News » Archives » 2008

Learning your math lessons too well

By John Monczunski

Okay class, solve this problem: 1+2+3=1+___. Pencils down. When you were 9 years old chances are you ignored the equal sign and added up all the numbers, arriving at the wrong answer of 7, or you added only the numbers to the left of the equal sign, incorrectly giving you 6, says Notre Dame cognitive psychologist Nicole McNeil. The equal sign would have been a mystery.…

Read More

Notre Dame's Media Magnets

By John Nagy ’00M.A.


They take calls about lips on Valentine’s Day, the cross on Easter and gas prices on Memorial Day weekend. They share expertise on solar power and lunar landings, Woody Guthrie and Irish dance, Church politics and selective conscientious objectors. They appear for live interviews on CNN

Read More

Why Does He Act This Way?

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

So there I am, in the parking lot of Lowe’s hardware superstore, cross-country skiing back and forth along a 100-yard grass strip on the edge of the lot and the brink of insanity. I’m wearing my wife’s superthin maxipads wrapped around both heels in a vain attempt to prevent the blisters my ski boots have given me for the last 10 years. I’m working up a sweat and drawing some funny stares from people heading in to buy power tools or track lighting.…

Read More

Letting Go

By Karna Converse

Mom was traveling the day a southeasterly wind sparked a neighbor’s trash fire into a modern-day prairie fire. It ate its way through a half-mile of her neighbor’s cornfield on a path that led straight to her farm. Had the wind picked up or the firefighters not arrived when they did, the flames could have consumed the only home she has known as an adult.…

Read More

Transacting with the Tooth Fairy

By Gina P. Vozenilek '92

I found a note under my 9-year-old’s pillow:

Dear Tooth Farie,

Would you mind if I could have my tooth, the one that was split in half, back for tomaro? I would be very happy and would bring it back the next night. Inside this box is a half Dollar.

Please and hopefully thank you.

Love, Mary.

My daughter watched me as I read the scrap of paper. She herself had apparently forgotten the note; her request had been suffocating there under the striped pillow for days. Whatever box there had been was gone.…

Read More

The Lonely Mother

By Kayt Sukel

He lies in a glass box, his tiny face glowing golden from the red and yellow lights of the monitor nearby. The neonatal intensive care unit seems at first to be a peaceful place. The lights are dim. Visitors and employees adopt a quiet tone when talking. The machines attached to my son hiccup a gentle beep in time with his heart, often lulling my husband and me into a peaceful daze. Until, that is, the trance is broken with a deafening alarm which signals that someone’s heart is not beating properly. Then a wave of panic erupts across the ward.…

Read More

Deaths of ND alumni (Summer 2008)

By Notre Dame Alumni Association

Alumni class years 1932–49

Nicholas M. Kalmes ’32, 03/04/2008, Summit, NJ
Leonard A. Cacciatore ’34, 03/08/2008, Yonkers, NY
Charles A. DiMatteo ’34, 10/30/2007, Miamisburg, OH
Francis A. Yenck ’35, 02/03/2008, Shelbyville, IL
Robert J. Cronin ’37, 04/07/2008, Fort Myers Beach, FL
Harry F. Koehler, Jr. ’37, 03/21/2008, South Bend, IN

Read More

On talking to the media

By Compiled by John Nagy '00M.A..

“I try to respond to every inquiry coming from reporters, only because as a Catholic theologian it is important to be of service to the larger public and one wants to see that they get the facts right. My least-favorite inquiries come from national television news shows since, one, it requires that one go to a television station and wait forever until the linkup is set; and, two, the interviews tend to be reduced to sound bites. I usually turn down talk show hosts like Bill O’Reilly because they are a blight on the media and one never gets in a word edgewise. The best informed interviewers, in my experience, are the reporters for National Public Radio. I also like talking to newspaper reporters, especially if they have the religion ‘beat.’”…

