Condolences to Mary Bueno

Please join me in offering sympathy to our dear colleague, Mary Bueno, for the loss of her mother, Patricia DeClercq, on Tuesday, November 24.

The obituary can be found here:

The family held private services this past week.

Eternal rest grant her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

Brian Diss

Alumni Association – DEIU Update


  • Our UR DEIU Journey – Click here to watch a video message from our colleagues.
  • You can now track all UR DEIU events and initiatives with our new DEIU Calendar.
  • If you’re interested in being a part of a DEIU Task Force committee, please click here and identify which committee you would like to serve on.
  • Please click here to give your feedback about our efforts related to DEIU. This feedback is completely anonymous!

UR December Birthdays

Happy Birthday to all our colleagues celebrating their special days in December! You are a gift to our team!

12/2 – Kristin Schoenfeld
12/3 – Megan Macri
12/3 – Tom Cummings
12/4 – Mark Welch
12/4 – Tim Willis
12/5 – Hugo Manriquez Diaz
12/5 – Steve Nekic
12/6 – Pablo Martinez
12/6 – Wieslaw Kosidlak
12/7 – Curtis Claypool
12/8 – Devon Aragona
12/8 – Karen Deak
12/8 – Kristin Trosper
12/12 – Dolly Duffy
12/13 – Rudy Reyes
12/15 – Jennifer McGuire
12/16 – Jerry Barca
12/18 – Kim Borza
12/18 – Mike Schultz
12/20 – Lea Barthuly
12/22 – Pam Mullin
12/23 – Andrew Fiedler
12/23 – Ben Moeller
12/29 – Ken Heckel
12/29 – Luke Conway
12/30 – Sherita Jackson

Welcome Kyle Olivia Rizzo!

Congratulations to Jess Rizzo ’07 and her husband Cody ’06, who welcomed a newborn baby girl on November 19th, Kyle Olivia Rizzo, weighing 6lbs and measuring 19 inches, despite being 4 weeks early!

Jess was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital earlier in November, and was kept and monitored in the hospital for a week before being induced on the 19th. She was originally scheduled to be induced on December 20th! Despite being early, Kyle is healthy and strong. Jess, Cody, Kyle, and their other daughter Ryan are all home and healthy.

Best Wishes to Nathan Utz

It is with mixed emotions that I write to share that after 9 1/2 years as a member of our development team, Nathan Utz will be leaving Notre Dame to assume the position of Vice President for Industry Partnerships at Purdue University effective December 14, 2020. Special thanks to Nathan for his tireless efforts as the inaugural academic advancement director in the College of Engineering, and for his 4 1/2 years as the senior director of corporate relations. Under Nathan’s leadership, corporate relations has had several record years of production. Please join me in thanking Nathan for his service and congratulating him on his new role as a Boilermaker.

I would also like to announce that Josh Tullis has accepted the role of Interim Senior Director of Corporate Relations. Josh has been an integral member of our corporate relations team for the past four years, and led our pioneering efforts to establish the Notre Dame – IBM Tech Ethics Lab with an historic grant of $20M from IBM in 2020. He earned his BS from ND in 1996 and his Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from ND in 1999. Special thanks to Josh for taking on this important role.

-Drew Buscareno

Alumni Association – All-UR Initiatives

Alumni Association Colleagues,

We invite you to review and participate in the all-UR initiatives listed below that were originally announced via Development’s souNDoff weekly newsletter. We will strive to ensure the entirety of UR receives these updates in a timely fashion. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Thank you to the 140+ people who attended our first DEIU Media Resource Group Discussion event, “I’m Still Here”. If you haven’t already, please complete this very brief 5 question survey that will provide us with valuable feedback as we continue on our DEIU journey together.

You can now track all UR DEIU events and initiatives with our new DEIU Calendar.

Even though the Klau Center’s lecture series, Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary, has concluded, our conversation around this important topic will continue. We will now turn to Nikole Hannah-Jones ’98 1619 Project where you may listen to a podcast or read the transcript. The discussion will then take place on select Fridays from 1:55-2:25p.m. The schedule is below and please contact Sharon Rankert for the calendar invite and Zoom link. Thank you to everyone who joined previously, and we look forward to seeing many new and returning faces.
11/20 – Episode 1
12/4 – Episode 2
12/11 – Episode 3
12/18 – Episode 4
1/8 – Episode 5, part 1
1/15 – Episode 5, part 2

If you’re interested in being a part of a DEIU Task Force committee, please click here and identify which committee you would like to serve on.

