ND Day Email Signature Banner Live

Dear colleagues,
Please note that your email signature banner will be running Notre Dame Day-related campaigns starting from April 1, Monday. The banner will be switched back to the original campaign on April 30. No action is required from you.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Lin Wang.
Thank you
Storytelling and Engagement

Farewell to Debbie Loughran

With regret, I must announce that Debbie Loughran will be leaving our team as of April 12th. Debbie has been a great, and successful, member of the West Region for the past several years, and she will be sorely missed. Her enthusiasm, postive outlook and connection to donors set a high bar for the entire organization.

 Debbie will be assuming the role of  Associate Superintendent of Development for the Diocese of Orange CA. The Diocese of Orange is the seventh largest diocese in the United States and supports 34 elementary and 7 secondary schools. In this role she will continue her commitment to promoting Catholic education and fostering our mission to be a force for good in our community. The Notre Dame family will be close by, as she will be working alongside fellow Domers –  Dr. Erin Barisano ’93 (Superintendent of Schools) and Liz Jensen ’94 (CFO).
 In Debbie’s words-
“It has been a privilege to serve Our Lady’s University with such a wonderful group of individuals. I am proud of the work we have done in Southern California that will provide ongoing impact benefiting Notre Dame. May God continue to bless all of this good work.”
Please send Debbie an email of thanks and appreciation for her great work and tremendous attitude while serving Our Lady. 
Bill Ribera

Welcome to 405, Sharon Rankert!

It is with great excitement I share the news that Sharon Rankert will be joining the 405 Main office-front desk as the Senior Office Coordinator. Sharon has been part of the UR team in Donor Services since 2012. Sharon’s first day in her new role will be April 3rd.  We are excited to have Sharon as part of the 405 team! Please join me in congratulating Sharon on her new role.


Debra deSt.Jean

Welcome Matt Gelchion, New AAD for Financial Aid & Student Life

It is a pleasure to welcome Matt Gelchion as the Academic Advancement Director for Financial Aid & Student Life.  He will begin his new role on Monday, May 6, 2019.
Matt is currently Director of Volunteer Leadership and Participation, part of Annual Giving here in Development.  He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Notre Dame, and joined the University Relations team in 2017.  Prior to his time in Development, Matt served as Associate Director and later Recruiting Coordinator in the Alliance for Catholic Education.  In pursuit of his master’s degree, Matt was a Social Studies and Religion Teacher in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Matt’s leadership extends beyond his role on the Annual Giving team as evidenced in his service on the Moreau Instructor Advisory Council, and as a coach for Notre Dame’s Men’s and Women’s Boxing.
Through Matt’s start date in early May, you will continue to see Matt on our team in his current role.  Please join me in congratulating Matt on being selected for this new AAD role.


Garth has nothing on our beloved master G- Gretchen Neely.
She is a rock star!
And she has decided that her professional tour will end this summer.

Please join me in congratulating Gretchen on her decision to retire, effective June 30, 2019.

In 2013,* Gretchen was hired in University Relations as a “temporary on-call” employee. Within a month, her talent, positive attitude, and propensity for teamwork were recognized and she was hired full-time. Gretchen has faithfully served Recruiting, Learning and Organizational Development (LOD), and Internal Engagement and Execution. Her extra-mile service and warm welcome have provided lasting first impressions via the onboarding program. Her generous hospitality has fed stomachs and lightened spirits at countless professional development venues and departmental gatherings. Above all, Gretchen’s genuine care for others has created incredible impact on our UR family.

Before her time at Notre Dame, Gretchen served as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of Welch Packaging in Elkhart for 12 years. Prior to Welch, Gretchen served as an Executive Assistant at Bayer Federal Credit Union and Crown International.

Gretchen looks forward to traveling and spending more time with her recently retired husband Mike, their children and grandchildren, and Gretchen’s best friends since high school! She will also be back-on-campus enjoying Football Fridays.

May we all appreciate Gretchen’s farewell tour in the months ahead!

For Notre Dame,

Bryan Reaume

*Gretchen’s decision is completely separate/independent of the current Staff Retirement Incentive Program. A thoughtful transition plan, including the posting of a role on the LOD team, will commence in the coming weeks. Questions or inquiries about this new role can be directed to Bryan Reaume or James Riley.

