Bryant Young ’94 struggled to get the words out, but they were heard far beyond the Canton, Ohio, audience listening to his enshrinement speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The former San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman used the occasion of reaching the sport’s pinnacle to honor the memory of his son Colby, who died of brain cancer six years ago at age 15. In his son’s final days, Young said, Colby did not fear death but wondered if he would be remembered. “Colby,” Young said, his voice wavering, “you live on in our hearts. We will always speak your name.” . . .
“No one was more dedicated to the University.” That’s how former Notre Dame vice president Matt Storin ’64 remembered Patricia McAdams ’67M.S., a longtime information technology employee and fixture at women’s basketball games who died in August at age 80. McAdams spent more than three decades in the Immaculate Heart of Mary religious order as Sister Joseph Kieran. During that time, she earned the first doctorate in computer science from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1977. After leaving the convent, she taught the subject at a Kentucky college, but during a visit to Notre Dame in 1992 her old friend Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC, encouraged her to apply for an IT position. She spent the next 25 years supporting the technology needs of University officers. McAdams also devoted herself to promoting the Fighting Irish, helping to attract a loyal following for the rising women’s basketball program. On her way home from a 2008 game in West Virginia, McAdams suffered extensive injuries in a car accident, losing both her legs. She was back at work in six months and carried on her volunteer work on behalf of the team, demonstrating the dedication that defined her relationship with Notre Dame. . . .
Ruth Riley Hunter ’01, ’16MBA has been named senior director of team development for the NBA’s Miami Heat. A college, professional and Olympic champion as a player, she has served as the general manager of the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars and spent the past four seasons as a Heat broadcast analyst in addition to part-time front office responsibilities. Hunter will now work full time on player programs, analytics and basketball operations, the Miami Herald reported, a move team president Pat Riley called “one of the most significant hires we’ve made in a long time.” . . . The story of Manti Te’o ’13 and the girlfriend-who-never-existed went down as one of the strangest sagas in Notre Dame football history: The linebacker who led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated 2012 season and an appearance in the national championship game made headlines for his play and his strength after losing his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, to leukemia. But Te’o had only “met” the woman online, and Kekua turned out to be Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, an acquaintance catfishing the star player. A 2013 Deadspin article revealed the lack of evidence for Kekua’s existence, and false rumors swirled that Te’o might have been in on the scam. Te’o opens up about the hoax in the Netflix documentary Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist. Once a national punch line subject to humiliating speculation, Te’o earned widespread praise for the compassion and forgiveness he shows in the film. USA Today columnist Nancy Armour said she was “really struck by how much grace Te’o has. May we all model that.” For Dan Wetzel of Yahoo, the documentary offered Te’o “the last word and final triumph.” . . .
Leah Howard ’99 has suffered from psoriasis, a condition that causes plaque and scales to appear on the skin, for more than two decades. For the past 10 years, Howard has worked for the National Psoriasis Foundation, and in June she was named its president and chief executive officer. The move comes as the nonprofit relocates its headquarters from Portland, Oregon, to Alexandria, Virginia, where Howard has been based throughout her tenure as vice president of advocacy and government relations, and later as chief operating officer. Randall Rutta, CEO of the National Health Council, praised the promotion, saying, “Leah has always been my ‘go to’ resource for thought leadership and strategy to advance patient interests through health systems reform. The NPF made a brilliant choice in selecting her for CEO; they could not do better.”