By MADELINE MILES and REBECCA O’NEIL News Writers Saint Mary’s Theatre Department offered audience members a new twist on an ancient myth with its rendition of Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” which opened Thursday night at the College’s Little Theatre. The play is based on the classic Greek tale of lyrist Orpheus’ attempt to rescue his lover from Hades. Ruhl’s adaptation turns the story around and presents it from the perspective of the fallen lover. Theatre professor Katie Sullivan, who directed the play, said Ruhl’s adaptation gives theatre goers a unique experience of the story. “I am fascinated by her technique of sketching the story in broad, poetic strokes,” Sullivan said. “Ruhl leaves it to music, sound, movement and visual imagery to fill in the nuances and to make us feel the experience of the play.” The reimagining, Sullivan said, refreshes the story while staying true to its original message. “Primarily, though, the play resonates with the age-old message that love will always be what we must hold onto and that loss is, indeed, life’s most exquisite pain,” she said. The play’s ensemble was drawn from Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s students. Senior theatre major Eva Cavadini led the cast as Eurydice; history professor Bill Svelmoe plays her father; Orpheus is played by Notre Dame freshman Kincaid Schmitz and the Lord of the Underworld is played by Holy Cross junior Nick DeDario. Kincaid said his first play at the Little Theatre was worthwhile. “It was difficult to get emotionally ready for it,” he said. “[The best part] is the wonderful cast I’ve gotten to work with. I think I’ll do another [play] here.” Sullivan said the play elicits a variety of reactions from different viewers. “You may find yourself laughing, crying or being caught up in the strange and beautiful visual imagery we have created for our Underworld,” she said. The effects that went into the Underworld and other scenes made the tech day during which rehearsals are done with full costume, props, sets and effects especially difficult, Svelmoe said. “It was the most technically complicated show I’ve ever been in,” he said. “We had four tech days and probably put in a total of 25 hours into coordinating our movements with special effects.” First year Tessa Mitchell, part of the play’s “chorus of stones,” said the fulfillment of the final product outweighed the demands of the stage. “It was hard work and stressful, but definitely worth it,” she said. “It’s so great to see it come to fruition on stage.” Junior Dilan Yuksel said she appreciated the play’s altered point of view. “It was definitely cool to see the other side of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice,” she said. “It was a really interesting play. I really enjoyed it.” The play will be performed tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Little Theatre.
Following the University’s announcement of upcoming building construction across campus, the Office of Facilities Design and Operations began construction of the underground tunnel system late last month, Director of Construction and Quality Assurance Doug Schlagel said.Schlagel said the construction will have minimal impact on students because the work primarily affects the edges of campus, where students don’t often spend time.“It may certainly affect how some off-campus students arrive to and where they would traditionally park and how they would walk from their car to their building,” he said.Schalgel said his office will give frequent and visible notice about any interruptions.“Through a series of postings to our website with maps and navigational routes and announcements across campus, we’re hoping to make sure that everyone has the information and it’s clear to help minimize any disruptions that all this work could potentially have,” he said.According to documents on the Facilities Design and Operations website, the tunnel construction is broken into two branches. The east branch of the tunnel begins at the power plant and extends east of Stepan Center, then south to Library Circle, near the site of the recently announced research facility. The south branch of the tunnel will connect south quad to the Compton Family Ice Arena, moving east in front of DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and crossing Eddy Street before extending to Compton.The most significant concern for the east branch will be access to Hammes Mowbray Hall, which houses the campus post office and Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) headquarters, Schlagel said.“The biggest challenge is making sure that there’s always public access to the post office and Notre Dame Security Police, which through a series of planning meetings with security and other campus constituents, we were able to make sure that that facility is available and open to the public at all times,” he said. “Short of just some traffic reconfiguration and traffic control and signage, we think that that should be fine.”Schlagel said the construction on the tunnel system is preliminary work meant to make way for new campus educational and residential facilities.“The purpose of the tunnel and utility infrastructure work that’s being implemented is to help support and connect to the central power plant the new facilities that are being planned for campus,” he said. “This includes the new research complex, two new residence halls, Jenkins-Nanovic Hall, which is the social sciences building, and then of course the Campus Crossroads project, everything involved with the stadium and the School of Architecture building.”The Office of Facilities and Design plans to complete most of the aboveground work prior to freshman orientation and the first home football game Aug. 30, Schlagel said.“That’s not to say that there won’t be work continuing inside the tunnels themselves because there’s a lot of piping and that sort of stuff that has to happen after the tunnel itself is built,” he said. “The idea is to basically have the sites restored by the time students return in August.”Schlagel said students should be aware of their surroundings and regularly check The Week@ND emails to remain up to date on road closures and affected facilities.