Stewardship Changes

Dear colleagues:

I am excited to share our plan for the future of stewardship at Notre Dame! Our new team name, Stewardship & Donor Relations, signifies that in addition to stewarding gifts, we are engaging, cultivating and relating to donors as part of a larger donor relations strategy. Our new structure highlights four specific focus points for the team: Stewardship Communications (led by Julia Onghetich); Donor Recognition (led by Jessica Reasons); University Stewardship Initiatives (led by a to-be-identified colleague); and Donor Relations Strategies (led by Mary Fisher). Many of the roles and responsibilities of our teammates will evolve during this restructure, and I have attached an explanation sheet and organizational chart for reference. These changes will enhance the stewardship of University donors and will position us well for the future, which will include enhanced communications, digital recognition displays, an enhanced principal donor stewardship effort, and eventually online, interactive impact reporting.

 Here is a list of the high level changes:

  • Julia Onghetich will be promoted to lead the new unit for Stewardship Communications, and will serve as the partner to Corporate Relations and Foundation Relations, among other responsibilities including the acknowledgment program. Please join me in congratulating Julia.
  • Mary Fisher, as the Sr. Program Director for Donor Relations Strategies, will serve as the partner for all individual fundraisers. This will offer great consistency for education, orientation, programmatic stewardship, and personal stewardship for principal donors.
  • Jessica Reasons will continue to lead the Donor Recognition team for both public and personal recognition. Her team will execute many of the personal touches of the principal donor program and host benefactors at dedications and groundbreakings.
  • The new University Stewardship Initiatives unit will partner with Michael Loungo’s team of Academic Advancement Directors and will work closely with the leadership and budget administrators within the colleges, schools and important divisions including Student Affairs and Financial Aid. This team will focus on endowment reporting, creative stewardship initiatives within the schools and colleges, and maximization of impact.

We will soon be posting three open positions as follows: Director for University Stewardship Initiatives, Program Director for University Stewardship Initiatives (focus on Financial Aid, the Graduate School, and Student Affairs), and the Program Director for Donor Recognition. Please let me know if you or a friend/colleague are interested in joining our team.

I am excited about creating the best-in-class Stewardship & Donor Relations team in the nation! Please let me know if you have any questions.


In Notre Dame,


New Research Innovation & IDEA Center AAD starts today

Hello again.

Today we welcome Karen Deak, the new AAD for Research Innovation & IDEA Center, to her first day as part of the University Relations team. Like all of our Academic Advancement Directors, Karen serves our fundraisers to help them hit their goals.

Karen is based in the Eddy Street Commons office, in what was previously the AAD Lounge.  You will also see Karen around Main Building and Grace Hall as she gets to know our team in meaningful ways, and navigates her onboarding schedule.  Take a meeting with Karen….you’ll learn about her unique life at home, and her strong commitment of service to the faculty and students of Notre Dame.

You can connect with Karen by email at kdeak@nd.edu, and by phone at 1-9255

Thank you,

Michael Loungo


Leadership is Listening February Water Bottle Winners

Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback to Leadership is Listening in the month of February. We appreciate you taking the time to help us improve our workplace, and we are actively pursuing many of the suggestions you submitted. As a reminder, if you have feedback that you would like to submit anonymously, but would still like to be entered into the water bottle giveaway, please be sure to leave another piece of feedback that does include your name. You do not need to submit it on the same day or address the same topic as your anonymous feedback.
Without further ado, we’re happy to announce the winners of the Hydrate Spark smart water bottles for the month of February: Andrew Frye and Luke Conway. Grace Prosniewski will be by later in the week to deliver your bottles.
Thank you again, and remember to keep submitting your feedback!
-The Leadership is Listening Team

Brennan/Loesch to depart Alumni Association marketing team

Dear colleagues,


I’m sad to share a couple of pieces of news that affect the Alumni Association Marketing Communications team. The announcements are unrelated.


Kevin Brennan will be leaving us April 16 to move to his true home, New York. His Mom, Dad, grandparents, brother, and sister all live there. Kevin and Jen began conversations in recent months about their future and the concern of having Mary and Sara so far away from extended family. Kevin’s professional opportunity materialized about 10 days ago when he found out the Director of Communications position at his high school, Regis High, was open. After a quick set of interviews, the position was offered and Kevin has accepted.




Also last week, Kiley Loesch resigned her position as Graphic Designer effective June 14. Kiley has been pursuing a masters degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for more than a year. Finding the pressures of work and school to be too much, she’s decided to focus on her schooling. Kiley will be joining us for Leadership Conference and the board meeting next month. We greatly appreciate the advance notice that Kiley was able to provide so we can find a suitable replacement.




Of course, this news is not easy to share. Both Kevin and Kiley will be wildly missed. They are powerful creative forces on our team and all-around wonderful colleagues. Please join me in thanking them for their commitment to moving the NDAA forward in storytelling, marketing, and design.


We will post the Associate Director of Marketing Communications position this week. We hope to post the Designer position later this month.