Our Sympathy to Kevin Nugent

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of John J. “Jack” Nugent, grandfather of Kevin Nugent (Associate Program Director, Athletics Advancement).  Jack entered into eternal life on Monday, March 9th. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 10:30 am at the Church of St, Joseph, 12 West Minnesota Street, St Joseph, MN. Visitation one hour prior at the Church.  Burial at St. Joseph Parish Cemetery. You can view more details at
Please keep Kevin and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Sara Liebscher

Sympathy to Jill Calderone

Our sympathy to Jill Calderone whose father-in-law, Joe Calderone, passed away this weekend.  Here is the link to the obituary:  http://www.hahnfuneralhomes.com/obits/obituary.php?id=643001

Visitation for Joseph will be on Wednesday, March 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m. in Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, in St. Bavo Catholic Church, Mishawaka

Recognition Society Reminders

The March Recognition Society reminders dropped on Wednesday, March 11th. This send included reminders to 260 Sorin/Corby, 10 JCOS, 5 OSTM and 9 Rockne members.
These were sent first-class presort and should have begun arriving in mailboxes on Friday. Email versions of these reminders are scheduled to be sent March 18th.
Please contact the Donor Experience team at 1-5198 if you have any questions.

Welcome Rod Ambrissi to Special Events & Stewardship

Dear Colleagues:

Rod Ambrissi will fill Laura O’Sullivan’s previous role as the program director in Special Events & Stewardship working with the Annual Giving & Marketing Strategy team. He will be working closely with the leaders of the recognition societies (Sorin Society, Corby Society, Order of St. Thomas More, John Cardinal O’Hara Society, Rockne Directors Circle, as well as the Badin Guild) to plan and execute events that engage and inspire.

Rod has spent the last fifteen years traveling the world, as a cruise director with Royal Caribbean International. He will apply his extensive experience working internationally and interacting with diverse cultures and lifestyles to the many recognition society activities as well as Notre Dame Day. Rod’s strengths of creativity and adaptability will serve him well in this role, and you’ll see his enthusiasm is contagious.

Rod and his wife Tammy, already living in South Bend and with Anthony Travel, are thrilled that Rod has found “land legs” and that their long-distance relationship has come to an end. Please join me in welcoming Rod and Tammy to the Notre Dame family.

Yours in Notre Dame,

Katherine Lane

South Bend St. Patrick’s Day Parade on 3/14/15

South Bend St. Patrick’s Day Parade is this Saturday, 3/14/2015. Kick off is at 11:00 am

Parade route is on Jefferson starting at Frances and ending on Niles Ave.
Come out and cheer on Logan Center and your favorite nosedales Linda and Mabel with their green furry legs and noses as they pull the wagon for Logan Center!
Greening of the St Joseph River will be immediately follow the parade.

Welcome George West to Athletics Advancement

It is with great pleasure that I introduce George West as the first new fundraiser to join the Athletics Advancement team. George will make the move across campus to this new role within University Relations on Monday, March 23rd after nearly two-years as Coordinator of Game Day Operations.  Prior to joining the Game Day staff, George was in Management and Sales at Enterprise Holdings.

George will fundraise directly for Athletics and also partner closely with the regional development and gift planning teams.  I am truly excited about the opportunity for him to further these partnerships as well as many within Athletics.  His regional assignment will be announced at a later date.

George is a 2009 graduate of the Mendoza College of Business and was a four-year letter winner as a wide receiver on the Irish football team.  He was a part of the first football “early enrollee” class in school history, along with Chris Stewart and James Aldridge.  A native of Spencer, Oklahoma, George and his fiancée Sandra (ND ’09) have one son, George III, and are expecting a baby girl in May.  In addition to time with his family, George loves to travel and play golf (two hobbies that will quickly endear him to his new prospects and benefactors).

Please join me in welcoming George to UR and the Athletics Advancement team.

Sara Liebscher

Welcome Lauren Whisler and Rochelle Miller to Special Events & Stewardship

Special Events & Stewardship is excited to welcome two new coordinators to the team, starting on Monday, March 9th.

