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Tower Talk April 2013


Table of Contents


Commencement 2013 Back to Top

kathleen kochOn May 25, the Alumnae and Alumni Association will gain hundreds more members at Commencement 2013, which will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year’s speaker is award-winning journalist and author Kathleen Koch, the author of Rising from Katrina: How My Mississippi Hometown Lost it All and Found What Mattered and a former CNN general assignment correspondent. Ms. Koch will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree at the ceremony.

This year’s Commencement is one of firsts: It is the first of Dr. James Conneely’s presidency, and the first class of Notre Dame’s School of Pharmacy will walk the stage. In addition, this year the newly inducted Golden Gators — members of the class of 1962, who celebrated their fiftieth Reunion last fall — will join the procession, wearing golden robes to denote their special status.

Congratulations to all our graduates!


Dr. Marie-Helene Gibney ’65 Back to Top

Marie-Helene GibneyOn April 5, the Notre Dame community lost one of its most devoted, spirited and accomplished alumnae leaders, Dr. Marie-Helene Gibney ’65. She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy marked by a distinguished career in academia and service to Notre Dame.

A former vice president for academic affairs and dean of admissions and financial aid at Notre Dame, Marie-Helene was also a former member of the board of trustees, a member of the Alumnae and Alumni Association Executive Board and a member of the Montrose Society, designating a legacy gift to her alma mater. She was beloved by the campus community for her warmth and joie de vivre. Click here to read more about her life.

Marie-Helene’s family has established a scholarship fund at Notre Dame in her name. Memorial contributions can be sent to Institutional Advancement, Notre Dame of Maryland University, 4701 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210.

Please keep Marie-Helene’s husband, Michael Robertazzi; her sister, Adele Baron; and all who knew and cherished Marie-Helene in your prayers.


Presidential Inauguration highlights Back to Top

President InaugurationNotre Dame’s twelfth president, Dr. James F. Conneely, was formally installed on April 5. The ceremony was attended by more than 700 students, graduates, faculty, staff, religious and political leaders and honored guests, including philanthropist Mary Catherine Bunting, honorary degree recipient in 2012; The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski, United States senator from Maryland; and The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor, City of Baltimore.

The week-long inauguration festivities included a formal inaugural ball, a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Lori and a reception for the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The Day of Service, a collaboration with United Way of Central Maryland, brought the Notre Dame community together to assemble summer reading tote bags for children in Head Start Baltimore City. Arts events also took place throughout the week, including a jazz and classical concert, a print competition and exhibit in Gormley Gallery, and a lecture by award-winning author Alice McDermott. Students played a significant part in the inaugural, including planning a Jimmy Buffet-themed surprise party for Dr. Conneely.

Click here to visit Notre Dame’s Flickr gallery to view photos of the week’s special events.


Award-winning author Alice McDermott visits campus Back to Top

mcdermott conneelyTo wrap up the inauguration festivities, the campus welcomed acclaimed author Alice McDermott for a dinner and lecture on April 10. The author of Charming Billy, Child of My Heart and At Weddings and Wakes, among other novels, Ms. McDermott has won a National Book Award and is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.

The evening was hosted by the Continuing Education chapter of the Alumnae and Alumni Association and served as a fundraiser for their Continuing Scholars fund, which supports adult women pursuing bachelor’s degrees at Notre Dame. Forty guests attended the formal dinner with Ms. McDermott; afterward, forty-two more attendees filled the chairs in Doyle Formal to hear the author read from some of her latest works, including a tribute to Father Horace McKenna. His eponymous center in Washington, D.C., which provides services and care to homeless men, women, and families, was the recipient of a donation from the CE Chapter made in Ms. McDermott’s name.


Networking, Notre Dame Style Back to Top

On April 23, the Networking Committee of the Alumnae and Alumni Association hosted the third Power Hour Plus networking event, featuring noted management consultant, trainer and author Joni Daniels. Ms. Daniels conducted her signature Power Tools for Women workshop, during which participants learned to develop a tool kit of essential skills for professional and personal success. Thirty alumnae and friends of Notre Dame attended the event, networking over wine and cheese before and after the presentation.

