Hall traditions great and small

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

It takes a lot to cultivate a lasting residence hall tradition at Notre Dame. Thirty-nine years of uproarious double-entendres and equal-opportunity irreverence will build the hype for next year’s Revue. Nine years of contempt for frostbite and respiratory infections — all to collect money in those red cups for South Bend’s Center for the Homeless — will snowball into the next Day of Man.

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Out of the Office: A Father Ted Story

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Let me come right out and say it: I don’t have a great story of my own to share about Father Hesburgh. I’ve since had a few ennobling encounters with him, for which I’ll be forever grateful. And it’s impossible to spend any amount of time around Notre Dame people and not get to know Father Ted. It seems like everyone has a story to tell.

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Out of the office: Marching for Life

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Whenever I think of the March for Life, I think of my oldest son. I think of him as a miniature boy about 17 months old, walking along the double-yellow line that runs down Washington D.C.’s Constitution Avenue, wearing a giant woolen hat and snow boots that nearly covered his knees. Sometimes out of habit he would rocket his mittened hand upward to find his pregnant mother’s gloved one.

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Out of the office: Ireland’s penitential moment

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Barely a day goes by when I don’t think about the undergraduate semester I spent in Ireland 21 years ago. I’ve never found the opportunity to return, but two recent events on the Notre Dame campus renewed my acquaintance with the island and my hope that transformative Christian faith may not be a thing of the Irish past.

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17 Daily Worries

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Composed one morning while getting everyone out the door, aware that, no matter what, we will still be late to school/work/practice/whatever.

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What I’m Reading: Quiet, Susan Cain

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Two Americas. It’s become customary to think of ourselves as a divided people, at least since John Edwards’ stump speech in the 2004 race for the Democratic presidential nomination when he lumped us into haves and have-nots. But thanks to author Susan Cain, I’m beginning to think our great divide isn’t economic.

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What I’m Reading: The Nine Tailors, Dorothy L. Sayers

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

The bell tower of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart isn’t on the standard Notre Dame campus tour for good reason. It’s kind of a dangerous place. The wooden stairs are narrow and steeply pitched, and the first flight alone is sufficiently dusty and Hitchcockian as to discourage anyone but the most determined and cautious visitor.

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The Bellmaker

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Resonant, lyric metal, not quite like anything you’ve ever heard before. It’s not the only thing emerging from the foundry of Riley Hall.

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26 Shirts, 25 years, 1 cool tradition

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

It first raised $17,000 in 1990 to bankroll the rites of spring better known as AnTostal, then $100,000 more when a car accident on Notre Dame Avenue left a Chinese graduate student in need of long-term medical care. Its artwork has featured some of the most questionable likenesses of Notre Dame football coaches ever to have received University approval.

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Being there

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

The long drop in religious vocations has caught up with the way Notre Dame recruits its rectors. What’s the future of the University’s unique residence hall system?

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Lazy I: The human billy goat

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

I love food. The truth is, I’ve never met a meal I didn’t like. I’m a human billy goat, and unless I know for sure something will kill me – like yellow-cake uranium or a mystery fungus or the tendons in a chicken leg – I’ll probably enjoy it.

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At 50, a makeover behind the mural

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Fifty years later, the library holds a fond place in many Domers’ hearts, but students are spending less time there. Patrons use words like “ugly,” “old,” “dark,” “dreary” and “unwelcoming.”

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The Treasures of Hesburgh

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

George Rugg can tell you practically anything you want to know about Notre Dame’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, and its growth since he arrived in 1994 to curate the incomparable Joyce Sports Research Collection.

It’s all going up. The number of classes he and his colleagues teach; the research consultations with faculty, students and outside patrons; the sheer number of emailed queries and publishing requests they field from all over the planet; the endowments and budget allocations for new acquisitions, especially unique, unpublished texts and collections of personal papers. The pace in this bibliophile’s heaven is quickening as digitization makes the department’s holdings — more than 175,000 bound volumes, along with 8,000 linear feet of pamphlets, posters, newspapers, letters, private papers, coins, stamps, you name it — ever more accessible.…

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Father John Jenkins' Gettysburg Address

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

This is sacred ground. The men felt it; Lincoln knew it; and Father Corby believed it as an article of faith. We’re here to pray the Mass, to reflect on the legacy of this place and to bless once more the memorial erected a century ago to honor a priest made famous by his courageous work of mercy. For Notre Dame, the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War’s defining battle begins today.

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Ace: The Homework of the Holy Spirit

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

He had a Roman collar, a doctorate, a book in the works and tenure on Notre Dame’s political science faculty — all before his 40th birthday. But he wondered if he’d started down the “deadly clear path” of a life too neatly laid out that his fellow Holy Cross priest, the theologian Father John Dunne ’51, warned about.

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