Although I now have such pleasant memories of my alma mater, the truth is that I have not always felt so well-connected to Notre Dame. In fact, there were many times when I wished to be almost anywhere other than South Bend.
The Black population at Notre Dame is 2 percent. That’s like skim milk. You couldn’t skip class cuz they knew. I’d be walking across campus and white people would pop out the bushes like, “Missed you in class today, Owen.”
Welcome to Molarity Redux, the 62nd strip in the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends. For all the things that shake the thunder from ND’s fans, one reigns supreme.
On quiet summer mornings when the sun hits the dew just right, when the air is fresh and sweet, and when a stillness pervades campus, the Notre Dame spread before me is mine.
One might never associate Notre Dame with the literary avant-garde, yet for two bright years (1976-78) Steve Katz taught here. Katz’s often comic, sometimes satiric vision provided the acerbic warped edge to America’s avant-garde.
I hated my freshman year at Notre Dame. I was under the impression that all universities were incredibly diverse centers of debate and cultural exchange like Cal Berkeley, where Andrew Martinez made national headlines for expressing his First Amendment rights by attending classes in the nude in 1992. I was in for a shocking surprise.
My path to Notre Dame was, like those of so many African Americans growing up in the South, far from preordained.
After graduation, I realized I was deeply affected and personally angry about part of my experience at Notre Dame. Professionally I realized that I was hired and lauded because of my having graduated from Notre Dame. But because of what I had experienced, I preferred that my children not become legacies.
Inspired by a comment from my roommate, Rich Role, I developed the “Mike is Dead” series of cartoons based on the Beatles’ “Paul is Dead” rumors ten years earlier. The results were cartoons more clever than funny. My records show that they did not run sequentially and so I am not sure if this idea caught on. But somebody noticed as there was a real letter in the Observer…
LBJ was president. The Great Society seemed within reach. Suddenly Negroes were in vogue, at least at the nation’s elite colleges and universities; these institutions pursued and then wore their newfound diversity as a badge of honor.
In a developing country, a school child who cannot hear cannot learn. They are often placed in schools for mentally retarded children, if they attend school at all. A hearing aid can mean the difference between a child finishing high school and never attending school at all.
I’m gratified to know that I have something in common with Frank Sinatra, Indira Gandhi, Norman Mailer and Queen Elizabeth II, all of whom expressed a love of crossword puzzles. But it’s a mite worrisome that most of them are dead.
It was a beautiful sunny morning in September 1966 when my cab turned onto Notre Dame Avenue and I first saw the glittering Golden Dome.
Jerome Gary Cooper ’58 came to Notre Dame in autumn 1954 from Mobile, Alabama. He majored in finance and was a member of the Naval ROTC program. After graduation, he became a marine Corps officer, retiring with the rank of major general. He served as US ambassador to Jamaica during the Clinton administration. He and his wife, Beverly, live in Mobile.