Seen and Heard

Author: Ed Cohen

Notre Dame's libraries are facing a budget crisis that has forced them to cancel more than 1,500 electronic journal subscriptions and discontinue the print versions of another 1,000 journals. The problem is complicated but involves publishers of the journals knowing they have a captive audience and continuing to raise subscription rates faster than inflation. Were the problem not addressed, the new faculty-staff newspaper _ND Works_ reports, the University's expenditures on periodicals would double every seven years. . . . Law Professor Jimmy Gurulé traveled to The Hague, Netherlands, in May to help train Iraqi judges for the planned trials of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and other members of his Ba'athist government. Gurule is a former federal prosecutor who later served as undersecretary of the treasury for enforcement. . . . .The CSC's Fatima Retreat Center on the northwest shore of Saint Mary's Lake is closing after 48 years. It's being turned into a retirement center for Holy Cross priest and brothers. . . . Irish politician Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, received a warm welcome to campus in March when he gave a talk about the tenuous peace process in Northern Ireland. It was his first visit to Notre Dame. But not everyone was pleased to see him. In a letter to_ The Observer,_ department of theology graduate student Derek S. Webb reminded the campus community that the Irish Republican Army carried out terrorist bombings for many years before agreeing to a cease-fire in 1994. Sinn Fein is the political arm of the IRA. "Bringing Gerry Adams . . . to talk about the Irish peace process," Webb wrote, "is akin to bringing Yasser Arafat or politicians associated with Hamas to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process." An undergrad, senior Brendan Magee, wrote back saying the IRA was formed as a desperate response to the repression of Catholics in Northern Ireland and that it would make no sense to exclude Adams or Sinn Fein, the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, from the peace process. . . . Probably the most recognizable person on campus the past 17 years has retired. With his bushy white mustache, even bushier eyebrows, and immaculate white uniform topped with a chef's toque, Executive Chef Denis Ellis was known to everyone by sight if not by name. An Englishman by birth, he began his career at age 15 as a ship's kitchen boy, later immigrated to Canada, and in 1972 was appointed executive chef of the world's largest hotel, the 1,000-room O'Hare International Towers at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Since 1987 he had held the same position at Notre Dame, preparing recipes and overseeing menus for some 20,000 meals served daily on campus . . . . Knute Rockne was back in the news this spring. On March 31 the Kansas Turnpike Authority dedicated a new memorial to the legendary coach at a rest stop not far from where Rockne died in a plane crash exactly 73 years earlier. The Matfield Green Service Area is at milepost 97. Three weeks after the turnpike event, a group of Rockne descendants—including his only surviving son, John "Jack" Rockne of South Bend—gathered at the Statue of Liberty to receive the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award. The award celebrates Ellis Island as the entry point into the United States for 17 million immigrants. Each year the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation selects a number of Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants to honor with the award. Rockne passed through Ellis Island in 1893 as a 5-year-old emigrating from Norway with his mother and sisters. . . . The line leading into DeBartolo Hall's largest lecture hall the evening of April 20 extended up the stairs and along the second floor corridor and then up to the third floor and down that corridor. What was everyone so eager to see? An appearance by Mo Rocca of Comedy Central's fake news program _The Daily Show,_ which is wildly popular with students. . . . For the first time in its history, the School of Architecture ranks in the top 10 nationally. The ranking is based on an independent survey of architecture firms that asked which institutions produced graduates most prepared for real-world practice. Notre Dame came in ninth out of more than 75 schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. . . . Notre Dame has the best intramural athletic program in the country, according to the national student-newspaper-insert _Sports Illustrated On Campus_. About 6,000 people participate annually in 60 intramural leagues and tournaments. . . . Undergraduate tuition, room and board and student fees will jump to $36,930 at Notre Dame next year as a result of a 6.9 percent increase announced in the spring. ND is still less expensive than most of the other_ U.S. News & World Report_ top 20 national universities. . . . Who's the smartest player on the football team? Hard to say, but the one with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the end of fall semester was reserve wide receiver Rob Woods. The mechanical-engineering major, a sophomore last year, carried a 3.956 GPA. The top student athlete overall? Graduating senior Megan Sanders, a rower studying mathematics and life sciences. Her GPA stood at 3.997 after the fall semester. . . . The LaFortune Ballroom turned into something akin to a sheep-shearing station without sheep for a day in April. More than 130 female students had their hair shorn for the charity Locks of Love. The organization makes wigs for disadvantaged children who have lost their hair because of illness or treatment for disease. The women donated about 118 feet of hair. At the same event, sponsored by the Class of 2005, 20 male students shaved their heads as part of a pledge-drive to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. . . .Saint Mary's and Notre Dame female students helped collect prom dresses to donate to a program called Princess for a Night. The dresses were provided free to local high school girls who couldn't afford prom dresses. The Junior League of South Bend and Ziker Cleaners helped organize the drive locally. . . . As manager of athletic facilities, Dan Brazo is ultimately responsible for making sure the field in Notre Dame Stadium looks fertilizer-commercial perfect. But he admits to having the worst lawn in his whole neighborhood. "It's probably the worst in the county. After looking at fields all day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is worry about grass."