Farewell to Jim Small

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with bittersweet emotion that I share with you the news that Jim Small is retiring from Notre Dame, effective June 30, 2023.

Jim has served as a senior leader of our team for over eleven years, transforming development communications into inspiring stories for Notre Dame alumni, parents and friends. We will miss Jim’s passion, innovation, commitment to excellence and devotion to Notre Dame and our mission.

Jim is leaving Notre Dame and our University Relations team in a much better and stronger place. Jim pioneered and executed many of our biggest and most creative endeavors over the past decade, including Notre Dame Day, the Notre Dame Trail, and Sorin: A Notre Dame Story. Under Jim’s leadership, Storytelling developed custom donor proposals to convey our priorities, translating into billions donated to the University. He built videography, design and social media experiences previously unconceived; enhanced brand messaging; and taught us the importance of “Think, Feel, Do” through storytelling. While the Annual Giving team continues to break records in unrestricted and giving society gifts and donor counts year after year, Jim pushed colleagues to think differently, not to look back, but rather, to always look ahead with excitement. Similarly, Jim and Susan are now doing just that with retirement on the horizon, and Jim asked me to share the attached message with you.

Later this week, the position of Associate Vice President for Development will be posted. In the meantime, please take a moment to read Jim’s heartfelt message and join me in wishing Jim, Susan, and the entire Small family every happiness on their next adventure.

Best, Lou

– – – – –
From Jim Small, Associate Vice President for Development, Storytelling & Engagement
I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve the mission of the University of Notre Dame and to be your colleague for 4,189 days. It’s the most cherished professional honor of my lifetime.
How lucky we all are to represent an institution that matters — and, how lucky I have been to work every day with so many talented, humble and kind individuals who love Notre Dame as much as I do.

Trust me, this is rare air.

I will admit I am going to miss 7:47 AM ET meetings every Monday with Lou and crew and I’m dearly going to miss being in the trenches with my teammates on the Storytelling Team and Annual Giving Team (AKA) “The Record Breakers.” You have proven you are the ABSOLUTE BEST at what you do in the world — PERIOD.

And selfishly, I’m going to miss the privilege and responsibility of telling the Notre Dame story – a love story unlike any other.

But, please know that I still believe I have the ability to “do” great things – so I’m not ready to utter the “R word” (retire) just yet — even though my birth certificate and hair color will tell you otherwise. So please feel free to spread this story about my departure:
“Small has decided to leave Notre Dame early (sans a degree) and enter his name into the transfer portal to explore opportunities where he can use up the eligibility he has left to see what his N.I.L. value is in the marketplace…”. (I HOPE YOU ARE SMILING)

I will leave you with this. The prolific American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, is credited with this quote, that inspired me long ago to always ‘think differently and never be afraid to fail:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” 
I hope I’ve left a trail…

P.S. There are three blonde-headed kids in Vero Beach, FL who are going to see their Grandpa & Grandma Small a little more often. I pray they will appreciate this as much as we will.

Best Wishes to Lynn Hubert!


Often times it is difficult to see someone leave the University of Notre Dame, and this is one of those times. After 18 years of service, Lynn Hubert is leaving Our Lady’s University to pursue a new opportunity with Ave Maria University as the Vice President and Advisor to the President. She will help Ave Maria build out their development team and also manage a principal gift portfolio.

While it is difficult to see Lynn go, it is with a heart of gratitude that we wish her, Dan, and the entire family well in their new pursuit. The Hubert family has been an immense blessing to Our Lady’s University as well as to the St. Pius X parish family. We are grateful to Lynn for taking such fantastic care of her benefactors, deeply and authentically living her Catholic faith, and for simply being a great friend to us all. Lynn, we wish you all of God’s blessings and tremendous success. Lynn’s last day in the office will be Wednesday, May 24th.

Jason Scarlett
Senior Director

If you wish to leave a message for Lynn, you can do so here: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/1tm6JbUa

Annual Giving Spring Renewal Mailing #3

Dear Colleagues,

The third spring renewal mailing (renew #3) is dropping in mailboxes starting Friday, May 19 to all our unrestricted and giving society benefactors. As a reminder, this mailing is sent to all assigned and unassigned benefactors whose annual giving is less than $25,000, asking them to renew their previous calendar year gift by their respective fund owner. This mailing is being sent to over 5,200 households and will be followed by email reminders in the weeks to come. If you have any questions regarding our renewal strategy, please reach out to the appropriate fund (Sorin, Rockne, Law, etc.) owner on the annual giving team and they can assist.

