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Notre Dame Today - Winter 2006-2007
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Notre Dame Today - Winter 2006-2007

Upon arriving at Notre Dame College in 2003, I targeted several key areas that the newly co-educational College needed to address to continue on its path to growth. Several goals were established including: increasing enrollment, introducing creative academic programming, and expanding and renovating our physical campus resources.

A warm, sunny, early summer day found me and Notre Dame Today Editor Steve Ruic enjoying the beauty of the Chardon Educational Center, reminiscing with Sisters of Notre Dame about Mother Agnes Bosche. We sat in the bright, sunlit lounge of the assisted living area with Sisters Mary St. Martha Conrad ’43, Teresita Gresko ’60, Mary St. Jude Weisensell ’56, Mary St. Leo DeChant, and Patricia Gannon. The Sisters all knew Mother Agnes during her later years at Notre Dame College when she served as Directress of the Junior Professed and ultimately as College President.

The pomp and circumstance of Notre Dame College’s 82nd commencement on May 13, 2006 celebrated the accomplishments of 133 bachelor’s degree recipients and 36 master’s degree candidates.

A college is a place where idealism and action can seamlessly merge into real world experience. Against this backdrop, Notre Dame College’s campus ministry has introduced a new service group called FalconCorps.

In one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, a boxer named Rocky Balboa runs up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum wearing a jogging suit, sweat pouring off his face, straining to reach the top of the seemingly never-ending staircase. At the pinnacle of the climb, he triumphantly lifts his arms in celebration of the successful training. Cue the theme music.

Notre Dame College has a story to tell. Since 2000, when the decision was made to admit men, many additional initiatives have moved the College from “Cleveland’s best kept secret” to a college-of-choice for a record number of traditional and adult students. Currently, Notre Dame is preparing this story for the North Central Division of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC is the major body that evaluates a college or university and accredits it as a whole. (See the sidebar for the accreditation criteria.)

When he decided it was time for a career change, John Rolf was attracted to the idea of becoming a teacher. With four children of his own ranging in age from 11 to 21, he had been immersed in the lives of kids for years, coaching his share of sports teams and serving as youth group leader at the Church of the Epiphany in Euclid, Ohio. Along the way, he found that he had a knack for reaching the “unreachables;” kids on the fringe who need a strong hand to help them reach their potential.

Clare Cavoli Lopez ’76 is a private consultant in the Washington, D.C. area and speaks and writes widely on issues related to Iran and the Middle East. As the Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee, a Washington, D.C. think tank, Ms. Lopez is an occasional guest lecturer at Georgetown University and Notre Dame College, and a member of the Board of Advisors for Notre Dame College’s Intelligence Research and Analysis program.

Barbara Herzog Patterson ’56 is the Fidelia Award Recipient for 2006.
Patterson, a Life Member of the Board of Directors, maintained strong ties to the College while becoming a recognizable figure in Northeast Ohio’s philanthropic community.

As the newspapers continue to be filled with stories of violence and death in the name of racial, ethnic or religious causes, Notre Dame College examined the cost of hate and the importance of forgiveness through drama and visual art.

Ohio State Senator Eric Fingerhut visited Notre Dame College on March 23 to speak on effective methods for writing to state representatives and the importance of such communication. The event, sponsored by the student group Political Action for Students Today, drew approximately 30 students, faculty and staff.

Natalie Trotch Strouse, associate professor of business administration and accounting, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture in accounting at Ternopil Academy of National Economy, also known as Ternopil State Economic University, in Ukraine this fall. She is the first faculty member to receive this prestigious award since Sr. Mary Cesarie ’31, SND spent the 1967-68 academic year in France. Natalie left for Ukraine on August 20 to teach financial and managerial accounting to upper level university students.

At the awards ceremony, held on May 11, 2006, two of the six finalists in the adult division were alumnae: Sister Mary Louise Trivison ’50, SND professor emerita of theology and Spanish at Notre Dame, and Sister Sally Huston ’67, SND assistant principal at Regina High School. One of the seven high school finalists was Halle Zucker, daughter of Jo Zucker, student accounts coordinator at the College. A Notre Dame grad was also the keynote speaker: Dr. Deborah Plummer ’74, director of the diversity department of the Cleveland Clinic. The contest was organized by Northcoast Conflict Solutions, a mediation, counseling, and training practice. Alumna Patti Bertschler ’81, licensed clinical counselor and founding partner of NCS, oversaw the contest, assisted by intern Tina Timmons, a senior at Notre Dame College.

A beautiful medium and thought provoking message brought artist Jacklynn McKenney ’02 recognition at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio for the exhibit Parallels and Intersections: Artists Quilt a World.

This past June, I assumed the position of Chair of Notre Dame College’s Board of Directors. I am truly honored to serve in this role and look forward to helping build on the legacy of this College and the Sisters of Notre Dame.

The Clara Fritzsche Library will host “In the Garden,” a new fabric installation by returning artist Debra Wuliger. While her fall 2002 show, “Sophia Sings,” examined the feminine force of God the mother creating the world as manifested in the Sophia myth, her new show represents a continuing evolution of ideas, themes and techniques for the artist.