For more information about the committee and details on how to join, please see the Networking Committee article in this issue of Tower Talk.


Busta Lecture with noted Chef Cindy Wolf Back to Top

Wolf-busta lecMore than 200 guests came to campus on April 23 for the Busta Lecture in Business. This year’s speaker was Cindy Wolf, the executive chef of Charleston restaurant and a partner in Foreman Wolf, which operates Charleston and four other well-regarded restaurants in Baltimore. At the lecture, held in LeClerc Auditorium, Chef Wolf gave an outstanding lecture, sharing her experiences as a female chef and business owner. She had spent some time on campus that afternoon as well, visiting with Women’s College students in a food safety risk analysis class taught by Dr. Charlie Yoe.

busta recep



The Charles J. Busta III lecture series showcases the thoughts and experiences of business leaders, especially women leaders, in order to encourage creativity and personal growth in women. The series was created in memory of Charles J. “CB” Busta, a Notre Dame trustee and marketing executive who died in 1999. Click here for more information about the Busta series.

If you missed the lecture, click here to watch the video!


Reunion 2013 Update: Back to Top

Mark your calendar for Reunion 2013, September 20 to 22. Graduates of classes ending in 3 and 8 will return to Notre Dame to reunite with faculty and friends, tour the new additions to our beautiful campus and take part in family-friendly activities. Watch your mailbox for the Reunion brochure, which will contain details about the weekend; it will be mailed in late May.

save the date reunion 2013


Notable Alum Back to Top

puhakShelley Puhak ’97 has won the 2013 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. The prize, created in honor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anthony Hecht, is awarded annually to a poet who has published no more than one book of poetry. Waywiser Press will publish Shelley’s second collection of poems, Guinevere in Baltimore, in November 2013, when she will read at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., alongside this year’s judge, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic. Shelley also receives a $3,000 prize.

An assistant professor of English at Notre Dame, Shelley also holds the Sister Maura Eichner Endowed Chair in English. Her achievements are a testament to Notre Dame’s longstanding tradition of excellence in writing, and we are very proud of her accomplishments. Congratulations, Shelley!


Eastern Shore Alumnae and Alumni Gathering Back to Top

The semi-annual gathering of alumnae and alumni on the Eastern Shore will take place on May 15 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, located in the GlenRiddle Golf Club in Berlin, Maryland. Hostess Mary Ellen Gunther invites all to attend: “Spring has finally put in an appearance, and it is time to get together for lunch and good conversation. There is a lot going on at the University, and it will fun to catch up on all the news. Ruth’s Chris has held the luncheon price to $25, and that includes tip and taxes. There will be a cash bar. Our menu will have three choices including the grilled tenderloin and Portobello salad and a surprise dessert.”

NDMU Eastern Shore Alumnae and Alumni Spring Lunch
Wednesday, May 15
Ruth’s Chris in Berlin

Checks can be made out and mailed to Mary Ellen Gunther at 1206 N. Baltimore Ave. Ocean City, MD, 21842 by May 10.

For more information, please contact the office of alumnae and alumni relations at 510-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.


Benefits for Alums – Insurance Discounts Back to Top

As a Notre Dame of Maryland University alum, you could receive exclusive savings on Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance. Liberty Mutual offers personalized coverage, multi-car and multi-policy discounts, 24-hour claims assistance and more. Liberty Mutual is trusted countrywide for quality coverage and exceptional service. Click here for the personalized page for Notre Dame or call 1-800-524-9400 for a free quote. Please mention Client # 110211.

Meyer and Associates recently announced a new partnership with Markel through which they now offer enhanced special event insurance. This enhanced insurance coverage offers peace of mind when planning a special event, such as a wedding or other memorable occasion, on or off campus. Click here for complete details.


