Seen and heard on campus

Author: Notre Dame Magazine staff

A television executive from San Antonio, who is the father of two current undergrads, was hired as the University’s new vice president for public affairs and communication, a division that includes Notre Dame Magazine. J. Roberto Gutiérrez, 45, co-founded the Hispanic Telecommunications Network, which produces the weekly television series Nuestra Familia, the only national Catholic evangelization series for the nation’s Latino community. He received an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame in 1999. In the Latino neighborhoods of San Antonio where he grew up, he said, every kid attending Catholic school dreamed of going to Notre Dame. He said he felt “uniquely called by God” to his new post. . . . Aaron Perri ’02, a graduate of the film, television and theatre program and of the business school’s entrepreneurship courses, is producing what he believes will be the first video yearbook for Notre Dame. The two-hour production will cover events from throughout the year, including commencement, he says. Copies must be ordered in advance – $30 for DVD, $25 for VHS. The South Bend native says he began producing video yearbooks for local high schools six years ago. For the Notre Dame project, he has the sponsorship of the Alumni Association, meaning the association will get a cut of the profits in return for letting him market it under the group’s name and use the association’s mailing list. Most of the footage is being shot, digitally, by film and TV production majors receiving internship credit. To see stills from what’s been recorded so far or to order a copy, visit his company website, . . . The following lead from a front-page story in The Observer demonstrates how student journalists sometimes have a hard time deciding where to place the time element in a sentence: “In her State of the Student Union address, Student Body president Libby Bishop announced that the student union is founded upon the idea of making a difference on Wednesday.” . . . Just so nobody thinks the pros are perfect, in a report from the Notre Dame football team’s preseason practices the Chicago Tribune mentioned that defensive back Jason Beckstrom had suffered a possible season-ending biceps injury. Except the story didn’t say Jason Beckstrom. It said “Jason Backstop.” . . . Talk of a possible war with Iraq prompted members of the Notre Dame Peace Coalition to chalk antiwar messages on sidewalks around campus. That prompted some unidentified students to write sarcastic counterslogans including “Down With the Marshall Plan” and “Get Our Boys Outta Nam.” . . . The young man who inspired the entire Notre Dame family a few years ago by earning his diploma (communications and theater) despite being born with no arms and with only one leg, traveled to his native Colombia last October to see his family for the first time in 18 years. Alex Montoya ‘96 was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in San Diego when he was 4 because his parents knew his medical and educational opportunities would be greater in the United States. He says he’s kept in close contact with his parents and siblings over the years but that travel expenses prevented him from making the trip to the family home in Medellin. He hadn’t been back since a two-month visit during summer vacation when he was 10. Alex now works for San Diego’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He said he’s also had bit parts in two movies, AI and Minority Report, ushers at San Diego Padres and Chargers games, and maintains a humorous online discussion group about Notre Dame football, . . . Kerri Castello of Mobile, Alabama, would be a freshman at Notre Dame now if she hadn’t died of bone cancer last spring. During the weekend of the Stanford home football game last October, her parents joined alumni from Mobile and others to dedicate a memorial tree and bench behind Columba Hall facing Saint Joseph’s Lake. At the ceremony, ophthalmologist Richard Duffey ‘79 of the Mobile alumni club said the memorial’s location was appropriate. In the University’s early days the site consisted of swampland believed responsible for outbreaks of typhus and other diseases that threatened the school’s future. Duffey said he hoped someday a Notre Dame student helped by the memorial scholarship in Kerri’s name might discover a cure for cancers like the one that ended her life at age 18. . . . According to the Wall Street Journal, the American Jewish