Businesswoman Mellody Hobson will deliver the 2012 Commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Saint Mary’s, the College announced Monday. Literacy advocate and businesswoman Kathleen Flynn Fox, a 1974 Saint Mary’s alumna, will also be awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree at the ceremony, according to a press release. Susan Fitzgerald Rice, a 1961 College alumna and member of the SMC Board of Trustees, will receive the President’s Medal for her “exceptional contributions to the life of the College and society,” the press release stated. Hobson, a Chicago native and Princeton University graduate, is the current president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm where she is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, according to the press release. Hobson is nationally known for her expertise in financial literacy and investor education. She has appeared as a financial contributor on “Good Morning America” and ABC’s “World News Tonight.” She currently serves as a weekly finance expert of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show radio program and is a contributor to Black Enterprise magazine. Additionally, her financial expertise has been profiled in a number of well-known publications including Essence, Fortune and the New York Times. Commencement will take place May 19 at noon on Le Mans Green.
Students experienced a blast from the past when Third Eye Blind took the stage Saturday night for the annual Student Union Board (SUB) spring concert at Stepan Center. The band, in its third performance at Notre Dame, played several of its early hits to a sold-out crowd of nearly 2,000 students, SUB concert programmer Lauren Keating said. “We sold all of the tickets the day they went on sale, which was great,” Keating said. “If you were going to see a band like Third Eye Blind anywhere else, tickets would usually cost somewhere between $40 and $50. When you would usually pay that kind of money for a show like this, I think $15 is an incredibly reasonable price.” Keating said rapper Hoodie Allen’s opening performance energized the crowd before Third Eye Blind took the stage. “Hoodie Allen … did a great job of engaging with the crowd. He performed a freestyle rap about Notre Dame, and incorporated everything from [men’s basketball coach Mike] Brey to [Club] Fever, which was a definite crowd-pleaser,” Keating said. “I’ve talked to several people who had never heard his music before the concert but left as new fans.” Keating said students were enthused by the selection of Third Eye Blind for the annual spring concert. “I thought we we had a really positive response from students once we announced the band selection, and that definitely showed at the concert,” she said. “A lot of people came to the show dressed in 90s clothes, and … students seemed to really embrace the idea of making it an all-day event leading up to the concert.” Junior Kat Wilson said the band’s performance of songs like “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life” evoked nostalgic feelings. “It brought me back to the good old days of Pokemon and ‘All That,’” she said. Junior Brynne Miller said she enjoyed hearing Third Eye Blind play its most popular songs, but she also appreciated its tributes to current popular artists. “I really enjoyed it when [Third Eye Blind] did the Calvin Harris cover,” Miller said. Sophomore Bill Leigh said he thought the band gave a crowd-pleasing performance and he said he appreciated its extension of gratitude to the audience. “I thought it was really good, and I especially like when bands thank their fan base,” Leigh said. “They definitely did that and did a good job playing. My favorite song they performed was ‘Never Let You Go.’” Junior Betsy McGovern said she and her friends woke up at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday to make the trek to LaFortune to purchase tickets. “It was definitely worth waking up early for the tickets,” she said. “The whole concert was really fun, but it was especially awesome when they played ‘Jumper’ and ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ because everyone went crazy.” Junior Eric Stumpf said Third Eye Blind’s performance demonstrated the band’s eagerness to perform for Notre Dame students. “They did an exceptionally great job getting the crowd involved and creating a fun concert atmosphere,” he said. Stumpf, a longtime Third Eye Blind fan, said the band provided a broad sampling of their repertoire during the concert. “I’ve wanted to see Third Eye Blind for a very long time and was so glad I got to before they stopped touring,” he said. “I think they did a good job integrating their newer, less well-known songs with their bigger hits.” Though the concert was an enjoyable experience overall, Stumpf said he had one complaint about its venue. “The only thing I can complain about is how ungodly awful the acoustics of Stepan are,” he said. “If you didn’t know the lyrics to the songs before the concert, you would have thought the singer was speaking gibberish.” Keating said SUB has worked with the same concert production company for roughly 15 years, but the company’s owner told Keating this year’s concert was the biggest production it has put on at Notre Dame. “Everything, including the lights, speakers and even the stage, were bigger and more elaborate than in previous years, and all of that played into making the show such a success,” Keating said.