Annual Giving Team

Welcome Lynette Shunka to the ITS Team!

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce that Lynette Shunka joined the Information & Technology Services team on May 8. Lynette will be a Salesforce CRM Administrator for asceND.

We are excited to see the impact Lynette will have on our team. Her experience,
skillset, and commitment to the mission of Our Lady’s University will help advance our
team’s work and culture.

Lynette has her bachelor’s degree from Lamar University, and is a Certified Salesforce Administrator. She and her husband, Kyle reside in the Houston TX area.

Please join me in offering a warm welcome to Lynette as she joins the University Relations family.

– Carleen

Best Wishes to Mary Bueno


I am both proud and grateful to announce that Mary Bueno will be retiring from her role as Development Associate, Advancement Services effective June 30, 2023 after 10 loyal years of service to Notre Dame.

Mary joined the Development team in 2013 after a career in administrative support positions at both Attco Machine Products and Honeywell International. Mary quickly became a beloved member of the Annual Giving team, providing assistance with nearly every annual giving effort, from Notre Dame Day to donor experience support for Giving Society members. Above all, she served as a trusted advocate, cheerleader, counselor, and friend to so many of us who have been blessed to work with her. Whether with a high five, a hug, or simply a smile, Mary has the rare ability to make every day better just because you have the chance to work with her.

I personally am so grateful to Mary for joining the Advancement Services team this past year, bringing with her the same can-do and “how can I help” approach to a new role and team. Mary will be incredibly missed, but we are thrilled that she and her husband, Manny, will be jumping into this exciting new phase of life!

Please join me in thanking Mary for all she has done for Notre Dame and our team. We will miss you, Mary!


UR Walks – May 9th at 11:45 (Grace Hall)

Hello UR Team! If you are interested in joining us for our next UR Walks, please fill out this form. Brian Diss will be leading the walk from Grace Hall. As there may be some non-pavement, trail walking, we advise that appropriate footwear be considered. Signing up also helps us to contact those who are interested just in case we need to cancel at the last minute due to inclement weather. We look forward to catching up with you while getting in our steps. Happy trails!

Congratulations Cheryl Schlimpert!


It is with excitement for our longstanding colleague Cheryl Schlimpert that we share news about her new endeavor. Beginning June 1st, Cheryl will join the Accounting and Financial Services team in the Controller’s Office, assuming the new role of Endowed Programs Manager. In this role, Cheryl will be developing processes to increase the utilization of endowed resources, enhance communication among constituent departments, and improve the monitoring of unique gift arrangements and related donor restrictions.

Cheryl is a proven solutions leader and has worked extensively with our annual endowment reporting process for the past several years, providing project and data management to the University Stewardship Initiatives team. In addition, Cheryl is the technical force behind the Student Thank You Note project which produces more than 8,000 student letters annually. Cheryl has also automated a significant number of processes for the broader Stewardship team, including the annual Stewardship & Dedications budget.

Cheryl’s mindset toward continuous process improvement and automation has helped the Stewardship & Donor Relations team immensely in recent years. She will be missed for both her technical expertise and her stewardship heart. Gratefully, Cheryl isn’t going far, and supporting the University’s efforts toward more consistent spending of endowed funds will serve our generous benefactors well. We look forward to working closely with Cheryl in this new capacity. Please join us in offering all good wishes to Cheryl as she embarks on this new and exciting opportunity!

We will be posting for Cheryl’s replacement as Project and Data Assistant Manager in the coming days. Please contact Cristi Ganyard if you have questions or would like to discuss this role.

Katherine Lane and Cristi Ganyard

UR May Birthdays

Happy birthday to all our UR employees celebrating their special days in May! We hope your year is filled with sunshine and fun!

