Domers in the news

Author: The editors | Illustrations by Emmett Baggett

Domers Jill Donnley


Along Lake Michigan in northwestern Indiana, Adm. Christopher Grady ’84 commissioned the new combat vessel USS Indianapolis in an October ceremony that highlighted the connections between Notre Dame and the United States Navy. Jill Donnelly ’76 serves as the ship’s sponsor, by tradition a female civilian who is considered a permanent crew member, participates in ceremonial milestones and advocates on the vessel’s behalf. Rev. Peter Rocca, CSC, ’70, ’73M.A., former rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, delivered the invocation at the commissioning ceremony. . . . In addition to Grady, the first Notre Dame graduate to become a four-star flag officer, several other alumni have high-level military and national security positions, including: Vice Adm. Mat Winter ’84, recently retired from the military after serving as the F-35 Lightning II program executive officer, a position now occupied by Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric Fick ’90; Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly ’88, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for personnel, manpower and services; Army Lt. Gen. Bryan Fenton ’87, senior military adviser to the secretary of defense and former deputy commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Lt. Gen. Warren Berry ’87, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection; Air Force Maj. Gen. Kirk Pierce ’88, deputy director of the Air National Guard; Air Force Maj. Gen. Patrick Wade ’89, mobilization assistant to the commander, Air Combat Command; Steven Walker ’87, ’97Ph.D., director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); William Bailey ’88, deputy director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office; Lucian Niemeyer ’87, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment; Tom McCaffery ’86, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs; Brig. Gen. Jeff Hurlbert ’91, Air Force deputy inspector general; Harold Van Opdorp ’89, chief of staff to the secretary of the Navy; and Maj. Gen. Jim Lukeman ’80, inspector general of the Marine Corps. . . .

Domers Mattpadilla


Matt Padilla ’03, the national security counsel to Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, was named a Latino “next generation leader” by the New America Foundation and the Diversity in National Security Network. One of 30 rising stars honored in the fields of national security and foreign policy, Padilla was commissioned through the Naval ROTC program and served from 2003 to ’07 as a surface warfare officer on the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Laboon. . . . Peter King ’68J.D. has spent 14 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, making the Long Island congressman the longest-serving Republican in the New York delegation. But King, 75, announced in November that he will not run again, bringing to an end the tenure of a politician described in a 2006 profile in these pages as a “pugnacious polemicist” and “an amiable and unpretentious guy who holds no grudges.” King told The New York Times that he will miss being in the thick of political battles, but Washington has “gotten too toxic,” and that spending more time with his children and grandchildren appeals to him more than the fights that have dominated his career for nearly three decades. . . . Hannah Turgeon ’14 expressed her feelings for the people around her in superlative terms. “Everyone was the best and the prettiest and the smartest,” Melanie Trivella ’14 told The Observer. Friends thought the same of Turgeon, who died October 13 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver outside The Linebacker while visiting South Bend for the Notre Dame-USC football game. An art history major, Turgeon started a handmade card company and worked as an executive assistant in Denver. Known for her community service, the Los Angeles native received McGlinn Hall’s Sister Kathryn A. Haas Award. Turgeon’s family has established a scholarship fund in her memory to support Notre Dame students from Los Angeles and Denver, McGlinn residents and those who work with South Bend schoolchildren. . . . Bruce Bobick ’68MFA was an exhibitor and presenter at Flowing Water 2019, an international watercolor biennial held this past fall in Taoyuan, Taiwan. A member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society, Bobick was one of 35 artists overall and three Americans invited to the symposium. In addition to exhibiting his own works, he made a presentation on contemporary watercolor painting in the United States. . . . Two years ago, Washington Post nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada ’93 was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Last year, he won. Now, he has been appointed to the Pulitzer board, which chooses the recipients of the prestigious prizes in journalism, books, drama and music. Lozada expressed his enthusiasm “to help shape and promote the long-term mission of the Pulitzers, especially in a moment of such challenges for journalism and truth.” . . . During his junior year, Will Peterson ’14, ’16M.Ed. made an exhausting but unforgettable three-day pilgrimage to the Vatican to mark Pope Francis’ first Easter in office. “It was one of the few times in my life I could say the Holy Spirit was tangibly present,” the parish school teacher has said, “and it stuck with me that that happened on pilgrimage.” Now Peterson and David Cable ’14, ’16M.Ed. have co-founded the not-for-profit Modern Catholic Pilgrim to enable similar experiences for spiritual seekers who cannot afford or prefer not to travel abroad for traditional pilgrimages. Hikes to Kentucky’s Abbey of Gethsemani and the California missions have developed their concept as they recruit a volunteer hospitality network and invite donors to sponsor pilgrims at . . .

Domers Seanseymore


Sean Seymore ’01Ph.D., ’06J.D. has been named to Vanderbilt University’s New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law. A professor of law and chemistry, Seymore studies how scientific advances should influence the evolution of patent law and the public policy impact from the intersection of science and law. . . . Friends and family called her Krissi or ChiChi. She was an animal lover and a basketball star who could defuse pressure situations with her wit. Kristina Davis ’91 also had a mysterious issue with her esophagus that caused her to cough almost to the point of choking. Her brother told The Indianapolis Star that he believed Davis had an episode on the night of September 7, when she died in her sleep just days after her 51st birthday. A member of women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw’s first recruiting class, Davis scored 1,194 career points and received the prestigious Byron V. Kanaley Award as a senior. “Krissi was a very competitive and intense player, but off the court she was a lot of fun to be around,” McGraw told the Star. “She was a good friend to everyone who knew her.” . . . Thomas Chambers ’77, the chief financial officer and senior vice president at Dallas-based Kosmos Energy, was named the Upstream CFO of the Year at D CEO magazine’s annual Oil and Gas Awards on October 29. . . . South Bend and Notre Dame have worked to strengthen ties in recent years, and now there’s a graduate in the mayor’s office. Democrat James Mueller ’04 received 63 percent of the vote in the November 5 election to defeat Republican Sean Haas in the race to succeed U.S. presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Mueller, a South Bend native, has previously served as chief of staff to Buttigieg and later as the city’s executive director of community investment. . . .

Domers Nickcevetta


Nick Civetta ’11 didn’t start playing rugby until he got to Notre Dame, but he became a high-level player in a hurry, appearing professionally overseas and joining the USA Eagles national team, for which he was a starter in this year’s World Cup in Japan. Civetta’s “long, weird journey” to the sport’s pinnacle was chronicled in a profile at, including his World Cup performance on an injured ankle that the British press dubbed “heroic.”