The five-time Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks arrived on campus Thursday for their second straight training camp trip to Compton Family Ice Arena, with public practices on Saturday and Sunday.Tom Nevala, general manager of the Compton Family Ice Arena, said the training camp was first set up last year through discussions with Blackhawk’s manager Stan Bowan, a 1995 Notre Dame alumnus.Observer File Photo “With the facilities we have available to them, the campus environment, they thought it would be a great way to start the season,” Nevala said.The team completed physical testing at the United Center in Chicago Thursday morning before traveling to the University, where Nevala said they will reside at the Morris Inn for the duration of their visit.While at Notre Dame, Nevala said the team will participate in both private and public events.“They are doing some things, but they are private functions on campus,” he said. “They are doing some things in the community as well. I think they’ll go to the Robinson Learning Center, I want to say on Friday afternoon.”Team practice on Friday will be closed to the public, but faculty, staff and students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross are welcome to join the team for an exclusive practice at the Compton Family Ice Arena from 10:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. The training camp itself will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.“Hopefully it’s a chance for everyone [to benefit],” he said. “That’s why we have the Friday event specifically for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. It’s a great chance to get out and see these guys live in a much smaller venue than the United Center.”Nevala said hosting the team is a special experience that “certainly comes at a great price.” According to the Notre Dame website, the now sold-out general admission tickets for the weekend scrimmages were available for purchase for $10.“I think, more importantly, the 60 guys who come here as part of the Blackhawks enjoy being around the atmosphere that you enjoy every day,” he said. “Maybe a third of an NHL team played hockey in college, most of them [now] have the opportunity to experience the college environment and enjoy kind of being like you guys.”Nevala said the team seems to enjoy the training program set up at Notre Dame.“Before they’ve even started camp this year, they’re already looking forward to returning again next year,” he said.Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Compton Family Ice Arena, Training Camp
The Muslim Student Association of Notre Dame hosted an installment of the Prayers from around the World lecture series Tuesday evening in the Coleman-Morse Center student lounge as part of Islam Awareness Week. The event, entitled “Understanding the Hijab,” featured two speakers from the greater South Bend area who teach and practice Islam.Imam Mohammed Sirajuddin said the hijab is a concept that is found in different forms in various other faiths.“Hijab is a practice, not just when we piece off cloth that we put on our heads,” Sirajuddin said. “Hijab is the concept of modesty that exists in all other Abrahamic faith traditions. If you look at pictures of Christian and Jewish women from 100 years ago, you will find hijab.”Sirajuddin said the term hijab that the many associate with the hair covering of women is relatively new.“In the classical Islamic jurisprudence, this word itself is used many times in the Quran, but not particularly to describe the hair covering,” Sirajuddin said. “The word hijab literally means ‘screening,’ or ‘barrier.’ So it is used many times in the Quran, but not with the same meaning that we use today.”“When we say hijab, what Muslims mean is a modest dress, lowering our gazes, showing modesty towards the opposite gender, and not displaying our parts of beauty and the ornaments that could provoke the passion of the opposite gender,” Sirajuddin said.There is a similar verse in the Quran prior to the verse regarding women that pertains to men, Sirajuddin said.“The verse instructs men to lower their gaze, be modest and not to show off,” he said. “There is a modesty in the dress in men just as there is for women, but not necessarily the same requirements.”Sirajuddin said the connection between prayer and everyday life makes the debate about the proper time for hijab unimportant in the Muslim faith.“Inside the prayer, there is a consensus that covering parts of body, especially your hair and your head, is an obligation,” Sirajuddin said. “In the ritual prayer that Muslims offer five times a day, it isn’t controversial, but in the classical Muslim jurisprudence, you don’t find any difference between having hijab during prayer and having it outside of prayer.”Sirajuddin said the controversy about hijab inside the Islamic community is a byproduct of society.“This question of whether hijab is an obligation or whether it is a suggestion for Muslim women is a product of our times,” Sirajuddin said. “We see toward the Islamic tradition and in the Muslim jurisprudence that there has never been a dispute about this issue of modest dress for Muslim women.