Congress is suing the Corporation for National & Community Service (AmeriCorps) over education grants AmeriCorps awards to participants in Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program. ACE places recent graduates in under-resourced Catholic elementary and secondary schools, mostly in the South and Southwest. They teach for two years and take classes leading to a master’s degree in education. The Jewish group argues that ACE and two similar programs amount to taxpayer support of religious indoctrination, even though participants aren’t allowed to earn credit toward the grants while teaching religion. . . . Notre Dame’s MBA program has climbed into the top tier of BusinessWeek magazine’s national rankings at No. 29. Previously Notre Dame was in the second tier, within which schools are listed alphabetically. In other recent rankings, the Mendoza College of Business is 31st out of 50 in the Wall Street Journal’s 2003 guide to the nation’s top business schools. And a new directory of the world’s best MBA programs, published by The Economist, places the Notre Dame 18th worldwide. . . . The Irish Guard was banished from the home game against Pittsburgh in October after TV cameras caught some of the kilted giants sleeping on the sidelines during the Stanford game the week before. An official in Student Affairs said the action came in response to the guardsmen’s lack of decorum representing the University. Embarrassing shots of snoozing guard members during NBC’s national telecast later showed up on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Student Affairs reinstated the guard after a meeting in which members expressed remorse along with regret at not living up to their own high standards of conduct. . . . Near the end of the home game against Michigan, devoted Irish fan J. Terence Reilly ‘60, seated in a row high in the south end of the stadium, began complaining to those around him of chest pains, then lost consciousness. Typical of any large crowd of Notre Dame alumni, several doctors were seated nearby, including at least one heart specialist. They performed CPR until the stadium’s emergency medical care personnel could make their way through the exiting throng with a defibrillator. But efforts to revive him failed. The 64-year-old was taking medicine for high blood pressure but had never suffered a heart attack and was feeling fine, his family told the South Bend Tribune. Mr. Reilly lived in suburban Chicago and attended nearly every home game. He had driven to the Michigan game with two friends, but they were seated elsewhere in the stadium. So was son Bart Reilly ‘87, who told the paper he knew his father was at the game but didn’t know where he was seated. He saw aid workers trying to revive someone in the stands at the end of the game and said a quick prayer on the victim’s behalf. It wasn’t until he was back home in Chicago that someone phoned with the news and he realized it had been his father. . . . It was more expensive to park on campus for football games this fall. The price of general parking rose from $10 to $15, and special reserved spaces in the paved lots jumped from $20 to $30. Why? To help meet the athletic department’s goal of funding the maximum number of grants-in-aid for so-called Olympic sports (soccer, swimming, rowing, etc.). The hope is that by being able to recruit as many scholarship athletes as allowed, Notre Dame can become nationally competitive in all sports. The extra revenue also will help fund overall athletic operations and support the recreational sports program. . . . High over the stadium during the first game of the 2002 season an airplane pulled a banner reading “Dominiack Mechanical, for a million reasons.” It was a clever self-deprecating slogan if you knew the background. Dominiack Mechanical is a heating and air conditioning contractor in South Bend whose former bookkeeper embezzled more than a million dollars and used some of the money to lavish gifts and trips on Notre Dame football players. Among other repercussions, the incident led to the dissolution of the team’s booster club, of which she was a member. . . . . The lucky visitor got a gift basket and unexpected welcome from Monk and other University officials. . . . At a luncheon honoring staff employees, Father Malloy talked about making the most of one’s abilities and not dwelling on inabilities. Here’s what he said were some of his inabilities: “I cannot sing or play a musical instrument. I cannot swim. I cannot shop.”