Most works in Snite Museum of Art exhibits are part of indoor exhibits, but a new sculpture garden on the west side of campus will bring an outdoor art display to campus. Charles Loving, director and curator of the George Rickey Sculpture Archive, said an appreciation for the arts prompted the University to begin construction on the new garden this fall. “Through the sculpture garden, we hope to create an important artistic program for both campus and community audiences,” Loving said. “This beautiful site at Notre Dame’s community entrance could serve as a future campus fine arts district.” The presence of the sculpture garden on campus could catalyze the construction of facilities on campus devoted to the appreciation of fine arts, Loving said. “Some folks on campus would one day like to add a new art museum building, new art, art history and design building and a new music building to that region of campus that already features the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center,” Loving said. “This project should regain momentum for the Snite Museum staff to develop funds for a new art museum building to be constructed at this location.” University architect Doug Marsh said the garden’s beauty and location would allow visitors the opportunity for reflection. “The sculpture garden will provide a place for walking and contemplation amid a naturally distinctive outdoor space,” Marsh said. “Its location between the Irish Green and the Compton Family Ice Arena is a unique outdoor space given its change in topography and grassland context. A storm water retention basin that serves as a water feature further adds to the location’s artistry.” The way plants within the garden will filter the sun’s rays also made the site a perfect candidate for the garden, Loving said. “The perfect quantity of light allowed through the canopy of trees will be retained with the construction of the sculpture garden,” Loving said. “This effect will celebrate the cyclical wonder of nature by symbolizing Notre Dame’s four seasons.” Loving said the art within the garden would shift on a rotational basis. The first installment, which highlights the natural attraction of the landscape, will be an exhibit called “Reclamation of our Nature.” “Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh has specified the planting of indigenous trees and shrubs, as well as prairie grass, to return the site to what it might have appeared at the founding of Notre Dame,” Loving said. “The sculptures selected for the first exhibit should speak to the beauty and power of nature, as well as to humankind’s universal quest for spiritual transcendence.” The architecture present within the park will span a wide spectrum of images, both real and imaginary, Loving said. “The sculptures are both representational and abstract,” Loving said. “They are essentially of the human-scale, and they are all by modern or contemporary artists.” Marsh said that the University has invested much effort in designing the sculpture garden’s plans and that financial support for its construction has been widespread. “This project has been in the active planning and design process for approximately the last year,” Marsh said. “Its funding has been drawn from a series of gifts from individuals.” The building contractor responsible for planning the garden was selected on the basis of financial practicality, Marsh said. Marsh said the University awarded the construction contact to local firm Gibson-Lewis, LLC. Although the building aspects of the sculpture garden will be completed in a few months’ time, Loving said the area’s natural features would not come to fruition for an extended period. “Construction of the park has just begun and is scheduled to be completed in November 2012,” Loving said. “Of course, it will take years for the trees and plants to fully mature.”
Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) is investigating a sexual assault reported Saturday, according to an email sent to students the same evening. The reported sexual assault occurred in a North Quad men’s residence hall late Friday, police said. The assault was committed by an acquaintance of the victim. In the email, police warned students of the risk of sexual assault. “Sexual assault can happen to anyone,” the email stated. “College students are more likely to be assaulted by an acquaintance than a stranger. This means that the person perpetrating the assault could be part of the campus community. “Being aware of your own safety and watching out for your friends are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of sexual assault.” Information about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors of sexual assault are available online from NDSP and from the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention. Following the email from NDSP, student body vice president Nancy Joyce sent an email to students inviting them to gather at the Grotto on Sunday evening “to pray for the healing of our Notre Dame family.”
