As a past officer of GALA ND/SMC, the unrecognized LGBTQ alumni group, I can share firsthand the significant impact this decision will have upon LGBTQ students and alums. Thank you, Notre Dame, for taking this important step toward a broader umbrella of diversity and inclusion.
Jack Bergen ’77
The article describing ARC ND stated that Notre Dame graduates first established a gay and lesbian alumni group in 1991. Actually, an alumni group existed in the late 1970s, called the Gay Rights Alumni of Notre Dame (GRAND) and active in Chicago and Los Angeles before being subsumed into GALA. In 1974, a small group of students started Gay Students of Notre Dame, which was not recognized by the University. I was the leader of that group in 1975-76. We made contact with GRAND members, and I hosted a meeting of both organizations in South Bend. Even though little came of our plans, we formed friendships that lasted for many years.
Daniel Burr ’73M.A., ’77Ph.D.
As a Notre Dame parent, I was disappointed to see the Alumni Association’s formation of an LGBTQ affinity group. Of course, the University needs to be inclusive, but that inclusion should be fully formed by the Catholic faith on which the University is founded. The article handled concepts of identity, solidarity, dignity, acceptance and marriage on only the shallowest of pop-culture levels. There is no surer ground for human dignity and solidarity than Christ himself, and nowhere is he more eloquently presented than in the Church. Notre Dame students are bright; I’m sure Notre Dame alumni are intellectually engaged. They deserve to hear this teaching in its fullness and be treated with the dignity it entails.
I request that you provide a follow-up article to “Alumni Association welcomes LGBTQ affinity group,” describing in greater detail the mission and goals of ARC ND. The existence of such a group under official University sanction is bound to cause confusion among the faithful and requires explanation for how it is embraced by the University when its purpose and values may (or may not) be at odds with Catholic teaching and practice. It is one thing to support the loving treatment of all God’s children with dignity, respect and love and quite another to provide acceptance and encouragement for the espousal of beliefs and objectives that run contrary to God’s will for us. How the University navigates this potential conundrum is of critical importance. Notre Dame Magazine plays a critical role in fostering such understanding, and it is with an open mind that I ask your continued illumination of this subject.
Arthur Huber ’83
I thoroughly enjoyed “Alter Ego” and can understand why President Reagan felt a close bond with George Gipp. Gipp was certainly a flawed individual. However, he gave his all in football games and often played injured. He was well liked and respected by his teammates. For all his fame, he shunned publicity, avoided interviews with the press and avoided photographs. He often gave his gambling winnings to needy South Bend families and converted to Catholicism on his deathbed. My grandfather, Augustine Schenden, went to Notre Dame with George, and I have worked as an emergency-medicine physician in Michigan’s Copper Country, where Gipp grew up. He is still very much alive up there.
Larry Schenden ’83
Grand Rapids, Michigan