Domers in the News

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

The president giveth; the president taketh away. Last November, President Barack Obama nominated Michael P. Leary ’86, ’96J.D. as inspector general of the Social Security Administration. This past February, President Donald Trump withdrew Leary’s and several other inspectors general nominations, a common practice when a new president takes office. Since 2006, Leary has been a member of the Senior National Intelligence Service in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. . . . Opera aficionados continue to sing the praises of tenor Paul Appleby ’05, whose July appearance in The Rake’s Progress was called “a source of unalloyed pleasure” by The New York Times. This fall, the New York resident is performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Opera. If you can’t make one of his performances, his music is at . . . Leslie Pinson ’15MBA is the new director of business engagement for Downtown South Bend. The nonprofit group partners with the City of South Bend to “improve our community’s quality of life.” . . . NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti ’62 has raised millions of dollars for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and its attendant Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, research programs he helped launch after his younger son, Marc, was paralyzed in 1985 during a collegiate football game. In the May 15 issue of Sports Illustrated, the 76-year-old former linebacker for the Miami Dolphins revealed that he is suffering from dementia and symptoms of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a cognitive impairment linked to repetitive brain injuries. “I continue to be proud of my father,” Marc told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s not easy for him, a powerful guy, to go on the record publicly about what he’s going through. . . . He sacrificed his life to help me and now he’s sacrificing his humility and pride to help his teammates. That’s what heroes do.” . . . She was the first female fencer at Notre Dame to win multiple NCAA gold medals, and the University named her its 1980s female athlete of the decade. Foil champion Molly Sullivan Sliney ’88, who competed in both the 1988 and ’92 Olympics, was inducted into the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame this summer. Retired from competition in 1992, she works as a fencing instructor and motivational speaker in her native Massachusetts, where she often speaks to students about her struggle with dyslexia and overcoming obstacles. . . . Two Notre Dame graduates were among 12 men ordained Jesuit priests by Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, in June. Since the ordination, Anthony Lusvardi ’02 has returned to Rome to finish his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, and Michael Rossman ’07 is finishing his work on that degree at Boston College. . . . “Eat chocolate every day. You’ll just be happier.” That excellent advice is from food blogger Erin O’Neill Clarke ’08, who writes about “making healthy food taste incredible.” Well Plated by Erin ( is stocked with affordable recipes and the Wisconsin cook’s helpful advice. . . . For his work in advancing military medicine and enhancing the lives of service members, veterans and their families, Lt.  Col. Benjamin J. Mitchell, M.D., ’96 received a Hero of Military Medicine award earlier this year. He was assigned in 2014 as an emergency physician for the special operations surgical team in Birmingham, Alabama. Previously he participated in two humanitarian deployments to Guatemala and Bangladesh, and has served three combat deployments in Afghanistan. . . . He was featured in the 2017 list of Southern California’s top-rated lawyers, but Tony Lanza ’87 also deserves mention for his success as a racecar driver. This year he took first place in the Lotus Cup West Coast amateur car race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and he is the two-time defending SCCA Pacific Road Racing Champion for Touring 3 race cars. He generally drives a 2006 Lotus Exige, sponsored by his law firm, Lanza & Smith. . . . Maverick PAC, an organization for conservative young professionals, recently announced its 2017 “Future 40” class, recognizing those who best represent the next generation of leadership in the public, private or political sector. Among the honorees was Texas native Asusena Reséndiz ’16MNA. In May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed her to serve on the Department of Housing and Community Affairs board, where she is a member of its finance committee. . . . Mohammed Haque ’14EMBA works for the Lakes Region Sanitary District in Lake County, Illinois, and Maureen Durkin ’97 works at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, but the two civil engineers also are immersed in water issues across the globe. Both volunteer for Global Water Stewardship, a nonprofit founded in 2013 that works “to help solve sanitation issues globally.” The group uses university design competitions for concept designs, then works with local engineers in the host country, currently Costa Rica, to implement the solution. . . . This summer, the Chicago Cubs owners and organization gave a 2016 World Series ring to one of the team’s most famous fans. That would be Steve Bartman ’99, ’16MSF, whose life turned into a living hell during the 2003 NLCS Cubs-Marlins game. The Chicago Tribune editorialized that what he actually deserved “was not a tribute from the Cubs but an apology from those who vilified him back in ’03.” The New York Times said, “Bartman’s battle was never with the Cubs. . . . His war was always with a fringe fan element that took this stuff way too seriously and never acknowledged that the team, not Bartman, blew the series.” In his gracious thank you to the team he still loves, Bartman included a fervent plea: “I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society. My hope is that we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and opportunist profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain.” . . . For the fifth time, Pete Weber ’73, ’75M.A., the voice of the Nashville Predators since the hockey team’s first season in 1998-99, was named Tennessee Sportscaster of the Year. He won a second honor when he was named an inductee to the Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2017; he had covered sports in that New York area for many years. . . . The students of Alexander Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis began a drive in August 2016 to rename their school after, as one eighth grader said, “someone students can look up to.” Ramsey, the students had learned, served Minnesota in various roles in the mid-1800s — representative, senator, governor — and in 1862 he stated, “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” Using surveys and community meetings, and raising money to pay for changes in school signage, the student campaign ended successfully in June when the Minneapolis Board of Education voted for the new name, the Justice Page Middle School. It honors Alan Page ’67, Minnesota’s first African-American Supreme court justice, and a former Notre Dame and Minnesota Vikings football player. He and his wife, Diane, run the Page Education Foundation, which has provided more than $12 million in scholarships to more than 6,000 students since 1988. . . . Upon the May retirement of Lex McMillan ’86Ph.D. as president of Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania, the college’s Campus Center was renamed the Lex O. McMillan III Student Center. During his 12-year tenure as its president, Albright expanded its academic and athletic programs, and was recognized by Newsweek as a top 25 college for artistic students.

Carol Schaal is managing editor of this magazine.