Also, please click here to give your feedback about our efforts related to DEIU – this feedback is completely anonymous!

Free UR Yoga Classes
Sign up now for free virtual yoga! South Bend’s own Caitlin Hubbard, owner of Bend Yoga, will be leading a series of classes for UR employees. The emphasis will be on stress relief and yoga basics so this class is for everyone! There are a limited number of spots available for in-studio access and these will be available first come first serve. Whether you plan to come in person or join virtually, sign up now and reserve your spot!

Share Your FavURite Thanksgiving Recipes!
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, we know that this holiday season will be different for all of us. Many of us will be unable to gather with extended family in the way we are accustomed to, and many of our holiday gatherings and traditions are on-hold this year. But we know that even in this challenging time, there is so much to be thankful for, including our wonderful UR colleagues! In this spirit, we invite you to share your favorite Thanksgiving recipes with the wider team. Appetizers, side dishes, entrees, and desserts, we want to hear them all! Just fill them in the FavURite Thanksgiving Recipes. And if you end up cooking one of these yummy dishes, snap a picture and send it to one of the IE Committee to share!

UR a Force for Good – REAL Services
For the month of November, we are partnering with REAL Services, whose mission is to forge a community in which older individuals are empowered to maintain their independence and find meaning and satisfaction throughout their lives. There are a variety of ways you AND your family can become involved!

1) Elves for Elders– This is a holiday gift card program for the seniors in our community. Each gift card is $50 and will support 1 senior. If you are interested in sponsoring a senior or even a portion of a gift card please indicate so here. You will be matched with an individual senior and their gift card preference at the end of the month. You can mail your gift card to REAL Services or drop it off with Grace/Amy on Friday, December 4 at ESC from 12-1pm. 

2) Letters & Cards from UR- Consider writing a note of encouragement or having your children draw pictures or make homemade cards for those who are a part of the Meals on Wheels program. There is no limit on the number of cards/letters we can use so get creative and have fun with it! Please have all cards/letters unsealed. You can drop your cards/letters off at ESC in a letterbox at the front desk. If you don’t wish to enter the building, we will also have a drop off day in the ESC circle on Friday, November 20 from 12-1PM. 

If you have questions on any of these wonderful opportunities, please reach out to Amy Plotkin or Grace Prosniewski. And thank you in advance UR!

November Matching Gift Email – Claim Your Notre Dame Chocolate

The November matching gift email will be sent on Tuesday, November 17 to this list of assigned entities. This list includes entities who have made a gift since October 10, 2020, and as of today have not yet matched their gift.

Starting with this email, we are testing an incentive for benefactors to submit their claim forms through a Notre Dame chocolate promotion. Benefactors who submit a claim form to match their gift will receive this exclusive Notre Dame vintage monogram chocolate made by the South Bend Chocolate Company.

Please note:

1) The first tab “November MG Email” includes entities that will receive an email from me tomorrow, November 17. The gifts on this tab represent $173K in potential matches.

2) The second tab, “November Email Exclude”, represents entities that are in fund and giving society renewal populations. I have excluded these entities from the November matching gift email as they are receiving increased communications at this time to renew their gifts. Please feel free to reach out to these entities individually. The gifts on this tab represent over $223K in potential matches.

3) The third tab, “Fundraiser Outreach”, includes entities who have made gifts >$25K who we have routinely exclude from these emails but may still be eligible for a match of their gifts.

Please contact Laura Walker with questions regarding this information.

Welcome Margot Ann Witous!

A fighting Irish is born! Margot Ann Witous was born November 12th, at 4lb15oz and 15.5 inches long. She had been giving her parents a scare since July, when medical observations started telling them that there was a 92% chance she was not going to survive long after birth. She has since proven to be a part of the 8%, currently residing in the NICU until she’s strong enough to head home.

Jess and Mike want to thank everyone who has expressed concern, prayers and relief throughout this time. Big brother Michael is proud and ready to welcome her to the family, as are we.