Seen and Heard Around Campus

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

The president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, will be the principal speaker at commencement in May 2002. After not having a female student body president for the first 29 years of coeducation, Notre Dame will soon have its second in a row. In February Libby Bishop, a junior majoring in psychology and economics, narrowly defeated a ticket headed by junior Brian Moscona, the vice president to incumbent barrier-breaker Brooke Norton ‘02. Bishop was born in South Bend but now lives in Ithaca, New York. . . . Plans are in the works to construct a new base for the flagpole on the South Quad as a memorial to the victims of September 11. A design competition involving art and architecture students may be part of the project. The memorial would be dedicated next September 11. . . . The coach of Notre Dame’s national powerhouse fencing teams is retiring at the end of the season. Frenchman Yves Auriol, who turns 65 in August, has coached the women’s team since 1986 and the combined teams since 1996. Under his leadership the Irish women won national championships in 1987 and 1994. The combined teams finished as second every year from 1996-2000 before slipping to third last year. . . . Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger ’76 probably wonders sometimes what he would have done if he’d not been admitted to Notre Dame after his two years across the highway at Holy Cross College. Future Rudys might simply choose to stay on at Holy Cross. The two-year college, founded 35 years ago by the Holy Cross Brothers, is designing its first four-year baccalaureate degree program. The plan still needs approval from college trustees as well as an accrediting agency, so the earliest it could debut would be 2003, a college official said. Holy Cross enrolls more than 500 students and sends about 50 transfers to Notre Dame each year, most of them after their second year. . . . Former Sacred Heart Basilica rector and Campus Ministry director Dan Jenky, CSC, ‘70, ’73M.Th. has gone from auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. . . . George O’Leary was introduced as Notre Dame’s new football coach at press conference December 9 that was more like a pep rally. There were cheering crowds and T-shirts reading “By George, It’s O’Leary.” His tenure lasted five days. The former Georgia Tech coach resigned after a newspaper story disclosed that he’d made false statements on his resume about his playing experience and about having a master’s degree. In January new Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice hired O’Leary — his one-time high school coach — to coach the defensive line and be an assistant head coach. . . . O’Leary’s successor, Tyrone Willingham, isn’t the only African-American achieving a first at Notre Dame this year. After spring break Jason McFarley began his tenure as the first African-American editor-in-chief of The Observer. The junior from South Bend is an American studies major and served as the paper’s news editor last year. . . . On January 31, The Observer failed to publish on a scheduled print date for the first time in 24 years. An ice storm the night before knocked out power to the plant that prints the paper. The good news for readers was that all the stories could still be read at the paper’s website. . . . One of the members of the defense team for A. Alfred Taubman, the former chairman of Sotheby’s auction house who was convicted of price fixing last December, was a former Notre Dame faculty member. Gail Jaquish taught psychology here in the early 1980s. According to news reports, she served as a jury consultant at the trial, watching each day to gauge jurors’ reactions and mood. She was identified in the reports as president and founder of Jurix Inc. of Redondo Beach, California. . . . President Bush appointed philosophy professor and mystery writer Ralph McInerny to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The committee is charged with addressing critical issues in cultural life by advancing public understanding and forming new partnerships between the private sector and federal agencies. First Lady Laura Bush is honorary chair. . . . Postal delays caused by the anthrax scares last fall forced the admissions office to be more lenient with application deadlines. November 1 was the deadline for early admission, but the office accepted applications up to November 15. Another problem involved SAT scores. With the post office shut down in Princeton, New Jersey, home of the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT, many students couldn’t get their scores. An applicant could retake the test in December, but that would have been too late for early admission. . . . A 2001 Saint Mary’s College graduate, Kate McCloughan-Krzyzak, passed away in January after her body rejected a lung transplant received a few months earlier. It was a last-chance treatment for cystic fibrosis, which she’d battled since childhood. The summa cum laude graduate was 26. . . . A junior