“All qualified Islamic scholars throughout history agree on the obligation of hijab. It is not a religious symbol, it is not a cultural symbol to differentiate between Muslim and non-Muslim women, rather it is a dress code ordained by law on Muslim women.”The event’s second speaker, Jamille Jojo, said the choice to cover her hair and practice hijab was an easy one.“My father came to me, he showed me the verse in the Quran, and he asked what I thought,” Jojo said. “I said, ‘okay.’ The next day, with God as my witness, I covered my hair and I continue to do so. “Jojo said her consistency is as much as a character trait as it is a dedication to her faith.“I’m not a halfway kind of person,” she said. “If I’m going to learn something I’m going to learn it to the maximum that I can. If I’m going to have a slice of pie, it’s going to be a good slice. So why wouldn’t I take that same approach with my faith?”Jojo said she covers her hair simply because it is what she has been asked to do.“It wasn’t because I’m now going to be a women’s liberator,” Jojo said. “It wasn’t because I wanted to stand out in a crowd. It’s not because I want people to come up and ask me why I’m covering my hair. I covered it specifically because its what God tells me to do in the Quran.”Jojo said there is a modesty requirement for both men and women within Islam, but they are different because of the nature of the male and female body.“For women, to be honest, their hands and their face can be shown because a woman is a sexual being by definition,” Jojo said. “A man, on the other hand, could be shirtless, and nobody is going to say a word. He has to wear a pant above the knee or the middle of the knee, so he can’t walk around in short shorts either.“That’s just the way it is because of the way a man is versus a woman. That doesn’t make them better; it just makes them different.”Sirajuddin said hijab is commanded by God, and obeying God is central to what it means to be a Muslim.“We are Muslims, which basically means that we will submit to the will of God and obey God’s commandment, and you follow his teachings, not because of good feelings or spiritual accomplish, as a result you will have those things,” Sirajuddin said. “You do it because God commanded you to do it, and you obey God because he is God.”Tags: Muslim Student Association, Prayers from Around the World
South Bend native Jan Cervelli was introduced to the Saint Mary’s community Wednesday afternoon as the 12th president of the College.Cervelli said she grew up across the St. Joseph River and it has been a “wonderful homecoming” to be back in the community.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer “God has taken me on so many great journeys, and he brought me back here for the greatest purpose of all,” she said.Cervelli said she is not the only one thrilled to be back home; her mother, a resident of Granger, said she is happy to have Jan back in the area. Cervelli said she has been running into classmates and neighbors since she has been back and has received a tremendous amount of support from the community.Cervelli attended Holy Cross grade school and Saint Joseph High School in South Bend. Her sister, Patricia, is a Saint Mary’s alumna and member of the class of 1972. Cervelli chose Purdue because of her interest in architecture, though she would have liked to attend Saint Mary’s, she said.“I’ve always appreciated the seamlessness about spirituality and subjects taught [in Holy Cross education],” she said. “The spiritual dimension gives much more meaning and depth to the education.”Coming from a background of larger universities, Cervelli is leaving a position as dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and professor of landscape architecture at the University of Arizona.She said the smaller school atmosphere is exciting because of the sense of intimacy, the strong connection to students and she cited the 10:1 student-to-professor ratio at the College as a testament to how Saint Mary’s fully engages students in the classroom.She also said her experience in landscape architecture, which is taught in a small studio settings, lends itself well to her understanding of how learning happens in a more intimate setting.Prior to her work at the University of Arizona, Cervelli served as the first female dean at Clemson University when she was selected as its dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, according to a College press release. She has also served as associate dean for Undergraduate Studies and director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Kentucky.Cervelli said she recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary connections that can be made to make the educational environment even richer at the College.She said her first priorities as president of the College are getting to know the staff, faculty and students.“I want to be able to have strong conversations and spend time understanding from the student perspective,” she said. “I like to call it a listening tour.”Additionally, Cervelli said she wantd to immerse herself into student life at the College.“I want to become a part of the class of 2020,” she said. “ … I want to be able to walk the walk with students and see what it’s like to take classes, to live in the dorm, to eat the food.”Her next priority is to get to know the alumnae around the country, Cervelli said.