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Past and Future
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Past and Future

Christ the King Chapel is the spiritual heart of Notre Dame, a tangible symbol of the College’s Catholic tradition. So when Notre Dame received an unrestricted donation from the Estate of Mary Clare Yarham, it was not difficult to find a fitting way to both honor Ms. Yarham and preserve the mission and history of the institution.

Marilyn Cunin and John BetchkalThe purpose of the Chapel renewal project was twofold, said Dr. Andrew Roth, president of Notre Dame. “We wanted to honor the memory of Ms. Mary Clare Yarham who remembered the College in her will with a $57,000 bequest,” Dr. Roth said. “Secondly, we need to secure the institution. That is the reason for everything we do. It’s not to grow just to grow or to celebrate ourselves, but to preserve the mission and the history of the Sisters of Notre Dame. If the institution dies, the mission dies with it.”

While a renovation of the Chapel had been brought up in the past, the project never moved beyond discussion. But as the years continued to pass, it became apparent age was indeed catching up to the facility.

Looking at its worn out carpet, Notre Dame board member John Betchkal realized the aging Chapel was in need of a facelift. “John called me up after an event in the Chapel and said he thought the carpet was in bad shape and needed to be replaced,” recalled Marilyn Cunin, vice chair of Notre Dame’s Board of Directors. “John’s been on the board for a very long time and he loves the College so much.”

For Betchkal, the Chapel Renewal project was near to his heart. “When I went there for Mass or just to say a prayer, I kept thinking it deserved attention along with other campus projects,” Betchkal said. He credits the “mighty convincing” Marilyn Cunin and Dr. Roth for “taking my thinking and developing it into a super-thought.”

“Really, the Chapel represents what Notre Dame College is all about,” Betchkal said. “The renewal enhances and protects the Chapel's original beauty for years to come.”

Christian Taske ’07 graduated Notre Dame College with a BA in Communication. He also holds a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University.