Domers in the news

Author: Liam Farrell '04

A comic-book adventure written by Berry Reece ’54, ’56J.D. in 1964 bears a striking resemblance to the election of Barack Obama. The similarities are chronicled in a National Catholic Reporter feature about the story of a fictional youthful, eloquent black governor named Tim Pettigrew who is elected president in 1976. The six-part serial was created for the Catholic educational comic book Treasure Chest. . . . Five Notre Dame grads were re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November. They are: Democrats Joe Donnelly ’77, ’81J.D. and Peter Visclosky ’73J.D. of Indiana, and Republicans Mark Souder ’74MBA of Indiana, Peter King ’68J.D. of New York and Dan Lungren ’68 of California. . . . Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty recently named John J. Scanlon ’81, ’84J.D. to serve on the state’s six-member Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. . . . John Higgins ’75, general counsel of the Tampa Bay Rays, threw the first pitch in the first game of the American League Division Series. The attorney was chosen for the honor because he was the first employee hired by the Rays in 1995. . . . Brian Casey ’85 was inaugurated as DePauw University’s 19th president in October. . . . Jeffrey Vitter ’77 is the new provost and executive vice president for academics at Texas A&M University. . . . Notre Dame All-American cross country star and former U.S. marathon champion Ryan Shay ’02, who died while competing in Olympic trials in New York City in 2007, was honored with the dedication of a Central Park bench near the spot where he collapsed. Nineteen of Shay’s former ND cross country teammates, as well as another group composed of family and friends, ran the New York City Marathon in his honor in 2008. Shay was honored at the ND-Stanford football game, and his parents, Susan and Joe Shay, were invited to midfield during the national anthem. . . . Film editor Gina Marie Vecchione ’97 was awarded an Emmy for her work on A Distant Shore, a documentary about African-American soldiers on D-Day. The film was shown on the History Channel last February. . . . Stephanie Garza ’05 received the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2008 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award at the organization’s autumn general assembly in Baltimore. She was cited for her work leading the Southwest Organizing Project’s “Parents as Mentors Program.” The program facilitates parental involvement in four Chicago public schools. Garza, the daughter of an immigrant father and Mexican-American mother, also is a leader in the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform in the Archdiocese of Chicago. . . . William Lanesey ’83 was named vice president and general manager of Cincinnati’s WXIX-TV (FOX 19). . . . Tom Yannuci ’72, ’76J.D., who heads the Chicago law firm Kirkland & Ellis, was profiled in the Chicago Sun-Times. . . . An essay by Alexandra Gierak ’04 appears in the recently published book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Getting in . . . to College. . . . Ben Scripture ’98Ph.D. served as a witness for the defense of creation science in a mock trial held at Northern Kentucky University. Scripture, whose ND degree is in biochemistry, also holds an M.Div. degree from Indiana’s Grace Theological Seminary. He hosts two radio programs, “Scripture on Creation” and “That’s What Scripture Says,” on radio stations in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis as well as on the Good News Network, which serves stations in the southeastern United States. . . . John Cavanaugh ’92, ’98MBA, vice president of North American off-highway business for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, was profiled in Crain’s Cleveland Business. . . . William J. Lehr, Jr. ’61 was recently named president and chief executive officer of Capital BlueCross of Pennsylvania. . . . California attorney John Hallissy ’87 is the new president of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s Sacramento Council. . . . Charles McHenry ’74 had a third-place finish in the Missouri 340, the world’s longest nonstop river race. In last year’s race, McHenry broke a rib with 100 miles to go but still managed a fourth-place finish. . . . Brian Kelly ’53, a featured actor in the 1964-67 TV series Flipper, died in November. . . . Dan Hesse ’75, the chief executive officer of Sprint/Nextel, was recently named the “most influential person in mobile technology” by Laptop magazine and one of the five most powerful people in wireless technology by Fierce Wireless. Currently, he is featured in a Sprint TV commercial. . . . Bill Sheedy ’90 was recently named president, North America, of VISA, Inc. . . . Dr. Robert P. Driscoll ’77 was named 2008 Clinician of the Year by the Norfolk South District Medical Society. He is chief of trauma and surgical critical care at South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. . . . Carissa Jaquish ’07, a patrol officer with the Redlands, California, police department, was profiled in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The newspaper cited Jaquish for her work with community youth groups. . . . Robert Westrick ’81, president of WNA Wealth Advisors, was named by Worth magazine as one of the top wealth advisers in the United States. . . . Melanie Irvine ’05 was featured in a Rocky Mountain News story about her work as an exhibit designer at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Golden, Colorado. . . . Margot Reagan ’87J.D. was named a Saint Joseph County superior court judge by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to fill a vacancy. Reagan, who is fully recovered from a stroke suffered in summer 2007, is married to Dan Reagan ’76, Notre Dame executive vice president of University Relations. . . . David Certo ’93, who had been appointed to the Marion Superior Court in 2007 to fill a vacancy, was elected to his own six-year term in November. . . . Khanh Pham ’04Ph.D., an aerospace engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate, recently received the Air Force Outstanding Scientist — Junior Civilian Award for his groundbreaking research in applying game theory to command-and-control and spacecraft autonomy problems for spacecraft. . . . Amateur astronomer Ted Wolfe ’57 has an exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center of 32 photographs of celestial objects taken from his home observatory in Naples, Florida. His acclaimed photos, which include images of colliding galaxies, supernovas and dying stars, have been compared to those taken by the Hubble space telescope. . . . A new science wing of Mansfield, Ohio’s Saint Peter’s High School was dedicated in October honoring Sister Bernard Marie Campbell ’62M.S. for her 55 years of service. . . . Sister Carla (formerly Mary Charles) Mitchell, OSB, ’30, ’34M.A. died in October. She was 104 years old.