“Saint Mary’s has fabulous alumnae, who are super accomplished and well connected, so I’m looking forward to getting to know people and allowing people to get to know me,” she said.Cervelli plans to build on the partnerships with Holy Cross institutions including Notre Dame and Holy Cross and to invite the community at large to campus in a highly visible way, she said.“Saint Mary’s is so modest,” she said. “It’s a real strength and a wonderful quality; on the same token, [we] need to brag a little bit more, so I’d like to work with the staff here to look at how we can make our mark on the world and share our accomplishments.”Cervelli hopes to help create a more sustainable campus using her professional background and expertise.“I’m very interested in looking at the campus itself, as a landscape architect and how can we begin to design, redesign and look to the future of development that makes the campus sustainable,” she said.She said many students are interested in issues of sustainability today and she believes the leadership of the students could help to guide that discussion.Cervelli said she will bring a few pets to South Bend from Arizona and looks forward to reconnecting with her childhood friends. Emphasizing the importance of balance in her life, Cervelli cited some of her interests outside of her academic career.“I have been in rock bands since I was in high school,” Cervelli said. “I had the chance to join a band and tour in college, but I knew that my parents wouldn’t be very happy.”Although she most often performed as a singer, Cervelli said she can also play guitar and the keyboard.She said she gave up music between graduate school and her career as a professor and dean but later picked up the hobby again.“When I got to Arizona, one of the faculty in Architecture heard that I used to do music … so we got together with some graduate students, played guitar and jammed. We put together a band that would play at events for the University and other events in downtown Tucson.”Cervelli while she derives a sense of balance from music, she places value on all activities that provide it to students.“The wellness of students is important to me,” she said, and the renovation of Angela Athletic Facility will be crucial to that wellness and helping students to live a balanced lifestyle.Cervelli said her passion for students, music and wellness will dovetail nicely into her role as the president.“It’s in college where you begin to learn that balance,” she said. “All leaders should demonstrate how to live that balance.”She will also institute an open door policy when she takes office, June 1.“I want students to know that I have an open door,” Cervelli said. “I will drop what I have to because I know that if a student is coming, then it’s important.”Tags: Jan Cervelli, Janice Cervelli, new president, saint mary's
While Notre Dame welcomes thousands of freshmen in the class of 2022, a number of incoming students will be entering the University this Fall as upperclassmen.Erin Camilleri, the director of transfer enrollment, said this year the University is welcoming 173 transfer students out of 871 total applications. Of this year’s transfers, 66 are Gateway students who completed their freshman year at Holy Cross, she said.Camilleri said students are selected to participate in the Gateway program by their admissions officers.“Each year, our admissions team has students who they believe will be wonderful additions to the Notre Dame community but, for whatever reason, we’re not able to offer them admission in the first year class,” she said in an email.Students in the Gateway program attend Holy Cross College as freshmen and are guaranteed transfer to Notre Dame the following year if they maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher. During their year at Holy Cross, Gateway students take classes at Notre Dame and have full access to its clubs and other on-campus activities.Sophomore Ryan McNelis attended Holy Cross as a Gateway student last year and will be joining the Notre Dame class of 2021 this fall.“I’m kind of the prototypical Notre Dame football dream kid. I grew up watching Rudy, my mom’s a Saint Mary’s grad,” he said. “So I always wanted to be at Notre Dame. Gateway gave me the chance to fulfill that.”McNelis said both Holy Cross and Notre Dame were helpful in preparing students for transfer.“I think pretty much the whole first year of Gateway is geared to make that transition as seamless as possible,” he said. “Freshman year, we have academic advisors at both Holy Cross and Notre Dame. Both sides do a great job of making sure your requirements are all in order.”The chance to experience campus life at Notre Dame helped the transition as well, McNelis said.“I think there’s nothing that eases [the transfer] more than being able to spend time on the campus you’re transferring to for an entire year beforehand,” he said.Sophomore Jordan Felicia, who also transferred via the Gateway program, also said he valued the opportunity to use both institutions as a resource.