Rochelle Miller, reporting to Sara Kassen, will focus on stewarding leadership donors by assisting with acknowledgements, endowment reporting, public recognition, events, and more. A graduate of Bethel College, Rochelle’s experience as an educator and in the nonprofit sector will serve her greatly in her new role. Most recently she served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Joni and Friends, a Christian disability ministry that provides outreach to families affected by disability around the globe. Rochelle’s references spoke of her strong character and commitment to service, and noted, “Everything Rochelle touches, she makes better.” We are looking forward to utilizing these strengths to bolster our efforts.

Also beginning her Notre Dame career this week, please join us in welcoming Lauren Whisler, who will report to Cristi Ganyard. In this newly created position, Lauren will assist with both special event planning and stewardship programs. Lauren will work closely with the team on activities surrounding Football Advisory Council weekends, Commencement, and a variety of other events, as well as supporting the principal gifts stewardship program. Lauren comes to Notre Dame with a combination of events and stewardship experience, having worked most recently as Coordinator of Major Gifts with the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. In this role, Lauren provided individual donor stewardship, cultivating donor and sponsor relationships and coordinating member data and benefits throughout the year. During the summer festival season, Lauren’s attention turned to coordinating and executing a large number of donor and trustee events in the fast-paced festival environment. Lauren previously held similar responsibilities with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Indiana University’s Arts Administration Program in Bloomington, minoring in Non-Profit Management, Lauren is a native of the Indianapolis area and looks forward to returning to her Hoosier roots.

Please join us in welcoming Lauren and Rochelle to the Notre Dame family.

Kind regards,


Update on Sara Liebscher and Gavin McGuire positions

Dear team,

One year after the OAD process, I recently initiated a variety of reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of our structure implemented on March 1, 2014. Such exercises have included the recent data retreat, where we evaluated the current structure and our ability to most effectively manage data, and transform this into information, knowledge, and wisdom that drives our business.

In recent months, I have also asked Sara Liebscher to lead an expanded team in Athletics Advancement. Many of you are aware of this expanded team, which will include additional positions focused on operations, events, stewardship, and fundraising. Brian Powell, Kevin Nugent, Brent Henningfield, and Laura O’Sullivan have recently been appointed to several of these positions, and and I am excited about the impact they are having already. Sarah Futa continues excellent work in her critical role on the team, and Sara is recruiting three new employees to serve as fundraisers and key partners with all members of our fundraising team. In her leadership role, I am pleased that Sara will now assume the title of Sr. Director of Athletics Advancement. Through her excellent leadership and partnership with all members of our team, I am excited about the future cultivation of new philanthropy and stewardship of so many generous Notre Dame benefactors.

I would also like to take this opportunity to outline an expanded scope that I have asked Gavin McGuire to assume. In the role of Development Associate, Gavin will continue with his current responsibilities, but also manage a variety of staff communications for our team, maintain responsibility for stewardship of benefactors I work with, collaborate on cultivation strategies, and lead a variety of special projects. Another specific component of this expanded role will be a deliberate focus on organizational health and innovation. We will be introducing a variety of new concepts on how our team can continue to reinvent itself, provide innovative opportunities to employees across the team, and constantly strive for excellence in our cultivation and stewardship of benefactors. Working closely with each of you, I am excited about the impact that Gavin’s leadership will provide.

Please join me in thanking Sara and Gavin for their continued leadership on our team, and know that I look forward to engaging in dialogue with each of you as we continue to debrief the OAD process and structure.

Welcome Alex Romagnolo to Athletics Annual Giving

Alex Romagnolo will join the Annual Giving and Strategic Marketing team on Monday, March 9, as the Associate Director, Athletics Annual Giving. Alex joins us from Grassroots Soccer where he was the Director of Annual Giving for more than three years. Prior to that, he was the Director of Ticket Sales for UC Berkeley. Alex brings with him a wealth of annual giving and athletic ticket sales knowledge. Alex moved to the South Bend area last summer with his wife, Theresa, (the ND women’s head soccer coach) and their two daughters, Sierra (almost 3) and Giovanna (8 months).

Please join us in congratulating him on his new position.