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Eck Visitors Center opened in January 1999 and on the Saturday of last year’s final home football game, November 23, it welcomed its one-millionth visitor. Sort of. The center’s staff kept a fairly careful eyeball count of visitors the first 2½ years the building was open and stationed students with clickers at the doors on busy football weekends. But after that the counting became less exact. The arrival of the so-called millionth guest was really a scheduled, symbolic event. Basically, organizers counted down from about 150 after the building opened at 8 a.m. The lucky landmark visitor turned out to be Bob Kelly, a Fighting Irish fan from Kendall Park, New Jersey. He received a gift basket. . . . The undergraduate accountancy program remains fourth nationally, and the graduate program moved up one place to fifth in the annual survey of academic quality by the industry newsletter Public Accounting Report. . . . Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies launched a website that explains alternatives to war with Iraq. It’s . . . The Institute for Church Life’s Satellite Theological Education Program or STEP launched a website offering distance learning in theology: . . . The most impressive website created by the various instrument sections of the marching band has to be the baritones’. Check it out — with a broadband connection, if possible ) at . . . This year’s saxophone section T-shirts were Ty-Dyed. That is, they played up the names of Coach Ty Willingham and Band Director Ken Dye on the back. They were also yellow tie-dyed in design. . . . To look at him you might not guess Tyrone Willingham to be Irish. But genuinely Irish fans (the ones who live in Ireland) know that “Tyrone” is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Coach Willingham was made aware of this fact just before the start of the season when Marty Scanlon ‘80 paid a visit bearing gifts and dignitaries. Scanlon raises money for the Gaels, an amateur Gaelic football (a cross between soccer and rugby) team in the Washington, D.C. He was on his way to the North American Gaelic football championship tournament in Chicago. Joining him in the visit with Willingham were the president-elect of Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association, some Irish professors, and a publicist for the North American league. Together they baptized the coach an Irishman by presenting him with an autographed Gaelic football used in a semifinal match the previous week, a shirt from the Gaelic football board of County Tyrone (Tir Eoghain in Gaelic), and a souvenir “Tyrone 6”(as in kilometers) highway sign. Of the last, Scanlon joked that the six referred to the number of national championships “reasonable” Irish fans expect him to win his first 10 years on the job. . . . Scanlon also observes that the last name of Irish men’s basketball coach Mike Brey is a homonym of Bray, a city south of Dublin. . . . Former Notre Dame Arts and Letters College dean Harold Attridge is the new dean of the Yale Divinity School. He has taught at Yale since 1997. . . . Concern over the sniper killings forced the Center for Social Concerns to cancel its Washington Seminar and Living the Gospel of Life Seminar, both of which were planned for the nation’s capital over fall break, October 19-26, 2002. . . . NBC’s broadcast of the home game against Boston College, the first loss of the year for the Irish, was the highest-rated sports program of the day, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 14-7 upset delivered a 5.3 overnight rating/12 share, which represented a 56 percent improvement the game the Irish played the same weekend the previous year, a loss to Tennessee. . . . Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, whose song “Small Town” is about the southern Indiana town of Seymour, where he was born, played the Joyce Center in early November. . . . A mini-controversy developed at the start of the semester when a junior wrote to The Observer with what he thought was a great idea: Salute Coach Ty Willingham by wearing ties to the game. The suggestion drew scorn from other students who worried that an array of ties would clash with the unity demonstrated by everyone wearing The Shirt, not to mention the potential loss of charitable revenues if tie sales cut into Shirt sales. Few ties were spotted at the first home game, against Michigan, played on a hot day, and none thereafter. . . . As most Domers know, at the end of the third quarter of every home game, the Band of the Fighting Irish strikes up the finale of 1812 Overture. During the Lou Holtz coaching era, it became a student tradition to salute the coach by making a finger-pistol L as arms chop the air in time to the music. During the Bob Davie era, some students switched to forming lower-case b’s and d’s. Coach Willingham has secured his own fingered-letter 1812 salute but not without a complication. The initial thinking of the cheerleading crew was to have students form a W by crossing the ring and middle fingers and splaying the pinky and forefinger. That idea was scrapped after a cheerleader mentioned that this is a known gang sign in California. Instead most students make a two-handed W with crossed thumbs forming the inside of the letter and outward-angled forefingers making the outside lines. When combined with the arm waving, this results in a sort of worshipful bowing motion. . . .For $6.95 a month Irish fans can now listen over the Internet to every audio broadcast of Notre Dame football, men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, hockey, and baseball games, plus view press conferences, coach’s shows, highlight shows and similar programming about Notre Dame and other teams and sports. The service is run by the webcaster RealNetworks. A portion of the fee (they won’t say how much) is donated to Notre Dame athletics. For more information, visit the official Notre Dame athletics website, . . . The latest audio CD collection of classic calls to NPR’s Car Talk show is titled “Hatchback of Notre Dame.”