To My Friends and Colleagues,
Thirty five years ago, my brother was wrestling with choosing a college. He was leaning toward Boston College, my mom and dad’s alma mater, which was particularly special for my sentimental father. A letter from Notre Dame arrived late in the process. The debate ended. My father told my brother he’d be going to the University of Notre Dame. That was the start of a connection with Our Lady’s University that has evolved and deepened and this past difficult year, bolstered our family.
I don’t know if it was my dad’s heart or head that guided that decision. I believe it was God’s hand. We lost my dad to cancer this past Christmas Eve. While reflecting on the many, many gifts my father gave us, it occurred to me that he gave us the gift of Notre Dame. My dad was thrilled when I joined Notre Dame Development a little over a year ago. That excitement turned to awe at the extraordinary response from the Notre Dame family when we found out he was sick. You circled the wagons to support us. You sent prayers and cards and pictures of candles lit at the Grotto. Baskets arrived at their house and on that very hard day when our family gathered to say goodbye, the most beautiful blue and gold flowers greeted us at the church. A thank you in this format seems woefully inadequate but I wanted to make sure that you all knew what a profound difference you made for me and my family during a very trying time. One of the things my dad admired most about Notre Dame is that it “walks its talk.” He said Notre Dame is authentically what it aspires to be. I am deeply grateful to be part of such a place with all of you and I am deeply grateful that my dad recognized years ago why it was so special. Thank you for making it so.
With deepest gratitude,