Seen and heard, web extra

Author: Notre Dame Magazine staff

Turning Over a New Leaf, a program in which students help disabled and elderly people living near campus rake their leaves in the fall, had a problem this year: not enough leaves. An unusually warm early autumn resulted in many leaves still clinging to branches by the scheduled, late-October date for the event. So the students helped with other yard work instead. The 5-year-old program was organized by the service group Circle K, Badin Hall and the classes of 2007 and 2008. . . . A new documentary about Father Hesburgh premiered on the cable Hallmark Channel on November 6 and is now available on DVD. _God, Country, Notre Dame_ —the same title as Hesburgh's 1990 autobiography—examines the far-ranging life and far-reaching influence of Notre Dame's beloved president emeritus. The hour-long documentary ($24.95 at the campus bookstore) is narrated by Regis Philbin '53 and actors Sean Astin _(Rudy, The Lord of the Rings) _ and Clarence Gilyard _(Walker Texas Ranger, Matlock)_. Former presidents Ford, Carter and Bush appear, as does Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice '75M.A. . . . Union Army Civil War re-enactors marched across campus the Saturday after Veterans Day for a ceremony in front of Corby Hall honoring Father William Corby, CSC. Corby was a two-time president of Notre Dame who served as an Army chaplain during the war. He famously climbed atop a rock at Gettysburg to grant absolution to the Union's Irish Brigade before it headed into battle. The "Fair Catch Corby" statue in front of Corby Hall is a replica of one erected at Gettysburg, and the Notre Dame statue stands on a rock brought from Gettysburg. . . . The same Veterans Day weekend three members of the famous Tuskegee Airmen spoke on campus. The name refers to the World War II Army Air Corps program that trained African Americans to fly and man combat aircraft. The airmen never lost a bomber to enemy fighters while serving as an escort fighter wing. Their achievements paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. . . . Things got a bit ugly at times in the runup to the USC game. On Friday afternoon a crowd gathered outside the north end of the stadium awaiting the arrival of the Trojans for a practice session. Buses carrying the USC players and coaches eventually pulled up and parked a near the Snite Museum. Several young men then raced over and began pushing on the sides of the buses until the vehicles were rocking violently. Eventually the players and coaches got off the buses safely and headed toward the stadium gates along a sidewalk flanked by scores of fans. Most of the onlookers behaved. Outside the gates, however, the USC contingent found several fans holding up enlarged reproductions of the mug shot of former USC star O.J. Simpson after his arrest on murder charges. . . . At least one fan with a ticket to the USC game never made it to the stadium. She was stopped at the U.S. border with Canada. Ireland native Patsy Mather, who has lived in Canada since she was a young girl but has maintained her Irish citizenship, planned to go to the game with her husband, Ron. But a rule put in place earlier in the year required persons holding non-Canadian passports to have additional documentation to enter the United States. Mather didn't have what the law required, so she was turned back in Detroit. "I can't believe she'd be someone they'd turn away," said friend Jackie Smith, a sociologist with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, in an article in _the South Bend Tribune_. "She's the nicest lady . . . I'm embarrassed for our country. An Irish [Fighting] Irish fan turned back at the border—that's irony for you." . . . The day before the USC game _The Observer_ published its biggest issue in memory—40 pages, not including the eight-page_ Irish Insider_ game-weekend supplement. . . . Emil Klosinski '45, whose father was a close friend of George Gipp and who has written a book on Notre Dame's legendary football star _(Gipp at Notre Dame—The Untold Story)_ is campaigning to put Gipp on a stamp. Sympathizers can write to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Services, 475 Lenfant Plaza S.W., Room 5670, Washington, D.C., 20260. . . . A development group headed by Mike Brenan '71 has purchased the Ramada Inn north of campus and plans to turn it into a condominium-hotel in which the rooms are owned instead of rented. The facility's 199 rooms are priced at roughly $100,000 to $120,000, and Brenan said in late November that 79 were still available for sale. The Waterford Estates Lodge is continuing to operate as a hotel during the renovation. Plans call for the facade to be remodeled to look like an Irish cottage. According to Brenan, sportscaster Mike Golic '85 has signed on to represent the company. . . . John Riley-Schofield, a visiting assistant professor of music who directed Notre Dame Opera, died in a traffic accident in early September. The native of England had sung with the English National Opera and the Netherlands Opera before joining the music faculty in 2002. "He had a magical talent for coaching outstanding performances from our students, and he created a special bond with them as a fellow artist," said Mark Roche, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. . . . Notre Dame's Executive MBA program ranked 20th in _BusinessWeek_ magazine's biennial survey of 241 such programs worldwide. "[S]tudents gave the program kudos for its enthusiastic faculty, high-caliber classmates and special emphasis on corporate governance, ethics and leadership," the magazine reported. . . . As most Domers know, Father Hesburgh is the former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Upon the death of Rosa Parks he told the South Bend Tribune that her act of refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man, as the law at the time required, "was the tinder spark that led to a nationwide explosion." He said she did "what many people had in their minds but didn't have the guts to do." . . . Some students were offended by a joke mentioning Parks that a student told at a comedy show on campus not long after Parks' death. The joke went like this: "Rosa Parks just passed away, which I don't mean to make light of. She is an American hero and a civil rights pioneer. Because of