5/1 – Meredith Sharwarko
5/4 –  Tashana Kenny
5/5 – Emily Naff
5/7 – Courtney Mattison
5/7 – Grace Prosniewski
5/9 – Eleanor Hanson
5/9 – Barbara Josenhans
5/9 – Gavin McGuire
5/10 – Michele Wolff
5/12 – Mary Prebys
5/13 – Thomas Speranza
5/14 – Josh Flynt
5/14 – Beth Dietz
5/15 – Mary Flynt
5/15 – Laura Marks
5/17 – Jacqueline Clinton
5/17 – Krista Ybarra
5/18 – Ron Linczer
5/18 – Maya Sison
5/19 – Lori Rush
5/20 – Sarah Kriegshauser
5/21 – Isabel Dance
5/21 – Kiran Mistry
5/21 – Ben Nowalk
5/21 – Terrell Robinson
5/22 – Andy Mason
5/22 – Stephanie Washington
5/24 – Beth Graybill
5/26 – Kate Mueller
5/26 – Bailey Smith
5/28 – Steven Horstmann
5/29 – Amelia Ruggaber
5/31 – Patrick Charles
5/31 – Jennifer Powell

In Celebration of Earth Day, a message from DEIU Education & Engagement

Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. ~Robin Wall Kimmerer

Happy Earth Day! 

Celebrated for the first time on April 20, 1970, Earth Day brought together millions of Americans wanting government regulations in place that would end pollution, mostly by large corporations.  Since then, Earth Day has become a call for individuals and communities to learn about and live more sustainably, push for policy change, and to recognize that sustainability is crucial to ensure the equity and equality of all living beings. 

Throughout most of history, a reciprocal relationship has existed between people and nature. At times it may seem that we have lost that relationship with nature and the earth. Nearly every religion, culture and tradition offer a connection to the earth: Creation stories. Creation stories often keep humans rooted to nature, reminding us that the earth naturally creates and sustains life. While Creation stories vary widely, from God’s spoken words breathing life into existence to a pregnant woman falling from the sky who was saved and cared for by animals, they remind us that humans belong within the complex nature system.   

Below are four short clips of creation stories from various traditions: 

Genesis Creation Story (Judeo-Christian faith tradition)

Sky Woman Falling (Haudenosaunee tradition)

Hindu Creation Story (Hindu faith tradition)

The Earth with Kaang (African San Bushmen Creation story)

Earth Day does not have to be (and should not be) the only time we focus on living more sustainably. Some suggestions for incorporating more sustainable practices in our everyday lives are included below. And please keep in mind – progress over perfection! Not everyone can practice all of these suggestions, but choosing one or two things from the list that feel feasible for your life at this time will make an impact! 

  1. At work:
    1. Keep reusable lunch items at work such as silverware and a cloth napkin.
    2. Use a mug or water bottle for drinks.
    3. Invest in reusable sandwich and snack bags.
    4. Limit your paper towel use to one each time you dry your hands. Enjoy this Ted Talk on the topic.
  2. While grocery shopping:
    1. Use reusable produce bags instead of the thin plastic bags in the produce section and reusable bags for packing your groceries.
    2. If possible, buy from the bulk area of the grocery store using jars from home or investing in jars for bulk food. Local grocery store, Purple Porch, carries spices, grains, coffee and many other bulk options.
  3. Outdoor spaces:
    1. Visit one of the many beautiful county and state parks near us. The more time we spend in nature the deeper connection we feel to nature (not to mention so many other health benefits!). 
    2. Suggested read: Florence Williams’ The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
    3. Plant native plants in your yard. They attract pollinators – and the more plants taking up yard space means less mowing!
  4. Clothing
    1. Buy thrifted clothes at places like Clothes Mentor, Once Upon a Child, and ThredUp (online). 
    2. Buy fewer clothes. Value what you buy and invest only in clothes you really like and need. 
    3. Buy clothing made with natural fabric fibers instead of synthetic fabrics. You’ll reduce the amount of microplastics in rivers and oceans that shed during washing. 
    4. Upcycle your clothes using companies like For Days where you can send textiles to be recycled. You pay $20 up front for a bag, but then you receive $20 to spend in their store!

Sign Up for UR Walks – Tuesday, April 25th

If you are interested in joining us for our next UR Walks, please fill out this form. We will meet at the first floor lobby of ESC on Tuesday, April 25 at 11:30AM. Sara Liebscher will be leading the walk. As there may be some non-pavement, trail walking, we advise that appropriate footwear be considered. Signing up also helps us to contact those who are interested just in case we need to cancel at the last minute due to inclement weather. Interested in learning more about the health benefits of walking? Check out this article.