Nominate an Outstanding Alum for the Alumnae and Alumni Awards Back to Top

Every year at the popular Reunion Luncheon, the Alumnae and Alumni Awards are presented to three Notre Dame alums. Please consider nominating outstanding fellow graduates for one of these prestigious awards. Our graduates have shown the world the benefits of a Notre Dame education, and this is an opportunity to recognize their achievements!

To nominate a graduate for any of the following three awards, please complete an online nomination form or email ndmalum@ndm.edu with the contact information of the nominee and a paragraph specifying for which award you are nominating her or him and why. The nomination period ends on May 15, 2013.

Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award
This award is presented to a graduate who, through achievements in career and/or community service, embodies the principles of Notre Dame of Maryland University. Eligible alumnae must have graduated no fewer than five years ago, hold achievements in career and/or community and have demonstrated loyalty to the University.

Service to Society Award
This award is presented to a graduate who best exemplifies the ideals of Notre Dame of Maryland by creating positive and effective social change in the community, nation or world. All graduates are eligible.

Regina Russo Hammel ’41 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award
This award is presented to a graduate who has exhibited outstanding professional achievement and/or contributions to community life in ten years or less since graduation. The recipient must also have demonstrated loyalty to the University.

Click here for more information. 


Searching for career or networking opportunities? Back to Top

facebook linked in“Like” the Alumnae and Alumni Association on Facebook to stay connected with fellow Notre Dame alums and learn about events taking place at the university. 

If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, join the Notre Dame alumni group on LinkedIn to connect with other NDMU alums in your field of interest.


Alumnae and Alumni Directory Back to Top

Notre Dame is partnering with Publishing Concepts Inc. to create a new edition of the alumnae and alumni directory. PCI is a thirty-year-old company based in Texas that publishes directories for educational institutions, military organizations, sororities and fraternities across the country. Representatives from PCI will be calling all alums over the next several months to update your contact information. Directories will be available for purchase by Notre Dame alums in spring 2014.

If you have any questions about the directory, please contact us at 410-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.

In the meantime, you can always contact the alumnae and alumni relations office to update your information or to request contact information for a friend or classmate!


Networking Committee Back to Top

The Networking Committee has just wrapped up the third event in the Power Hour Plus series and is now planning events for the fall, including a bus trip to New York and the career transitions workshop.

If you’d like to join this dynamic committee of professionals, let us know! The next meeting is May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Noyes Alumnae House; wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. For more information or to let us know you’re coming, contact the office of alumnae and alumni relations at ndmalum@ndm.edu or 410-532-5201.


First Impressions Back to Top

This year’s First Impressions participants celebrated their successful completion of the program with a graduation ceremony on April 23, preceding the Busta lecture that evening. Faculty, staff and alumnae gave the students a warm send-off into the working world. The young ladies were dressed in their professional best, many of them wearing suits they’d purchased at Macy’s with the help of a professional shopper — one of the benefits of successfully completing the First Impressions program.

First Impressions Class of 2013

First Impressions will continue again next year, and all alums are invited to be part of the program and support Notre Dame juniors and seniors as they prepare to enter this dynamic job market. There are various ways to support this program:

  • help prepare and serve food at the annual Etiquette Dinner
  • review resumes
  • conduct mock interviews
  • share internship opportunities at your place of work
  • join the committee and help plan future events
  • suggest professional association events for Notre Dame students to attend

If you’re interested in joining this committee or working with students, please contact the alumnae and alumni relations office at ndmalum@ndm.edu or 410-532-5201. Our next planning meeting is Thursday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. in Noyes House.


Montrose Society – Sallie Mullen ’68 Back to Top

sallie mullenWhy have you chosen to support NDMU with a legacy gift as a member of the Montrose Society?

“Many years after I’d graduated from college and was working my way up the ranks of the civil service, I realized the extent to which the education I received at Notre Dame contributed to my success. My language degree was my ticket into the National Security Agency; my expository writing skills labeled me the "go to" person whenever a complex paper or briefing was required; and my analytical skills led me to a satisfying career as an intelligence analyst and manager of analysts within the Intelligence Community.