The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars awarded the Cardinal Wright Prize to professor of theology Fr. Brian E. Daley on Saturday at its annual meeting in Pittsburgh, according to a University press release. Daley said receiving the award came as a surprise.“I really don’t know why they singled me out for the award,” Daley said. “I just do my thing and don’t think of myself as a public figure. The current president of the Fellowship, Fr. Joseph Koterski from Fordham [University], is a friend and former student of mine, so that may explain how they found me. I also got an award from the Vatican — the Ratzinger Prize — two years ago, so they may have heard of that.”The Fellowship gives the Wright Prize for outstanding scholarly service to the Church in a wide range of fields, Daley said.“The Fellowship is an organization of Catholic scholars in many fields — not just theology, but philosophy, literature and the social sciences — and also of others interested in the Catholic tradition of learning and thought,” Daley said. “It was founded, as I understand, by a group of professors about 50 years ago, who included the late professor Ralph McInerny from Notre Dame.”Daley, a Jesuit priest who has taught both undergraduate and graduate students at Notre Dame for 18 years, said his academic area of expertise includes early Church writings.“My field of research and writing is really the theology of the early Church writers — in Greek, Latin and other ancient languages — from the second through about the ninth centuries,” he said. “I’m especially interested in the early Church’s understanding of God, of the person of Christ, of Mary, of our hope as Christians and of how to interpret the Scriptures.”Daley said he enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh during his trip to receive the award last weekend.“Pittsburgh is one of my favorite cities, anyway, and the drive there, as the fall colors are just starting, was really beautiful,” Daley said. “I really enjoyed meeting all the members of the Fellowship, who were very hospitable.”This semester, Daley is on sabbatical in Washington, D.C., but while on campus he stays busy with courses, research and involvement with Notre Dame students.“I do a good bit of priestly work and for fun also help coach the men and women in our Boxing Club,” Daley said. Tags: award, Brian Daley, Catholic scholars, Notre Dame, Theology
Sam Coughlin With the promise of fall break, College GameDay and a much-hyped football game to look forward to, it is safe to say many Notre Dame students are excited about the upcoming weekend.The Notre Dame Club of Tallahassee, in collaboration with other organizations, is busy working to make the weekend a success for visiting students, alumni and fans alike.“Downtown Tallahassee is a great area, and we’re excited to share it with the ND crowd,” Joe Hurd, a member of the class of 1982 and chairperson for the Notre Dame Club of Tallahassee, said. “We’re collaborating with the Notre Dame clubs in Miami and Jacksonville, as well as the local St. Thomas More Catholic Church to make the weekend a great experience for everyone.”The club will begin its celebration Friday evening with a social gathering and pep rally near Tallahassee’s Adams Street Commons. Early online registration is encouraged to secure tickets.The Commons also will be the site of Tallahassee’s Downtown Get Down, featuring a performance from a local band, food vendors and a block party atmosphere, according to the event website.“There will be students and visitors not just from all over Florida, but from all over the country,” Hurd said. “There will be plenty of opportunities for networking and fun.”The College GameDay broadcast will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. on the Langford Green, located just outside Doak Campbell Stadium.“The rivalry will be fierce, and I am excited to be there to help cheer the Irish on to victory,” sophomore Maura Boston, who will be traveling to the game with the Notre Dame marching band, said.On game day, the Notre Dame Clubs of Tallahassee and Miami will sponsor an all-day tailgating event at the Tallahassee Civic Center. The event will include a cash bar, games, raffles, a putting green event and more. At 4 p.m., a pre-game mass will be held at the local St. Thomas More Catholic Church. The bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee will preside.“It was very important for us to include a liturgical aspect in the day,” Hurd said. “And the mass counts for your Sunday obligation.”Hurd said there will be many viewing options available for those who do not have tickets.“Nearly every tavern and restaurant around will have the game on, and we’re hosting an official watch party in the bar at the local Four Points Hotel,” he said.Some students attending the game are planning to extend the trip into fall break, renting houses and staying in Florida for the week.“On Sunday after the game, my friends and I are driving to a little quaint beachside town a few hours away,” senior Alison Leddy said. “We’ll be there for the rest of the break, relaxing and eating and soaking up the sun before the South Bend winter hits.”Hurd recommended a number of visitor’s sites including the Tallahassee capitol buildings, the beaches at St. George Island located two hours to the south and Tallahassee’s Midtown and College Town areas.Tags: college gameday, fall break, florida state, florida state game, notre dame alumni club, tallahassee, tallahassee notre dame club