on the Irish women’s basketball team, Karen Swanson, got an A on a class project and also raised more than $6,500 for a fund that aids children touched by the September 11 attacks in New York City. The project was for her entrepreneurship class’s $20 challenge, in which students are loaned $20 and required to double and redouble the money over nine weeks through their own enterprises. Swanson photographed and arranged for publication of a calendar showing her teammates in dress clothing at various campus locations. A printing company in Elkhart, Lithotone, Inc., agreed to design and print the calendars for free. They were priced at $10 each and available at the Joyce Center and the business college’s entrepreneurial studies office. As of mid-February 675 calendars had been sold with about 425 remaining, she said. . . . At 7-1, Ryan Doherty is believed to be the tallest student athlete ever recruited to Notre Dame. But he’s not a basketball player; he’s a pitcher. The right-hander from Toms River, New Jersey, signed a national letter of intent to enroll this fall, but that could change if he’s picked high enough in this spring’s major league draft and decides to turn pro. . . . One of the few moments of mirth in this year’s 13th annual Student Film Festival occurred in director Jeremy Renteria’s ‘02 sometimes disturbing five-minute film Jack, about a wacko obsessed with milk. Jack meets a young woman on campus who seems to share his interest, at which point Judy Collins comes up on the soundtrack singing Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.” The song begins creamily, “Isn’t it rich?” . . . In case you haven’t heard, Notre Dame is going out of business at the end of the school year. Notre Dame College of New Hampshire, that is. Trustees of the 51-year-old Catholic liberal arts college, which like its Indiana namesake is affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross, decided last November that this academic year would be its last. The board cited declining enrollment (about 1,100 students this year) and a limited endowment. . . . Not far behind on the road to extinction is the Notre Dame (of Indiana’s) Department of Government and International Studies. The department isn’t dissolving, it’s changing its name — back — to Political Science. The idea is to bring the department in line with the more widely accepted name for its field of study. The department was called Political Science from 1945 to 1964, Politics before that, and Economics and Politics originally. . . . Celluloid alumnus Sean Astin (Rudy in Rudy) plays Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, the Hobbit who accompanies Frodo Baggins on his mission in the new movie version of The Lord of the Rings. . . . Notre Dame now has two students dancing part time with the Riverdance shows. Senior Caitlin Allen and sophomore Paul Cusick have performed the last two summers on Broadway and are occasionally flown in during the school year to pinch-dance when regulars are sick or injured. Cusick, from Plymouth, Michigan, became the first American male to win the All-Ireland dance championship in 1997. Both he and Allen, who’s from Westchester, New York, put off starting college a year to tour full time with the company. . . . In a sign of the tight economic times and dotcom bust, Michiana Telecasting, the Notre Dame subsidiary that operates South Bend’s NBC affiliate, WNDU-TV Channel 16, announced in February it was shutting down its Golden Dome Media division. Founded in 1982, the division specialized in corporate videos and high-end commercial production. In 1995, it added new media services, including web site design and hosting, and CD-ROM production. The move eliminated 22 jobs. . . . Two years ago when the College of Business Administration changed its name to the College of Business (and soon thereafter to the Mendoza College of Business), it meant people could no longer call the business building COBA. That might be a good thing because people are now starting to refer to the Coleman-Morse Center as the CoMo. The year-old facility — built on the site of the former bookstore and named for its two primary benefactors — houses, among other things, Academic Services for Student Athletes, Campus Ministry and the First Year of Studies. No one is sure who coined “CoMo,” but Campus Ministry has probably done the most to popularize it. The organization has launched a series of social events in the building including Christmas at the CoMo (a tree decorating party), Karaoke at the CoMo (after Mass on Friday nights) and Coffee at the CoMo (Wednesday nights). The last includes Convo at the CoMo, a student government-organized program in which faculty talk about how their faith plays out in daily life. Campus Ministry is already talking about an outdoor party, CoMoCabana. . . . We’re not sure if the sign on the McDonald’s on North Michigan Street in downtown South Bend was touting the addition of a hearty sausage entree to the restaurant’s menu or giving fair warning about an unruly birthday party within. It read, “Brats are here.”