The lead advance agent for the Secret Service team that protected President Bush during his commencement visit was Cornelius Southall ‘89, who played free safety on Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship football team. Four other Notre Dame alumni in the Secret Service were part of the detail: Troy Wilson ‘87,who played cornerback for the Irish; and from the agency’s Chicago office, Sheila Horox ‘87, R.G. Starmann ’93, ’97MBA and Tim Gilroy ’94. Domers have long been popular with the feds. When J. Edgar Hoover ran the FBI it was common knowledge that the agency had more alumni of Notre Dame than of any other university. . . . Not everyone was thrilled about President Bush delivering this year’s commencement address and the University awarding him an honorary degree. Throughout the president’s 22-minute speech, Daniel J. Moriarty, 30, a candidate for a master’s degree in arts and peace studies, knelt in the aisle in cap and gown, praying the rosary with his back to the president. He was protesting Bush’s support of the death penalty and the president’s stance on other issues, which he said are in conflict with Catholic social teaching. Valedictorian Carolyn Weir devoted most of her talk to thanking Notre Dame on behalf of fellow graduates, but she made two subtle anti-death-penalty (and anti-abortion) remarks. And although though they were definitely in the minority, several students wrote to The Observer in the weeks leading up to commencement to express their dismay over the selection of Bush. . . . The men’s lacrosse team missed commencement but didn’t miss the Bush experience entirely. The Irish were at the University of Maryland commencement weekend beating Johns Hopkins to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA championship tournament for the first time (they then lost to Syracuse). The night before the Hopkins win the team held a mini-commencement for its 10 senior players and senior manager. The guest speaker: Marvin Bush, one of George W’s younger brothers and a college chum of Coach Kevin Corrigan at the University of Virginia. . . . One of the campus’ most forceful and articulate voices of conservatism and Catholic orthodoxy, law professor Charles Rice, retired to emeritus status at the end of the year. The 69-year-old, who joined the faculty in 1969, plans to teach jurisprudence two days a week next fall at the new Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also hopes to teach an elective in jurisprudence next spring at Notre Dame and to continue his every-other-Tuesday “Right or Wrong” column that has been a fixture in The Observer for about five years. . . . It was one of those great moments of sports tension when Ruth Riley stood at the free-throw line in the closing seconds of this year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament final with the chance to untie the score. Testifying before a Senate committee studying a proposal to ban gambling on college sports, President Malloy said he wonders how much longer spectators can watch such scenes and not wonder about the legitimacy of what’s about to unfold. Noting the profusion of point-shaving and other gambling-related scandals that have come to light in the past decade, Malloy, a former high school and college basketball player, asked, “How long will it be before a fan, seeing an excellent free throw shooter miss in the final seconds when his or her team has a comfortable lead, wonders if that miss was about lack of concentration or the point spread?” . . . Saint Mary’s College ended its track and field program, citing a lack of facilities, declining participation and the need to free up money for other sports. . . . A potential key piece in Northeast Neighborhood redevelopment plans appears to have fallen into place. Notre Dame is buying the Logan Center building at the corner of Eddy and Edison streets for $2.6 million. The nonprofit organization, which serves people with disabilities, approached Notre Dame about the purchase. As part of the agreement, the University will lease the building back to Logan for $1 a year for the next three years. During that time Logan will decide where to relocate. The center, which has been Notre Dame’s neighbor to the south since 1968, is planning a shift away from larger group services to more a individualized approach. . . . Here’s evidence of why the Northeast Neighborhood needs revitalizing: In April a group of armed teenagers forced their way into a house on Howard Street where Notre Dame students were living. After making the residents disrobe, they collected stereo equipment, cell phones, money, wallets, watches and other valuables. For safety’s sake some of the house’s residents decided to spend the next night with friends in the Turtle Creek Apartments. There they were robbed again, apparently by the same perpetrators, who had followed them. Police arrested five suspects the following week. . . . The men of Carroll Hall reportedly had to visit six discount stores to buy the 72 white bedsheets they used to create the 90-foot-wide “Go Irish!” banner they draped across the back of their remote residence hall several football weekends last fall. No seamstresses, the men stapled the sheets together. . . . The Observer was among the college newspapers that rejected the much-publicized ad by ‘60s radical-turned-conservative David Horowitz titled “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea — and Racist Too.” In a lengthy letter to readers, the paper’s editors and ad manager said Horowitz had tried to make himself look like a martyr to freedom of speech to gain publicity for his opinion. The editors invited comments on the decision, but only two readers, an alumnus and a faculty member, wrote in on the designated day. Both criticized the student journalists for not explaining what in the ad’s text justified its rejection. . . . Men in yellow windbreakers could be seen watching rush-hour traffic intently from virtually every street corner around campus in April. Looking like stadium ushers, which many of them are in the fall, they’d been hired to record traffic patterns in connection with an updating of the University’s master plan for campus construction. One potential change in the plan — if the county permits it — would be the closing of Juniper Road. Pedestrian traffic across Juniper has increased sharply in recent decades with the opening of Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, the Fischer Graduate Residences and the ROTC building. A huge new wave of foot traffic will hit the asphalt with the opening of the new science teaching facility next to the Joyce Center. Construction of that building is scheduled to start in 2003 and be finished by 2005. . . . The softball team uses an interesting ploy to get fans to give back foul balls hit into the stands. Cooperative catchers get a coupon for a free soft pretzel. . . . It used to be that the nation’s most qualified students applied to Notre Dame as their “safety school,” a fallback in case Harvard, Yale or another Ivy League institution turned them down. That’s changed, according to the Wall Street Journal. In an article published last April, the paper noted that Notre Dame and several other traditional safety schools of Ivy applicants have become almost as selective as the Ivies. At least in terms of selectivity, the Journal says, Notre Dame has joined the ranks of the “New Ivies,” a group that the paper says includes Duke, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Northwestern, Pomona, Rice, Swarthmore, Vassar and Williams. . . . The deadliest school year in recent memory continued spring semester. A Holy Cross College student, Jenny Nemeth, originally from Holland, Michigan, died March 5, two days after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Her twin sister, Stephanie Nemeth, will be a senior this fall at Notre Dame. Two Notre Dame students lost their battles with leukemia this past year, as did a 14-year-old San Diego boy who visited campus during the football season courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. . . . Walter Poirier ’00 disappeared in Bolivia earlier this year while on a Peace Corps mission to develop eco-tourism in the South American country. He hasn’t been seen since February 22. . . . Senior Scott Blaszak’s biweekly column in The Observer — “The Early Essays” — was often good for a chuckle this year. His final effort may have been the best. In it he urged his fellow students to practice effective time management as finals week approached. To show all that could be done in a single day, he described what was in his pocket planner for the following Thursday. There was plenty of studying (“9:30 to 11:30: Pore over biochemistry material as if being whipped by Einstein. Concentrate on intermediate metabolism until ears bleed.”), plus this for late afternoon: “4 to 5 p.m.: Check e-mail; respond thoughtfully to Alan Greenspan’s questions concerning interbank borrowing rate/bundt cake. Decline John Updike’s request for laudatory book jacket blurb. Mediate AOL chat room dialogue between Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon, persuade them to adopt a bilateral peace agreement. 5 to 5:20 p.m.: Minesweeper. 5:20 to 6:30 p.m.: Meet with George W. and explain the commencement address I’ve written for him.”
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