Deaths in the family

Author: The editors

At age 12, Bill Storey ’54M.A., ’59Ph.D., joined the Catholic Church because he felt haunted by God. His conversion, and his acute thirst for prayer, the Eucharist and truth, would inspire generations of students during his 18-year tenure at Notre Dame. He was 90 when he died on January 16.

When he returned to Notre Dame in 1967, Storey was assigned to teach in the doctoral program in liturgical studies, but he was soon tapped to design a new undergraduate theology major. His classes on church history, which he often taught in his home, overflowed with eager pupils. Decades later former students could be found visiting him at Erasmus Books, the bookstore he and his partner, Philip Schatz ’72, ’74M.A., established and owned in South Bend.

Storey was opinionated and pacifistic, and spoke out about interracial affairs, the Vietnam War and some Catholic teachings. Though he often wrestled with his faith, in his retirement he published several books of prayers.

William O. McLean ’75M.A. was hired to run the Notre Dame Navy ROTC program in 1975, but the 32-year Naval veteran was quickly poached by then-Dean David Link ’58, ’61J.D. to work at the Law School. Originally there on a six-month loan, McLean would serve for 19 years as associate dean, where students and faculty alike addressed him as “the Captain.” He died in November at age 91.

Once on board at Notre Dame, the Captain’s calm and confident approach reflected his time as a Navy pilot as well his service as a member of the U.S. delegation to the 1969-72 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, for which he received the Legion of Merit award. As Link wrote upon McLean’s retirement, “I suppose that a Navy pilot who once made an emergency landing of a burning jet with a nuclear device on board would remain undaunted by whatever passes for a crisis in the Law Building.”

The Captain oversaw the growth of the law school, directed both admissions and commencement, and taught a class on Admiralty Law, which provided an opportunity to mentor students. When those appreciative students established an award in 1993 for outstanding service, they named it after McLean and made him its first recipient.

When Maureen Hallinan ’68M.S. joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1984, she became the second female endowed chair in the University’s history. Before arriving she had been an academic pioneer — doing early research on interracial relationships formed in elementary school and on racial trends in achievement gaps — but at Notre Dame she found she also needed to be a role model and advocate for female students trying to integrate after coeducation.

Gender tensions were evident, even in the faculty, but Hallinan let her work speak. She published frequently, was nationally recognized as a leader in the field of education research, became president of the American Sociological Association and vocalized her distinct ideas for the kind of work Notre Dame should be doing.

“Her expectations for her own work and her expectations for the department were always high,” says Rory McVeigh, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology.

Her vision for Notre Dame was precise — it needed to become the place people wanted to study the sociology of education. The result was the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, a branch of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives.

Known for her ferocious determination, Hallinan was also one to offer soft encouragement and support, but only when no one was looking. She died on January 28 at age 73.

If organic chemistry is the narrow gate through which med-school hopefuls must pass, for three decades Jeremiah P. Freeman ’50 held the key.

Freeman’s interest in chemistry began while he worked at his father’s drugstore. He majored in chemistry at Notre Dame, earned a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois and soon applied that knowledge to research on missiles and rockets for the Army. In 1964 he took a “temporary” leave of absence to teach chemistry and biochemistry at Notre Dame and stayed for 31 years.

Under Freeman, the dreaded “orgo” was tough but fair, and while he thought a pass-fail system was fine for most other classes, he once said he felt “an obligation to distinguish between the really exceptional student and the ones who simply pass.” After his retirement in 1995, Freeman continued active research at ND until 2004 and served as secretary of a leading industry journal, but he had always been most engaged by undergraduate teaching. He wrote countless letters of recommendation for his students and famously remembered most every grade he’d given them, even decades later.

Freeman died February 14 after a short illness. He was 84.