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In February, Notre Dame College will once again celebrate “I Heart NDC” month with several opportunities for faculty, staff, alumni and friends to give back to the College—and the community this year.

Notre Dame’s 2015 annual fund campaign begins with a special “I Heart NDC” blessing from Fr. Edward E. Mehok, College chaplain, at 11:30 a.m. Mass Monday, February 2, in Christ the King Chapel. A light reception will follow in the Great Room of the Administration Building.

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio—11 February 2015—Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library will host “Ira Firstencel…sailing down the stream of life,” a retrospective exhibition of the late artist’s paintings. Firstencel’s lifelong love of sailing, nature and gardening are reflected in the works on display; the exhibit is being curated by the artist’s daughter, April Firstencel, who lives in the Cleveland area. An opening reception will be held in the library on Thursday, February 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

From a young age Notre Dame College student David Petrovic, 21, knew he was different from other children. And his parents knew it too.

Petrovic said his mother and father realized he had developmental differences by the time he was 2 years old; he wasn’t reaching important landmarks at the same rate as other boys his age. In fact, he did not utter more than a couple of words until the age of 3. He also demonstrated unusual behaviors.

Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library will host “Ira Firstencel…sailing down the stream of life,” a retrospective exhibition of the late artist’s paintings.

The exhibit is free and open to the public and will run through March 31.

Firstencel’s lifelong love of sailing, nature and gardening are reflected in the works on display; the exhibit is being curated by the artist’s daughter, April Firstencel, who lives in the Cleveland area.

The Notre Dame College community has welcomed a new member: Ember, a tan French Mastiff puppy, or Dogue de Bordeaux, who is more than just another pretty face on campus.

Notre Dame President Thomas G. Kruczek and his family combined their love and want for a dog with an added value for students on campus…taking the personal attention for which Notre Dame is known to a new level by sharing Ember with the whole College community.

Notre Dame College celebrated its national champion women’s rugby team, including five All-Tournament Team players and the Falcon named MVP of the Division II American Collegiate Rugby Association (ACRA) national contest.

The squad also was honored by the City of South Euclid, Ohio, which recognized the team and the coach with a formal proclamation from its City Council.

Notre Dame College has been awarded $60,000 in grants to develop innovative academic programs for vocational discernment among undergraduates and for transfer credit of online courses for nontraditional students.

The College has received a $50,000 award, to be paid over two years, from the Council of Independent Colleges as part of its Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). The initiative advances undergraduates’ intellectual and theological exploration of careers guided by a sense of calling.

WHAT: A Spirited Celebration for Notre Dame College’s National Championship Women’s Rugby Team

WHY: The Notre Dame College Women’s Rugby Team won the 2014 American Collegiate Rugby Association (ACRA) Division II National Championship. Faculty, staff, students, College administrators and the community will meet the team and coaches at this enthusiastic reception and pep rally.

WHEN: Monday, Jan.26, 4 p.m.

WHERE: Keller Center Murphy Gymnasium

The 2015 class of inductees for Notre Dame College's Athletic Hall of Fame includes Anna Ball, softball; Dave Hilborn, men's basketball; Molly Merrill, women's lacrosse; and the 2005-2006 men's soccer team.

Seats are still available for the induction ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, in the College's Performing Arts Center. For reservation information, contact Patrick Dibiasio, manager of athletic development, at 216.373.6515 or pdibiasio@ndc.edu.

Notre Dame College has announced that it will sponsor a women's tennis program, starting in the fall of 2015.

Ralph Dunbar, who recently retired as coach of the girls' tennis team at Westlake, Ohio, High School, has been named head coach for the Falcons newest sport and joins the College December 12. Dunbar coached the Westlake team to more than 400 victories, including an Ohio High School Athletic Association state singles title in 2012.