“But most of all, the intellectual curiosity and self-confidence instilled in me at NDMU opened doors in my career that might otherwise have been closed to me. Who, for example, would have believed that I — a French major with no technical background — would become an expert in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction? I had the confidence to open the door marked "detour," and it proved a route to success.

“Since returning to Baltimore four years ago, I’ve found myself drawn to the University. I’m proud of the contribution it makes to the community, the diversity of the current student population, and the extended opportunities available to today’s students. Participating in the reunion committee for my class’s 45th and in the First Impressions Program has enabled me to get back in touch with NDMU, my classmates, and the current student body. Sister Kathleen Feeley, whose vision helped launch NDMU on its path to success, was my homeroom teacher in sophomore year of high school and oversaw the college newspaper, of which I was a page editor. A more energetic and gifted teacher I’ve never known! And Dr. Soria, who was the head of the Modern Language Department in my time, instilled in me a love of everything Italian that has played a huge role in my life. I believe she would have been proud of me last year when I embarked on my "senior year abroad," living for 10 months near Florence and studying Italian and art history. After all, when I graduated, she gave me an espresso pot!

“NDMU has made a significant difference in my life, not least because of the half-scholarships it offered me for four years, without which college would not have been in the cards for me. But also because it underpinned my career and helped shape my lifelong love of European travel. For all that NDMU did for me and in honor of Sister Kathleen and Dr. Soria, I’ve decided to make a legacy bequest to the university. It seems the least I can do!”

Click here to learn more about the Montrose Society and legacy giving.


Recommit to Notre Dame this spring Back to Top

When one flower blooms, spring awakens everywhere. —John O’Donohue

Your gift today will immediately impact NDMU, and your annual commitment will sow the seeds for future growth and innovation.

Click here to make an online donation.


Mary Pat Seurkamp Dances in Memory Ball Back to Top

Mary Pat Seurkamp, president emerita of Notre Dame, was one of nine dancing starts to perform a ballroom or Latin-style dance at the 2013 Alzheimer’s Association Memory Ball on April 13. The dancers competed for votes, with one dollar equaling one vote; Dr. Seurkamp raised more than $19,000. In total, more than $334,000 was raised for the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association. Congratulations, Dr. Seurkamp!


School of Nursing Receives $250,000 Grant Back to Top

Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Nursing recently was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Maryland Hospital Association's Who Will Care? Fund for Nurse Education. The award will support the success of nursing students in the new entry-level baccalaureate program. The first class of forty-eight junior-level nursing majors will begin the clinical component of their education this fall in a 34,500-square-foot building to house the School of Nursing, now under construction. The grant will fund standardized testing throughout the nursing curriculum as well as two new support staff positions, including a Simulation and Technology Specialist who will assist with daily operations of the clinical learning labs at the new Center for Caring with Technology. The Fund for Nurse Education and NDMU's entry-level Bachelor of Science in Nursing program were established in response to a projected shortage of nurses in Maryland and nationwide.


Notre Dame’s Spring Musical: I Am Not My Mother Back to Top

I Am Not My Mother s a compilation of stories that every woman can relate to, from growing up and feeling like your mom just doesn’t get you to the day that you realized that you are more like your mom than you thought. We would love for the alumnae and alumni to join us for an evening of laughter, frustration, sadness and joy as we pay tribute to the most important woman in our lives: our mothers.

This year's spring musical is directed by Candace Sumner ’04 with musical direction by Norma Gomez ’13. Tickets for all performances are $5. A daughter can bring a mother for free, or a mother can bring a daughter for free! The performance dates are:

Friday & Saturday May 3, 4, 10, 11 - 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 5 - 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 12 (Mother's Day) - two performances, noon and 3 p.m.

