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Notre Dame Today - Spring 2008
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Notre Dame Today - Spring 2008

Each spring, as we confer diplomas on another class of Notre Dame graduates, we know that in the next phase of their lives they will create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. We believe that Notre Dame students learn more than how to earn a living. They learn how to live a life. Our mission statement articulates more than a sense of direction for our College. It describes the culture of learning that differentiates Notre Dame from other institutions. When we say that we prepare students for personal, professional and global responsibility, one has only to look in the classrooms and residence halls to gain a sense of what we mean.

The great cathedrals of the world – St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris – all have something in common with even the most modest of parish churches and chapels affiliated with institutions such as Notre Dame College: they were all built to the glory of God. The dreamers and architects of these extraordinary edifices created spaces that exist solely for the purpose of worship in special places symbolizing heaven on earth, a respite from the mundane and escape into the sacred. The towering height of these holy spaces can only suggest man’s reach toward heaven.

The college years are an exciting time for students who are able to live on campus. “It’s a time of discovery,” said Jeff Rudnik, Notre Dame College’s director of residence life. “In a residence hall community, you live around people you would not necessarily have chosen to be next to, but they become part of your world.”

It has been over 40 years since Notre Dame College built a residence hall.

Old Alumnae Hall, renamed Petersen Hall in 2003 to honor Helen Foose Petersen ’38, added space for approximately 160 students when it opened in September, 1968. But in 2008, the College broke ground for two new facilities, making room for 288 new resident students by the end of 2009.

In April, the College hosted a series of seminars on personal finance led by Stephen Hotchkiss, visiting instructor for business. The three-week series focused on banking, budgeting, credit cards and personal savings.

Travelers with the Notre Dame Educational Travel program returned safely back home after a wonderful ten-day journey through Northern Spain that took place from February 21 through March 1, 2008. A group of 26 alumni, faculty, students and friends took in the sights of cities like Madrid, Burgos, Barcelona, and Pamplona.

Notre Dame College hosted Candidates’ Night on Monday, March 10, 2008, giving students an opportunity to speak directly to representatives from the Republican and Democratic Parties.

The Tolerance Resource Center concluded a memorable year-long celebration of its tenth anniversary on April 10, 2008.

Over the academic year, the Center held lectures featuring keynote speeches from Sr. Gemma Del Duca, the first-ever non-Israeli to receive Yad Vashem’s Excellence in Holocaust Education Award, Dr. James Waller, a recognized scholar in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies, and Sr. Eileen Quinlan, SND, Ph.D. ’74, associate professor of English and communication.

Throughout Northeast Ohio, shopping malls, grocery stores and new lifestyle centers stand where lush green spaces once flourished. However, a small group of committed volunteers is working to preserve green space in Cleveland’s south west suburbs in the area surrounding the West Creek. Notre Dame College alumna Irene Dolnacko Toth ’46 is a committed volunteer, member of the Board of Trustees and newsletter editor for this group known as the West Creek Preservation Committee.

From the Sun Belt to the Deep South, U.S. cities are straining to maintain their freshwater supplies. Steady population growth and a historic drought have pushed reservoirs in some Southeastern cities to within a few weeks of running dry. The states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia have been embroiled in what the media has referred to as a “Water War,” with state governments and federal negotiators wrangling over how to equitably distribute a limited supply of fresh water.

“I’ve always been surprised by the attitude that people from this region have toward the Great Lakes,” mused adjunct business instructor Robert Loeffler. “They might sometimes question the safety or cleanliness of the water, but if someone tries to take a bucket full out of the lake, they get very emotional.”

When it comes to saving water, what can a small college like Notre Dame College do to help the cause? An energy management program, begun in 2006, aims to find out.

The program, implemented by Siemens Building Technologies in Valley View, Ohio, involved a number of energy-saving projects including replacing and upgrading water fixtures to eliminate wasteful use of water, and installing lighting fixtures throughout the school buildings and residence halls. Other projects included work on the boilers in Connelly Center and Petersen Hall, installation of a Decktron pool water heater for Mellen Pool in the Keller Center, and upgrades to the HVAC and fume hoods in the science labs in rooms 307, 315 and 316.

For several members of the Notre Dame College community, the campaign for clean water begins in the College’s own back yard. The campus is part of the Euclid Creek Watershed, a 24-square mile area drained by Euclid Creek. Home to nine suburbs and part of Cleveland, the watershed is endangered by erosion, flooding, and water contamination. To combat these problems, area residents banded together in 2001 to form the Friends of Euclid Creek. The volunteer organization works with city, county, and state governments to preserve and improve the condition of the watershed. One of the group’s founders was the late Janet Downs ’88, a graduate of Notre Dame’s Weekend College. Mary K. Evans ’65 has been FOEC treasurer since 2005. In 2003-04, she coordinated the Friends of Euclid Creek photo contest, held to highlight the beauty of the watershed.

According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Furthermore, 2.4 billion lack adequate sanitation. But, according to Dr. Judy Santmire, those numbers are probably low. “They underestimate the real picture. Keep in mind that the United Nations’ standard for ‘adequate sanitation’ is a lined latrine pit. Is that what comes to mind when you think of sanitation?”

In baseball and softball, the triple is the rarest of batting feats. Many consider a triple to be merely a double that’s taken a fortuitous bounce or a would-be home run that’s gotten an “unlucky” carom off an outfield wall. Rare as a triple may be, student-athlete Anna Ball pulls one off nearly every day at Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame College athletics program hit a new milestone as two student athletes broke through with a pair of firsts – the school’s first National Champion and its first NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) First Team All-American.

In February 2008, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition released a report stating that the proportion of jobs lost from Ohio between 2000 and 2007 was the largest drop since the end of the Great Depression.

Someday, when tax season rolls around, Notre Dame College juniors Kevin Raleigh and Neil Hollada will be in high demand and receive hefty paychecks for their services. But this year, these two accounting majors earned a different kind of reward as they volunteered their time preparing taxes for the Cuyahoga Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition.

This summer, the Western Reserve Historical Society will host Vatican Splendors from Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Swiss Guard. This exhibition is the most significant Vatican show to ever tour North America, bringing nearly 200 priceless Vatican treasures to Cleveland.

The Seventh Annual Falcon Golf Classic is set for Friday, July 18 at Grantwood Golf Course in Solon, Ohio.

The annual event, first played in 2002, raises funds that benefit the teams and student-athletes of the College’s 18 varsity programs, including Men’s Swimming & Diving – the newest Falcon team which hits the water in winter 2008.

Dear Alumni,

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