Read More

Seen and heard on the Notre Dame campus

By John Monczunsk

The first tangible sign of the Eddy Street Commons “college town” development sprang up in July, just days after the South Bend Common Council approved rezoning 25 acres south of campus for the $200 million project. A fence was erected along Edison Road emblazoned with townhouse images, a phone number for leasing information and the slogan “Live, Shop, Relax, Work, Enjoy.” Behind the fence, contractors working for Kite Realty Group of Indianapolis began clearing the area formerly known as the Notre Dame Woods. The development, which will run along Eddy Street and east into the Notre Dame property, will include shops, restaurants, two hotels, 250 apartments, 80 town homes and some 120 condominiums. The first phase, including the hotels, commercial space and apartments, is scheduled for a summer 2009 completion. Town homes and condos will be completed in phases from 2009 to 2011. . . . Unfortunately, several Notre Dame students

Read More

What One Man Started

By Kerry Temple ’74


In August 1857, when the Very Reverend Basil-Antoine Marie Moreau made his one trip to Notre Dame, he was wracked by the kind of bipolar tussle that defined his life and dogged him all his days.

The man was a contrary vessel of charisma and violent temper, holiness and torment, humility and self-righteousness. He was a priest of vision, kindness, equanimity. He was also a priest of severity, zealotry, imperiousness. During his three-week stay at Notre Dame, amid the swells of great achievement and promise, were swirling—in America and in France—the countercurrents of his demise, the wrestling for power, money and authority that would prompt his displacement from the religious order he had established and lead him toward sainthood.…

Read More

The Way We Are: Notre Dame Class of 1957

By Kenneth L. Woodward '57 and Richard V. Allen '57, '58M.A.

Half a century ago, members of the Class of 1957 received their undergraduate degrees and set off in many different directions. So, in preparation for our 50th reunion this past June, we created a wide-ranging survey of 101 questions to find out more about the pathways our classmates chose.

To judge by the response, Notre Dame alumni are eager to share their experiences, life choices and opinions. Some 900 of our original 1,150 classmates are living, and of the 425 class members whose email addresses we had, more than 300 responded. This was a phenomenal return of 75 percent of those queried. Altogether, these represent approximately a third of the surviving members of the Class of ’57.…

Read More

Virtual Village

By By Richard Conklin '59M.A.


I first became interested in the site when my eldest son was temporarily banned from posting on it.

NDNation, as any graduate familiar with the blogosphere will tell you, is the primary website for user-generated content about the University, as well as for interactive sharing. It has become the preferred social networking venue for Domers, many of whom have bonded since matriculation, as well as for the eavesdropping universe of those who love or hate the University without ever having had to pay its tuition.…

Read More

The Man Who's Become Benedict

By Lawrence Cunningham

A few weeks after the 2005 election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the Bishop of Rome, a spate of instant books by self-described expert Vatican watchers appeared. Most repeated the same banal cliches about the new pope: He was a lover of classical music and fond of cats as well as an enforcer of orthodoxy who had wielded considerable power under the papacy of the late lamented John Paul II.…

Read More

Waging a Wiser War

By Paul Howard and Timothy Connors '97MBA, '00J.D.

As the sun is setting over the mountains to the west, a small band of Taliban fighters push into a rugged valley in Afghanistan’s Konar province. The terrain is rugged and austere but also eerily beautiful—a blend of West Virginia mountains and Arizona desert.

For centuries it has also been a killing ground for armies. The roads are few, narrow and steep, falling off hundreds of feet to the river below, making every bend in the road a potential ambush. Large boulders and caves dot the landscape; a passing convoy could be surrounded and not know till it is too late. Konar province is also near the Pakistan border, allowing smugglers and insurgents to slip into Afghanistan practically at will. It is, in short, a nearly ideal setting for launching and sustaining an armed insurgency. The Soviets were bloodied and eventually broken trying to hunt down the mujahaddeen

Read More

Jimmy Carter: Not the Retiring Kind

By Ann Hardie ’82

It’s Sunday morning in Plains, Georgia.


As on most Sundays, Jimmy Carter quietly enters the side door of Maranatha Baptist Church clutching a Bible.