As this year's spring musical will be held in the Marian B. Copeland Theatre on campus, we encourage audience members to reserve their tickets by calling 410-532- 5543 or emailing Gene Farrington at gfarrington@ndm.edu.


Summer fun for kids at Camp Notre Dame! Back to Top

For more than 25 summers, the Notre Dame campus has been treated to the laughter and energy of Camp Notre Dame. Children ages 5 to 11 participate in swimming, arts and crafts, games and more. All the while, they are forming new friendships, learning new skills, building self confidence … and just having fun. Our campers receive individual attention from the caring counselors of our state-certified camp. The average camper to counselor ratio is 5:1 for younger campers and slightly higher for the older groups.

Spots are filling up fast! Click here for tuition and registration information.


Registration Open for A Child’s Place, Notre Dame’s Early Learning Program Back to Top

Notre Dame’s acclaimed International Nursery School and Kindergarten serves 60 children, 3 through 6 years of age, from the U.S. as well as Asia, Africa, Europe and Central and South America. Conveniently located on Notre Dame’s North Baltimore campus, the preschool is licensed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and offers an MSDE-approved kindergarten program.

A Child’s Place operates Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Children must be 3 years old by September 1 to enter the nursery school/preschool program and 5 years old by September 1 to enroll in the kindergarten program. Applications and additional information are available online, click here for access.


In Memoriam Back to Top

Pauline H. Brannan C'83

Mary Lou Henritze Carter '48

Marie-Helene Gibney Ph.D. '66

Editha Harman Grice '46

Helen Bradley Sheehan '65

Maureen Larkin Watson '55


In the News Back to Top

In his column in the Catholic Review, Archbishop William E. Lori wrote about an inspirational gathering at Notre Dame with the young people in Operation Teach. 

In an interview on WMAR-TV, Sr. Paulette Doyas SSND — affectionately known as the Baseball Nun — talks about her unwavering faith in the Orioles as another season begins. 

Busta Lecture in Business, featuring Chef Cindy Wolf
Baltimore Sun (online): Cindy Wolfe to Reveal Secrets to Success
Chef Cindy Wolf has the recipe that helped create several of Baltimore’s top restaurants and she’s willing to share it.

Baltimore Sun (online): Cindy Wolfe to Give Business Lecture at Notre Dame
The Charles J. Busta III lecture series at Notre Dame presents "Cindy Wolf: Mixing Business with Culinary Pleasure" on April 23.

Baltimore magazine: Working in the Culinary World
Get the scoop from executive chef Cindy Wolf of Charleston on what it’s like to mix business with culinary pleasure.

The Inauguration of Dr. James F. Conneely
Notre Dame Inauguration (Baltimore Sun, April 6, 2013)
Notre Dame boosts health care classes (Baltimore Business Journal, April 5, 2013)
Dr. James Conneely Officially Welcomed to Notre Dame of Maryland University (WMAR-TV, April 5, 2013)
First Male President to Take Helm at Notre Dame (WBAL-TV, April 4, 2013)
President Wants NDMU Mission to Grow (Catholic Review, April 4, 2013)
New President Shares Notre Dame’s Vision (The Daily Record, April 2, 2013)
Notre Dame Plans Big Roll-Out for New President (Baltimore Sun, March 14, 2013)

President’s Day of Service
City Kids Get New Books to Boost Youth Reading (WBAL-TV, April 8, 2013)
Labor of Love for Reading (Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2013)
United Way of Central Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University Volunteers Help Prevent “Summer Slide” for Head Start Children (UWCM press release, April 7, 2013)
Notre Dame’s Day of Service (Baltimore Sun online, April 7, 2013)
Notre Dame Students Help Out Head Start Students (WMAR-TV, April 7, 2013)
Head Start Gets Donations to Help Combat Summer Slide (WJZ-TV, April 7, 2013)
United Way Book Drive Supports Baltimore City Head Start Program (WBFF-TV, April 7, 2013)
Book Drive Supports Baltimore City Head Start Program (WMAR-TV, April 5, 2013)