The student senate met Wednesday night to discuss the new Expectation of Responsibility Policy, sexual assault awareness and prevention programs It’s On Us and Green Dot and the sustainability changes in the dining halls. Ryan Willerton, director of the office of community standards, outlined the Expectation of Responsibility Policy, which protects underage students who help intoxicated peers who need medical attention, and explained why the promise of no disciplinary action is necessary. “We’ve had time to really articulate what that expectation is,” Willerton said. “The expectation is that if somebody needs help, that a Notre Dame student would act and get that individual help. We also recognize that students are worried about disciplinary action, for the person who needs help and the person who is calling for help, and this fear that their life will be over — they won’t be able to get into med school, they won’t be able to go to law school.” Students may still be subject to “educational action,” Willerton said.Willerton also addressed which sort of reports would go to the schools on students’ potential future applications.He said only disciplinary status outcomes would be included in University records reported to medical schools, law schools, bar associations, graduate schools, the federal government and other jobs that conduct records checks.After Willerton’s presentation, student body president Bryan Ricketts gave a short presentation on sexual assault. “We are looking at It’s On Us and its role here on campus, and we’re talking about a model for culture change,” Ricketts said. “What we start with is awareness, followed by education and action. Two years ago, we started with One is Too Many. Then we had It’s On Us part one last year, and this year we have It’s On Us part two and Green Dot.”Green Dot is an organization that, according to their website, is “built on the premise that we can measurably and systematically reduce violence within any given community.”The student senators discussed the removal of all paper bags and styrofoam cups from the dining halls. A number of senators mentioned hearing complaints, and Dan Sehlhorst, chief of staff and member of the sustainability council, explained the reasoning behind the removals. “Over the course of last year, there was a big push for eliminating all styrofoam from the dining halls and paper bags in the grab and go stations,” Sehlhorst said. “They [the Office of Sustainability] did this survey of over 2,000 people, I think, and they got about 80 percent support for removing both entirely. They felt very confident in doing that because it was so widely supported.”(Editor’s note: Sehlhorst later contacted The Observer to clarify his statement. The Office of Sustainability survey had 348 responses, 82 percent of which were in favor of removing bags and 92 percent in favor of removing styrofoam cups.) Additionally, the senate approved the selection of seven students to serve on the election committee for the 2015-2016 academic year: senior James Brokaw, sophomore Katie Hergenrother, sophomore Amit Paul, freshman Kathleen Ryan, junior Mary Schubert, freshman Zoe Walker and sophomore Ryan Will. The student senate meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Notre Dame Room of LaFortune Student Center. All meetings are open to the public.Tags: expectation of responsibility, office of community standards, Office of Sustainability, sexual assault, Student government, student senate
On Wednesday night, senate passed resolutions bestowing emeritus status on Bryan Ricketts, former student body president, Nidia Ruelas, former student body vice president, and Dan Sehlhorst and Sibonay Shewit, former chiefs of staff.The titles of emeritus status are “in recognition and appreciation of [their] dedication and contribution to the University of Notre Dame,” according to the resolutions.“Bryan has fostered awareness to issues surrounding sexual assault by building a network of committed students through the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign and GreeNDot violence prevention program in addition to advocating for stronger support in the Title IX process … it is clear Bryan has fostered strong, personal relationships with all on campus, serving as a champion for underrepresented students,” sophomore Stephanie Mastorakos, director of internal affairs, said.“Nidia’s lasting impact on and service to the University will be defined not only by the many important resolutions that have been passed during her chairmanship, but also by the legacy of her good character, professionalism, accountability and commitment to the service of students and the mission of the University,” Mastorakos said.Preceding the approvals, Ricketts presented to senate on the formerly pending joint liberal arts college venture between Zhejiang University and the University, and informed the senators about the former senate’s resolution to the administration asking for more student involvement in this discussion. Ricketts’ presentation gave an overview of the original proposals for the joint college. He updated senate on the discontinuation of the original proposal, news which was released to faculty this past Monday.According to the original white paper proposal, authored by J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization, and Dr. Jonathan Noble, assistant provost for Asia, the Notre Dame-ZJU joint liberal arts college would have opened the 2017-2018 academic year. The joint college would have offered about ten majors in the fields of science, social science, the humanities, and the arts. In addition, this college would be headed by an appointed dean, who would have to be a Chinese national, by law.The white paper “raise[d] a number of issues for the Notre Dame community to consider carefully,” including: Western thought and Christianity in China, academic freedom, academic integrity and curriculum.In the letter released to faculty confirming the end of this venture, Entrikin wrote, “After many hopeful and positive conversations on both curricular and administrative matters related to the joint college, we were more easily able to discriminate and to delineate some of the key challenges as well as advantages in bringing together two very different approaches to higher education … In the end, however, some areas remained challenging for both universities, and we decided that broader cooperation would be a more effective means for achieving our common interests.”The relationship is going to continue with Zhejiang University, Ricketts said, but he is unsure of whether or not Zhejiang will pursue a joint liberal college with another partner university.Following Rickett’s presentation, Senate elected three Senators to serve on Campus Life Committee representatives, in addition to the off-campus senator, Kevin Coleman, who automatically serves in the role. The electees were senior class council president Katelyn Wray, Welsh Family senator sophomore Rebecca Georgiades and Keough Hall senator sophomore Patrick McGavick.Tags: bryan ricket, China policy, Notre Dame Student Senate, Zhejiang partnership