“It’s just really great to be able to be involved on both campuses,” he said. “I definitely encourage any future Gateway students to take full advantage.”Sophomore Siena Gruler, another Gateway transfer, said she was grateful for the special sense of community she felt with other students in the program.“We’re really close,” she said. “I know if I had gotten into Notre Dame as a first-year I wouldn’t have met the people that I met. I know I’ll be friends with them for the rest of my life.”McNelis said he is excited to complete his transition to Notre Dame this fall.“Honestly, I’m most looking forward to continuing everything I started last year,” he said. “I really feel like it is a natural progression, much more a continuation of something I’ve started than the start of something new.”Sophomore Matthew Benson, who also completed the Gateway program, said he looks forward to helping future Gateway students in their transition to Notre Dame.“I’m most excited to dive right into the Notre Dame culture. I’m also excited to give back and help these upcoming Gateways realize what an opportunity this actually is,” he said.Lauren Donahue, program director for new student engagement, said this year’s Welcome Weekend hosts a number of events geared specifically towards transfer students, including a reception dinner with University President Fr. John Jenkins and “ND Traditions 101”, a talk that aims to brief transfers on Notre Dame traditions.Donahue said the events were created to cater to the unique needs of transfer students and to help them integrate with the student body.“It takes a lot of courage to leave behind the familiarity of another institution and transition to a new institution,” she said in an email. “My hope is that all new students feel welcomed and celebrated as valuable members of the Notre Dame community.”Tags: Gateway Program, Holy Cross College, Transfer welcome weekend, Welcome Weekend 2018
Aiming to better connect the Notre Dame community, an Instagram account called “Domers on a Bench,” launched with its first post last week.“Domers” was modeled after popular photoblog “Humans of New York,” which features candid snapshots of New Yorkers and shares their stories.ND Listens, which works alongside the University’s Development Office and keeps in contact with alumni and friends of the University, started the project. Camila Gonzalez, a senior student ambassador at ND Listens, said the department hopes “Domers on a Bench” has an impact on the Notre Dame community similar to “Humans of New York.” “What I like about ‘Humans of New York’ is that it catches people’s attention and it lets people know about the diversity and the different types of people in New York,” Gonzalez said. “So ‘Domers’ is a really great way for members of the Notre Dame community to see the diversity that we have and hear from a bunch of different backgrounds.”Since its first post, “Domers on a Bench” has amassed over 250 followers and provided seven snapshots and personal stories from Notre Dame students on a variety of topics.Junior student ambassador Emily Figueroa said to many of the staff at ND Listens, “Domers on a Bench” seemed like a good way to engage both current students and alumni.“We just want to use Instagram to spread candid stories about students on campus and student life here … not just students but faculty and campus visitors because you hear over and over again how interesting everyone is on this campus and everyone’s doing something unique,” Figueroa said. “The idea is, if you follow the Instagram [account], you’ll get those stories as a student, but you’ll also get those stories when you graduate because it’s going to be ongoing and a way for you to connect with the University after that.” Senior manager Melvin Osanya said the name “Domers on a Bench” came from chemistry professor and dean emeritus Emil Hoffman, who died in 2015. Hoffman was known for being open to hearing anyone and everyone’s stories on campus, Osanya said. “[Hoffman] was really beloved by students [and] would hold office hours so that anyone who wanted to talk to him could come in. And after he retired he still lived in South Bend, so then he would just hold unofficial office hours on benches around campus, so that students who still wanted to talk to him could come talk to him,” Osanya said. “So that was kind of inspiration for the idea of calling it ‘Domers on a Bench.’ … It was kind of like a living memory, and just to come around and have those conversations with people.”Osanya leads a team of about 30 students who are student ambassadors for the page and for ND Listens. The account posts three times a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday — and will publish throughout the summer as well. Osanya said one of the project’s goals is to make the student body more relatable. “Every time you read a Notre Dame newsletter, it’s about a kid who came from ‘x’ situation and accomplished ‘x’ and you read it and think, ‘Wow.’ Even though everyone here [is] so smart and talented, you feel like you’re not as good because someone has this amazing story,” he said. “So sure, we’re going to tell some amazing stories on there, but at the same time, there could be a story about someone who is just like, ‘I’m missing my dog today.’ It’s something to make sure that we all stay grounded and remember that we’re also kids here at same time.”Gonzalez said she views the page as a means for Notre Dame students to be open and vulnerable.“I think you can learn a bunch from following [it],” she said. ”The students who are getting interviewed are usually very honest, and Notre Dame students often don’t admit they’re struggling, so I feel like ‘Domers’ is a very honest response to what students commonly struggle with, like mental health and school work. It’s really nice to hear someone openly say ‘I also struggle with this, you are not alone.’”Lisa-Maria Legg, senior student ambassador, said the team is also focused on preserving the candid aspect of the page, making sure its stories stay authentic and honest. When interviewing people, ambassadors try to ask specific questions people might not have thought about before, she said.“I think the stories themselves are very interesting, and you can get a more candid account of what people are going through,” Legg said. “Since we are students approaching other students, they usually feel a little more comfortable speaking and [then] we can get some really interesting, honest stories.”For now, Figueroa said, “Domers on a Bench” hopes to increase its followers and help alumni stay involved at the University.“I think we definitely want to improve our follower base and then we also want to reach out and make it known to alumni of the University — because I know that’s sometimes a hard platform to reach — and that’s our goal with ND Listens, essentially,” Figueroa said. “The emphasis of it is to focus on the people who make this place so great … the people who you wouldn’t hear about day to day each have their own special story.” Tags: Alumni, development office, Domers on a Bench, ND Listens
Natalie Weber Paul Kempf, ND assistant vice president for utilities and maintenance, speaks on the University’s energy efforts on Tuesday in Bond Hall.Kempf said efforts trace back to 2010 when the University decided to make energy a main focus of its sustainability initiatives. Working towards carbon reduction, Notre Dame has depended on a number of strategies, Kempf said.“I think our perspective was that we wanted to take advantage of the assets the University already owned, and that we had invested in, and get our value out of those, but at the same time reduce in carbon,” he said. “And like a good investment portfolio, diversification is always a good practice.”One such way the University plans to reduce its carbon output is through the construction of a new hydroelectric plant in South Bend, for which the University broke ground on Aug. 19.“Hydro will actually produce, based on today’s usage, 7% of electricity we use on campus, and it will reduce our carbon foot by 9,700 tons,” Kempf said. “Our carbon footprint today is probably about 190,000 pounds. So it will reduce our carbon footprint by 5 or 6%. Not a huge number. But there isn’t a home run here, folks, there are a lot of little projects that go together to reduce their carbon footprint.”Kempf also explained how the University’s East Plant — which houses the geothermal fields’ mechanical equipment, water chillers and a thermal energy storage tank — functions. He said the water chillers work at night — a time when power is cheaper, or the University has excess power because of a lower energy demand. Using this load shifting, Notre Dame has been able to increase its energy efficiency, Kempf said.The University also uses energy from a solar array it owns near the local airport. According to the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame estimated the array would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2,000 tons over the course of about 20 years.“Our plan was, we weren’t going to try to produce more solar energy than we needed for [the] facility,” Kempf said. “We really wanted to be able to have some amount of power we bought all the time and have the full benefit of the solar array to the facility.”Notre Dame also purchases about half of its electricity from Indiana Michigan Power, Kempf said.“What they do on their side of the ledger matters to us as well,” he said. “They have a partner on that side that’s doing things to try to reduce their carbon footprint.”As a whole, the University is continuing to look for more cost-effective and carbon-reductive strategies, Kempf said.“There’s a whole series of different projects, some of those ones that I just mentioned,” he said. “So we have a roadmap [but] we’re always looking to see if we can make a better roadmap.”Tags: carbon reductions, coal, East Plan, Energy Week, Geothermal Field, hydroelectric plant, renewable energy, solar power, sustainability, Utilities and Maintenance Notre Dame’s coal pile is dwindling as it focuses on taking advantage of other fuel sources and works towards its goal of stopping coal combustion by the end of 2020.Assistant vice president for utilities and maintenance Paul Kempf gave updates on the University’s progress towards this goal during a presentation Tuesday afternoon. During the talk, he focused on Notre Dame’s hydroelectric plant, purchased power, geothermal fields and a number of other strategies the University is employing to work on carbon reduction.
Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture announced in a Sunday news release it will award the 2020 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae medal to Vicki Thorn. Thorn founded Project Rachel, a post-abortion care program, and is currently executive director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, the release said.“Vicki Thorn’s work has been a source of healing for women and men whose lives have been touched by abortion,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “I’m grateful to the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture for recognizing Ms. Thorn for her service to the Church and to the work of mercy on behalf of a culture of life.”Carter Snead, the de Nicola Center’s director, said the University was “pleased” to honor Thorn with the metal.“Vicki Thorn has dedicated her life to caring for women and men who have been wounded by abortion,” Snead said in the release. “Her work is a living witness to the unconditional love and mercy that lies at the heart of the culture of life.”Thorn, a grief counselor and spiritual director, founded Project Rachel — a network of clergy, medical and spiritual professionals who provide “one-on-one, confidential post-abortion care” — in 1984 while working for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The program is now overseen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and has satellites in most dioceses as well as in 25 other countries.In addition to her work with Project Rachel, Thorn is a lecturer on abortion and author of “Project Rachel, The Face of Compassion,” which was published by the Vatican Publishing House in 2009. She is a member of Pontifical Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the 2009 recipient of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s People of Life Award and is a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, according to the release.Kevin Rhoades, bishop of the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, named Thorn as key figure in the right-to-life movement.“In awarding Vicki Thorn the prestigious Evangelium Vitae Medal, Notre Dame recognizes her important service of the Gospel of life,” Rhoades said in the release. “She has helped thousands of women who have had an abortion to accept St. John Paul II’s invitation in Evangelium Vitae to ‘not give in to discouragement and not lose hope.’ Project Rachel reminds us all that the Gospel of Jesus, the Gospel of life, is also the Gospel of mercy. I offer sincere thanks to Vicki especially for assisting so many women and men to experience God’s love and forgiveness and to become, in the words of St. John Paul II, ‘eloquent defenders of the right to life.’”The Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal is named after Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical “Evangelium Vitae.” The award is “the nation’s most important lifetime achievement award for heroes of the pro-life movement,” the release said. Past recipients of the award are Mother Agnes Mary Donovan and the Sisters of Life; Congressman Chris Smith, co-chair of the Bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus as well as his wife, Marie Smith, director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues; supreme knight Carl Anderson and the Knights of Columbus; the Little Sisters of the Poor; the Jerome Lejeune Foundation and Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon.Tags: Abortion, de nicola center for ethics and culture, Evangelium Vitae Medal, University President Fr. John Jenkins
In a Monday email, Saint Mary’s President Katie Conboy outlined her strategic plan for the College, titled Reading and Writing Saint Mary’s: Creating the Path to 2024.“In the midst of our current operating conditions, we must keep our eyes on our future — a future that will be inspired by your strength,” Conboy said in the email. “What can Saint Mary’s do today to ensure that we come out stronger in the post-COVID environment?”Conboy acknowledged the uncertainties associated with the ongoing pandemic facing the situation with a “shortened planning horizon and an expedited planning process.”The strategic plan is divided into five phases with phase one — analysis and synthesis — starting immediately, and the final phase — expansion, growth and evolution — being implemented mid-November and continuing for the next two years. The other three phases include writing the future: story and design, delivery and commitment to action.Conboy concluded the email by inviting students to partake in a survey to contribute their feedback and ideas for the strategic planning process.Tags: 2024, president katie conboy, strategic plan