Wedding bands

By Walton Collins ’51

“Love and marriage,” the old song declares, “go together like a horse and carriage.” The image has long been out of date, but there was a time on campus 20 some years ago when it would have been appropriate to substitute the words, “go together like trombones and piccolos.”

Read More

Domers calling

By Walton Collins ’51

Over the last four years, Kevin Gaffney ’09 spent the lion’s share of his evenings in a crowded, noisy, third-floor room in Grace Hall where students sit in carrels and telephone alumni, parents and friends of the University to ask for money.

Read More

Rylie, Age 5-1/2

By Walton Collins ’51

She twirls and pirouettes, flinging her arms wide, face tipped to the sky. An ocean breaker rolls in, flattening as it bumps its way up the beach but sending her scrambling backward with a squeal. She grasps my hand and we chase the retreating water back to the sea.

Read More

"I don't know where Hannah went"

By Walton Collins '51

Hannah Weis is never in Notre Dame stadium to watch her father’s team play football. Charlie Weis’s daughter, who turns 11 this April, has an autism-related developmental disorder that includes intolerance of loud sounds. The chaos of a football stadium is more than she can handle.

“Football games are impossible,” says her mother, Maura Weis. “They’re too crowded, and there’s too much noise. When Hannah was younger, certain lights also bothered her. Airplanes, too—she doesn’t mind flying, but she doesn’t like to be confined.”…

Read More

Antidote to autism

By Walton Collins '51

Mateo DelPrete is dancing on the dining room table.

Elesia Dixon, a Notre Dame senior psychology major, interrupts a conversation with the 5-year-old’s mother and calmly lifts the boy down, but moments later Mateo has scrambled back atop the table. He’s frustrated this morning because the Popsicle he successfully clamored for was orange, not the color he wanted. Neither his tutor nor his mother knew what color he preferred, because Mateo often doesn’t communicate in words.

Read More

The Social Worker

By Walton Collins ’51

There are a lot of things that Ron Gregory ’61 finds puzzling.

He wonders why $175-a-pair gym shoes are marketed to kids in the projects who can afford them only by selling drugs.

Read More

Other Notre Dame Initiatives in Haiti

By Walton Collins '51

Louverture Cleary School is not Notre Dame’s only connection with Haiti. Father Thomas G. Streit, CSC, assistant research professor of biological sciences, has been working in Haiti since 1993 to combat lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease that can result in elephantiasis.

Read More

A Gift of Hope

By Walton Collins '51

haitibishop.jpg

Peter Yoches needs all the patience he can muster this morning. It’s a little after 8, and his class is slow in settling down. No wonder: It’s Thursday, and in three hours these eighth graders will begin a three-day weekend to celebrate Flag Day, a Haitian holiday. They’d prefer to begin it right now.…

Read More

The Third Age

By Walton Collins '51

Passing into the twilight of life does not have to be the beginning of the end. But it does require some cheerful adaptation.

Read More

The Pastoral Presidency of Monk Malloy

By Walton Collins '51

monkpix.jpg

On June 1, 1987, the day he officially became the 16th president of Notre Dame, Monk Malloy was more than half a world away, wrapping up a three-day visit in the Tibetan city of Lhasa. Which is to say he was on a 12,000-foot mountain in a part of the world so remote that only a few years earlier U.S. travel agents were discouraging travelers from going there. And he was feeling a lot better.…

Read More

Roomies

By Walton Collins '51

Boarding an early morning flight out of South Bend’s airport a dozen or so years ago, I slipped into my aisle seat, unfolded my newspaper and began reading. Pretty soon I realized the man sitting next to me was staring at me intently. “Hello, Walt Collins,” he said. “Remember me?”

I didn’t. Possibly because of the early hour, nothing about this middle-age man rang a bell. I was about to fumble through an apology when he added: “We were roommates.”…

Read More