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A Devoted Supporter

Note: This is the 43rd profile in a series of 90 stories highlighting individuals who have shaped Notre Dame and/or live the College’s mission of personal, professional and global responsibility.

By Christian Taske ’07

“Therese has been characterized as a woman of many accomplishments who successfully combines the roles of mother, career woman and community leader. In these roles, Therese has been recognized by her colleagues and peers as a woman of integrity, a thoughtful listener, a creative thinker and an effective collaborator. Through her commitment of time, talent and treasure, Therese has embodied the ideals and values of the Sisters of Notre Dame and the College.”

These words, written to nominate the 2009 Fidelia Award recipient, describe a friend and kind supporter of Notre Dame who has served the College for more than six decades – alumna Therese Buettner Hummer ’46.

“Therese Hummer is living the mission of our College,” said NDC President Andrew P. Roth when he awarded her with the Fidelia Award. “Therese has an endless devotion to the College, the alumni and the nuns. We are especially grateful for her family’s very generous donation that helped renew Christ the King Chapel, the spiritual heart of our campus.”

A plaque hanging in the back of the chapel reminds its visitors that its renewal would not have been possible without the support of the Hummer family (Therese has seven children). Through their generosity, the College was able to repair the delicate stained glass windows and refinish the pews in 2008.

Therese Hummer
Therese Buettner Hummer graduated from Notre Dame in 1946 with a degree in dietetics.

Therese Hummer’s services to the College, however, far exceed her monetary contributions. They date back to her student days in the 1940s when she was student council and senior class president, and continued after she graduated with a dietetics degree in 1946.

Over the past 66 years, she has remained a devoted supporter of the College in many ways. Among other things, she served as the president of the Alumnae Association in 1969 and 1970. Two years later, she was named the Alumnae Association’s Woman of the Year.

In 1991, after retiring from a long, successful career as a commercial marketing food service representative with the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Hummer re-joined the College as director of alumnae affairs. After leaving that position in 1993, she continued to support NDC through volunteer work in the Development Office, participating in phonathons and other special events.

Her energy also spilled over into a faithful love for the church, as she enjoyed being involved in anything that served other people, particularly the hungry. The Christ Child Society was just one of those many service avenues Hummer explored.

On numerous occasions, she would also lend a helping hand to the Sisters of Notre Dame, whom she loved dearly. She shared her expertise with the Sisters in Chardon, for instance, when they converted their kitchens from natural gas to electric.

Hummer said Notre Dame had a tremendous impact on her life, not only academically but also spiritually and mentally.

“I received the total education package,” she said. “Notre Dame was a very small college when I was there. The faculty was so well educated and they were always available to us no matter what need we had. I have a feeling that the College has been able to maintain that.”

Hummer said the Catholic education she received from the Sisters of Notre Dame was extremely important to her.

“As you move into the world and meet people with different beliefs and viewpoints, you feel grounded in what you believe,” she said. “Notre Dame was the foundation for that belief. It was an outstanding institution of learning and remains so today.”

Christian Taske ’07 is the director of print & digital communications at Notre Dame College.