Of Vast Import to the Nation

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Every afternoon around 4, a wiry, bespectacled man wearing a faded blue floppy hat with a faded, interlocking yellow ND on the front emerges from the gap in the chain-link fence that surrounds all but the front steps of Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. He ambles down the sloped wedge of lawn tethered to a thigh-high German shepherd-mix with a squared jaw whose eyes reassure the stranger, “I won’t hurt you.”…

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Commencement '08: A beautiful day

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Some 2,900 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral candidates were awarded their Notre Dame degrees on May 18, each with a different story to tell about where their commencement weekend began. For actor Martin Sheen, best known for his role as Notre Dame graduate Josiah Bartlet on NBC’s long-running series, The West Wing

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Notre Dame Class of '08 by the numbers

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

1,980—Seniors in the Class of 2008

1,000+—Pairs of children’s running shoes marathoner Jennifer Korzan will take with her to give to Tanzanian AIDS orphans supported by the charity Hope Runs

438—Master’s degrees awarded by the Mendoza College of Business

358—Master’s and doctoral degree recipients in architecture, engineering, the humanities, sciences and social sciences…

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The community is our business

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Just over a year ago, Christopher Rodriguez had a problem with his car—his father’s 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee, that is. The CD player was fritzing out, and Rodriguez, then a new driver and a sophomore at South Bend’s Marian High School, was tired of it. So he did what most enterprising teenage boys would do. He bought his dad a “birthday gift,” grabbed some tools and installed it himself.…

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Meet me at the Irish Green

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

To visitors, the open field north of Edison Road between Notre Dame Avenue and Eddy Street has been Notre Dame’s rather plain front lawn. To students, it’s just that area over “behind” the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC).

The 16-acre site that opened up when Edison was rerouted in 2005 has served few formal purposes since it was planted in feed clover 100 years ago as part of the University farms. Today it has a new name, a new look and a new purpose. As landscapers complete work this summer on the Irish Green, administrators see it as a gathering spot, an idyllic site for University receptions and an important civic link to the larger South Bend community.…

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Here comes the neighborhood

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

“Something there is,” Robert Frost once wrote about the barriers between places and people, “that doesn’t love a wall.” The virtual walls of space and cultural separation that long divided Notre Dame from the surrounding community, erected largely to protect students from South Bend’s allurements and problems, have been crumbling for decades. What remains is about to come down fast.…

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Eddy Street Commons

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

The University of Minnesota has Minneapolis’ Dinkytown. Harvard has all of Cambridge. Even the University of Pennsylvania has a rehabilitated West Philadelphia it can boast about. And Notre Dame has had, well, not a whole heck of a lot.

The South Bend area is full of colleges, and many thousands of people are proud to call it home. But no one has mistaken the city—or any part of it—for a college town. Even as downtown has rallied around a new generation of coffeehouses and eateries, sightings of Notre Dame students outside of a few bars are rare. Neighboring Mishawaka’s Grape Road corridor pulls the bulk of their business.…

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