At 10 o’clock on the dot, the 83-year-old Carter, in a dark sports jacket and super-sized bolo tie, takes his place at the front of the modest, Easter-egg green sanctuary.…

Read More

Some thoughts while waiting on the microwave

By Kerry Temple ’74

There are now 35 years’ worth of Notre Dame Magazines stacked on the shelves in the little room where I obsessively reheat my coffee. I often thumb through a back issue while waiting for the microwave to beep. Each edition is a time capsule that resurrects memories of people and stories, that reminds me of the misfires and triumphs, and (I hope) offers evidence of the magazine’s growing sophistication. Excursions into the past also underscore the continuity of this magazine’s place within the University community.…

Read More

Learning your math lessons too well

By John Monczunski

Okay class, solve this problem: 1+2+3=1+ ___. Pencils down. When you were 9 years old chances are you ignored the equal sign and added up all the numbers, arriving at the wrong answer of 7, or you added only the numbers to the left of the equal sign, incorrectly giving you 6, says Notre Dame cognitive psychologist Nicole McNeil. The equal sign would have been a mystery.…

Read More

The Living Library

By John Monczunski

At the dawn of the Digital Age, the seers looked deep into their virtual crystal balls and predicted the demise of the library. Who would need libraries when information could be delivered to a student’s or professor’s computer with a few keystrokes? Well, guess what? Rumors of the death of the library are, as they say, greatly exaggerated. The library—services and building—are more in demand today than ever.…

Read More

Corporate Counsel

By David McKay Wilson


In the era of email overload, public relations guru Robert Dilenschneider ‘65 likes to send thank-you notes, the old-fashioned kind that come in envelopes with stamps on them. It’s a way he circumvents the crush of emails that flood the in-boxes of power players every day.…

Read More

A good reason to do more: Father Ted month of service

By Angela Sienko


You might say Rev. Edward Sorin, CSC, initiated the first service project at Notre Dame when he dispatched the University’s priests to serve as chaplains—and Holy Cross sisters to serve as nurses—for the Union Army in the Civil War. There was a group in need, and the Notre Dame community addressed it.…

Read More

Producing a Winner

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

From Los Angeles, Gwen Uszuko ‘06 called her folks in Denver at 4:30 a.m. with the big news—she had just won the TV Guide Network’s America’s Next Producer reality competition.

“I made them sign a confidentiality agreement,” she says, her fake-serious tone quickly dissolving into laughter.

It’s that touch of humor that helped her beat out nine other contenders to win the show—and the perks that came with it: $100,000 in cash, “all kinds of equipment,” the use of a production office in Hollywood for a year and a first-look deal with TV Guide

Read More

A voice for African women

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.


Pop into Barnes & Noble, grab a latte and browse the magazine shelves. In the midst of the hundreds of publications that survived the review process and got the thumbs-up for display space in the big-box bookstore, you might spot Kitu Kizuri. If it’s not sold out.

Kitu Kizuri

Read More

Style Points

By Eric Butterman


Catherine Langford was leafing through Elle magazine when she saw her sister—well, figuratively speaking. A contest had been announced looking for women with “Winning Style,” and she just knew that her little sis, Christina Wolf ’02, was born to enter.

Sure enough, in the January 2006 issue, Wolf was featured as one of the winners, soon going from being an advertising agency designer to appearing in Chicago’s Fashion Week

Read More

The New Browne

By Eric Butterman


Eyes focused, hands close together, perfect symmetry required. Those who knew Thom Browne ’88 growing up may remember that striking pose as the starting point of the many swim meets he engaged in. Today, however, those who know him from New York to Paris may imagine it as his design position, envisioning menswear fashions that turn heads, some in admiration, others, admittedly, in confusion.…

Read More

Letters to the editor (Winter 2007–08)

By Readers

Editor’s note: The letters that appeared in the Winter 2007–08 print issue are marked with double asterisks (**). The original, longer versions of some of those letters also are included here.

Thank you back

** I can’t thank everyone enough for the good tidings related to my 90th birthday. Thanks to everyone involved in the August celebration and book Thanking Father Ted: Thirty-Five Years of Notre Dame Coeducation

Read More