Saint Mary’s students are not going to miss their shot to take communication professor Terri Russ’s introduction to rhetoric course this semester, which examines the musical “Hamilton.”Russ said the study of rhetoric can be taught in many ways, and she wanted to make the class enjoyable. “The study of rhetoric can be really dry, and sometimes the approaches to these classes can be less than ideal, and I get that,” Russ said. “I knew it would be something that would appeal to students, even students who weren’t necessarily familiar with ‘Hamilton.’”Russ said she decided to teach the course around “Hamilton” partly because of her own obsession, but also because she finds it critical to examine all elements of popular culture through a rhetorical lens. “I’m really interested in pop culture, but I’m also interested in taking a critical exploration of pop cultural,” Russ said. “A lot of times we’re exposed to things in media, and we think we’re being critical, but we’re not.”All musicals can be subject to rhetorical exploration, and since “Hamilton” is so popular it makes sense to look at it critically, she said. However as popular culture changes over the years, Russ said the course could change as well.“For now I’m going to stick with ‘Hamilton’ because it’s fun, and I think there is still more to be explored, so I think I’ll do at least one more time,” Russ said. “But in two years, who knows what will be popular?”Russ said “Hamilton” is unique because it teaches about history in a special way. The creator of the musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda, added some special twists to the original story of the founding fathers, which makes the musical important and relevant, she said.“Lin-Manuel Miranda took white history and added this twist through these very direct hip-hop and rap influences and references throughout the play,” Russ said. “Also, in the performance, having actors of color playing the founding fathers, that’s something we have to grapple with in the this era of extreme acting up by white supremacists and other groups.”Russ said the students in her class learn a lot from each other because those who are familiar with the musical and those who aren’t bring different perspectives to the subject matter.“We’re developing a whole new language,” she said. “We have the ‘Ham Freaks’ and the ‘Ham Newbies.’ The ‘Ham Newbies’ are actually teaching our ‘Ham Freaks’ a lot because they’re coming at this fresh and they see thing we have forgotten.”Terri said she continues to be excited for this course because every class there is more to dive into and learn about.“I’m a word nerd: I love language, I love playing with language and I love the nuanced ways we can use language to not only impart meaning but to really interpret the world in different ways,” Russ said. “Everyone in the class has had a moment when they realize one word and all the multiple meanings that word has, changed the way they understand everything.”Russ said the ultimate goal of centering the course around “Hamilton” is to engage students in the study of rhetoric.“I know that rhetoric, in large, sometimes has a bad reputation, and so one of goals is to create a whole new generation of word nerds, which is happening,” Russ said.
University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in a Tuesday email to the Notre Dame community that the committee to find a replacement for retiring provost Tom Burish has been selected. The group, which consists of 11 members including Jenkins as its chair, will discern the types of qualities to consider as the group searches for the next provost. Students and faculty will be consulted on this question, he said.”With this committee, we will undertake a robust national and international search for our next provost. Among our first tasks will be to describe the qualities of the ideal candidate for provost at this time in Notre Dame’s history,” he said. “As we undertake a process of reflection and discussion on this question, we will set up listening sessions with faculty of the various colleges, as well as students and staff, to hear your thoughts.”Once that work is completed, the committee will produce a ”prospectus” outlining the ”nature of the opportunity” and enumerating the qualities the University is looking for in prospective candidates.Of the committee’s 11 members, eight are faculty and two are students, Jenkins said in the email.”The process for choosing a Provost as defined by the Academic Articles begins with the election by the Academic Council of five of its elected faculty representatives and one of its student representatives to a search committee chaired by the President,” Jenkins said in the email. ”The President may then appoint up to three members of the regular faculty and one student ‘in order to ensure that a broad range of views and perspectives is represented on the committee.‘”According to the email, the five Academic Council members represented on the committee are Kasey Buckles, an economics professor, Patrick Flynn, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Michael Hildreth, a professor of physics and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Science, Margaret Meserve, chair of the Italian Studies Department and the College of Arts and Letters’ associate dean for the humanities and faculty affairs, accountancy professor Ramachandran Ramanan and junior Maria Salerno.The committee members are listed below.Committee members:Academic Council members:Kasey Buckles, Brian and Jeannelle Brady Associate Professor of EconomicsPatrick Flynn, chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Duda Family Professor of EngineeringMichael Hildreth, associate dean for research and graduate studies, physics professorMargaret Meserve, Fabiano Collegiate Chair in Italian Studies, associate dean for the humanities and faculty affairs, Ramachandran Ramanan, professor, Department of AccountancyMaria Salerno, juniorMembers appointed by Jenkins:Laura Carlson, vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School,Veronica Root Martinez, law professor, Robert & Marion Short ScholarCarl Ackermann, Nolan Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction, finance professorKaren Angeles, graduate student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth SciencesTags: provost, Tom Burish, University President Fr. John Jenkins