeth Dodd

I'd been reading, of course. And examining the photographs, the amazing images in great oversized books, some of which folded out into panels a yard long. I'd learned new vocabulary, words I certainly didn't remember from my college French classes more than 20 years before— _fouiller_, to excavate; _falaise,_ cliff; _gisements_, layers or beds. I'd written careful, though no doubt error-studded letters of inquiry. I'd been dreaming of animals, dreaming of caves. Then—gasp —I'd somehow been granted permission to enter one of the greatest, most significant Paleolithic cave art sites in the world: La Grotte Chauvet. Its artwork has been conclusively, through repeated testing, dated to more than 30,000 years before the present. How had this happened to me? How marvelous!…

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Ahead of His Time

By John Monczunski

A Notre Dame Priest/Scientist Embraced Evolution

Notre Dame’s legendary priest-scientist Father John Zahm, CSC, was the first prominent U.S. Catholic scholar to embrace evolution publicly. He popularized the theory in his writing and on the lecture circuit, which attracted large crowds wherever he spoke.…

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Questions That Won't Go Away: Darwin and Intelligent Design

By John Monczunski

"I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feeling of anyone," Charles Darwin wrote in the closing lines of _The Origin of Species_. It was a nice try at positive spin by the British naturalist, but in the end only wishful thinking. Darwin's treatise on evolution did, of course, shock his 19th century audience and has continued to upset some people ever since, particularly those Christians who hold a literal understanding of the Bible.…

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New Orleans, Louisiana What Happened Here

By Michelle Krupa '00

The color of death is not black. It is grayish brown, and it is the color of anything touched by the flood that drowned New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In some places, it is a layer of slippery sludge that proves Lake Pontchartrain once extended through this city, pouring into thousands of buildings and depositing its sediment as it drove to the rooftops so many souls desperate to escape nature’s fury. Elsewhere, it has seeped in like poison dye, painting lifeless every tree and blade of grass. To show how high the dark waters rose, it slashed a flat line on every wall.…

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Bloomington, Indiana: Where Belonging Is a Virtue

By Scott Russell Sanders

Until I was in my late 20s, I didn’t know how to answer the question strangers often ask one another in this land of nomads: Where are you from? I could say that I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but my family moved away from there before I started school. I could say that I spent my school years in the country outside of Ravenna, Ohio, but my family left there before I started college. I could say that I went to college in Providence, Rhode Island, and to graduate school in Cambridge, England, but every time I completed a degree I moved on. So I really wasn’t from Memphis, despite the accident of birth, nor was I from Ravenna, Providence or Cambridge, much as those places had influenced me.…

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