her, black Notre Dame students can sit in the front of the dining hall." In a letter to _The Observer_, the student who wrote and told it the joke, senior Will Seath, explained that he intended it to highlight and deplore the self-segregation that exists on campus. The situation is most noticeable, to white students anyway, in the habit of non-white students eating together in the dining halls. Seath also wrote: "It has been said that a good joke requires no explanation. That said, I would rather go down as a lousy comedian than as a bigot.". . . The season tickets of Charlie Owens' '48 were late arriving at his house in Elkhart this year because of foul play. A FedEx driver left them on his porch, but as the driver later admitted to the county sheriff's department, he had his girlfriend go back and steal them. According to news reports, the tickets were discovered by a patrolman responding to a domestic dispute at the driver's home. . . . Alumni who were students in 1992 may remember the self-described "cowpunk alternative" band the Surreal Cowboys. The group of law students wore overalls, sang in front of velvet Elvis tapestries, drank Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and handed out jelly donuts, the _South Bend Tribune_ reported. The band members are now all practicing lawyers and only one of them lives in South Bend. They reunited for one night to perform at a bar in Granger last November. . . . The man who confirmed that pre-war intelligence was wrong about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction predicts that the next "surprise intelligence failure" will involve Mexico. Speaking on campus in November as part of a lecture series on nuclear weapons and warfare, David Kay said rampant corruption in Mexican society could lead to the nation becoming what he called a "failed state" unable to protect its own people from terrorists and other criminals. "We are terribly vulnerable," Kay said of U.S. security, "because we just don't understand Mexico." Kay, a senior research fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, led the Iraq Survey Group, which was charged with locating Saddam's weapons of mass destruction after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In January 2004 he reported that there were no stockpiles of WMDs. . . . Commenting on the possibility of Catholics constituting a majority on the Supreme Court if Samuel Alito is confirmed as a justice, David Leege, professor emeritus of political science, told _The New York Times_ that he thought senators were "less concerned whether the person is Catholic or Protestant than whether the person is conservative or liberal." . . . A Vatican official speaking on campus last fall said Pope Benedict XVI is more likely to engage in "evangelical pruning" or sever ties to Catholic colleges that Rome perceives to have lost their Catholic identity than to wait patiently for them to return to the fold. That was the prediction of Archbishop Anthony Miller, secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, when he delivered the University's Terrence Keeley Vatican lecture in late October. . . . For the first time in memory, large numbers of students opted not to wear The Shirt to home games. The controversy began last spring with the unveiling of The Shirt for 2005. Every year a student group designs a special shirt for students (and other fans) to buy and wear to football games. The idea is to make the student section appear to be one unified cheering block. Some students didn't like the yellow-gold color or the design of this year's Shirt, which featured a quote from Joe Theismann about how the spirit of Notre Dame could "light up the universe." Many students chose to wear green Shirts years past to the games instead. This touched off endless hand-ringing about the necessity of the student body to display unity, particularly on national TV. _The Observer_'s editors surprised some by siding with the dissenting greens. In an editorial, the paper urged students to buy the official shirt to support the charitable causes that benefit from its sale but to wear green to the first home game. Ironically, that game was against Michigan State, whose colors are green and white, and the Irish lost the in overtime. For the rest of the season the student section was a mosaic of mostly yellow-gold but with plenty of green. . . . Another female tried out for the Irish Guard this year, but Notre Dame sophomore Tess Murray didn't make it. Molly Kinder remains the only woman ever to march with the Guard. She did so in 2000. . . . Interviewed by WNDU-TV at the final home football game of the season, senior Molly Miner despaired, "It's awful because it's all coming to an end. You just don't want to leave. No one ever wants to graduate from here." . . . The director of Campus Ministry told_ The Observer_ that 70 to 75 percent of students regularly attend Mass on campus. . . . Downtown South Bend landmark C.J.'s Pub reopened last fall after having been closed for seven months. The bar-restaurant on the north end of Michigan Street was damaged during the demolition of a building next door. . . . A new feature at Turtle Creek this year is a privacy fence spanning the northern edge of the development along Vaness Street. . . . _Hispanic Business _magazine named Sylvia Puente, director of the Metropolitan Chicago Initiative of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States. The Chicago Initiative aims to enhance communities by developing policy-relevant research, cultivating partnerships, and expanding knowledge of Latinos in Chicago, according to a University press release. . . . Come to the first meeting of the year of the faith-sharing group Emmaus, a half-page ad in _The Observer_ said, and you'll get free ice cream and the chance to meet staunch Emmaus supporter Alfonso Ribeiro. The ad included a photo of Ribeiro, who played the uptight cousin of Will Smith on TV's _Fresh Prince of Bel-Air_. But there was a disclaimer: "The Emmaus team does not have any actual proof that Alfonso Ribeiro will be attending the Emmaus Kick-Off, although we have prayed fervently for such a miracle." It went on to say that Ribeiro had probably never even heard of Emmaus groups, and "This whole ad is really nothing more than an elaborate charade," except for the part about the free ice cream.