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Image: Tower Talk August 2014

Tower Talk August 2014

Featured Stories

NDMU Gears Up for Project Homeless Connect
Last September, more than 200 students, faculty and staff boarded buses and traveled downtown to the Baltimore Convention Center to volunteer for the United Way of Central Maryland’s Project Homeless Connect. That day, more than 2,000 people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless were linked with vital services and information, in an effort to improve their quality of life and assist them in achieving self-sufficiency.

Notre Dame had by far the best turnout of any of the local colleges that participated, including Towson University, University of Baltimore, UMBC, University of MD-Baltimore, MICA, Stevenson, Loyola, Johns Hopkins, Morgan, Goucher and Coppin.

This year, Notre Dame will again be well-represented at this important community service event, which will take place on October 2 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Notre Dame alums are invited to be a part of this service project. We will be filling 400 backpacks with school supplies to distribute to homeless school children. Please consider donating school supplies or volunteering your time on October 2. For more information, contact us at ndmalum@ndm.edu or 410-532-5201.

Join Notre Dame's Online Community, MyNDM

Have you signed up for MyNDM? It’s the new online destination for Notre Dame of Maryland University alumnae, alumni and friends to stay connected with each other and with Notre Dame. Membership in the community is free and available exclusively to members of the NDMU community.


Register now to take advantage of all the benefits of MyNDM membership! Registration enables you to:

  • Get in touch with friends and classmates via the online directory.
  • Update your contact information—and select the information you want shared with Notre Dame alums and friends.
  • Share your accomplishments, family updates and other news in Class Notes—and search for Class Notes from your friends and classmates.
  • View your giving history and make additional gifts to Notre Dame.
  • And more!

Visit https://myndm.ndm.edu to register today!

Reunion 2014: Early Bird Deadline - August 22 
Summer is ending, and Reunion is fast approaching! Reunion 2014 brings together graduates of classes ending in 4s and 9s for a weekend of reminiscing and celebrating with faculty, friends, and family. Reunion is a wonderful time to get reacquainted with Notre Dame and see firsthand all the transformations that have taken place on campus since you graduated. The weekend will include both traditional and new events, including the Maryland Crab Feast, the Reunion Reception and Luncheon, class dinners, Remembrance Mass and Farewell Jazz Brunch.

Be sure to register before August 22 to take advantage of early-bird discounts!

All the details about the weekend can be found in the Reunion brochure. For a downloadable version of the Reunion brochure, visit our website.

Reunion 2014


Gerry Sandusky Lecture & Book Signing forgotten sundays
WBAL sports director Gerry Sandusky—known as the Voice of the Ravens—visits Notre Dame to celebrate the release of Forgotten Sundays: A Son’s Story of Love, Loss and Life from the Sidelines of the NFL. The book chronicles the struggles of his father, a former NFL lineman and coach of the Baltimore Colts, with Alzheimer’s disease—as well as Gerry’s battle to protect his reputation in the wake of the Penn State abuse scandal that involved a coach with a similar name.

Mr. Sandusky brings his dynamism and humor to campus every year, when he gives his personal brand-building workshop at the Notre Dame’s First Impressions program, which provides Women’s College juniors and seniors with the skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Join us for this special event with a Baltimore sports celebrity and friend of Notre Dame.

Wednesday, October 1
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Doyle Formal Lounge
Free and open to the public
Cash Bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres

Register for the Gerry Sandusky Lecture & Book Signing!

Mingle, Mingle
Do you wish you knew how to successfully mingle at social gatherings, professional events and holiday parties? Would you like to be the person from the event who is remembered for all the right reasons?

Plan to join us for Mingle, Mingle—the first event in the 2014–2015 Power Hour Plus series. The focus will be on appropriate conversation topics for social gatherings and tips for overcoming “mingle-phobia.” Led by Carol Haislip from the International School of Protocol, you’ll learn how to:

  • successfully enter a room, join groups and initiate conversations
  • make a great first impression through a proper handshake, eye contact, introductions and appropriate nonverbal communication
  • be interested—and interesting!—in conversation
  • master the art of a graceful escape

Wednesday, October 15
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Doyle Formal Lounge
$20 per person; includes wine and hors d’oeuvres served during this unique educational reception

Register for Mingle, Mingle!

A Literary Evening with Sheri Booker ’04 nine years under
Join us for a special evening with Sheri Booker ’04, author of Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner City Funeral Home. Sheri has been featured in the New York Times and Essence magazine and on NPR. Last year, she was awarded an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work from a Debut Author for her memoir.

Sheri didn’t know her summer job at a funeral home in West Baltimore would become nine years of immersion in a hidden world. Her memoir reveals an urban funeral culture where photo-screened memorial T-shirts often replace suits and ties and the dead are sent off with a joint or a fifth of cognac. Nine Years Under offer readers an unbelievable glimpse into an industry in the backdrop of all our lives.

The evening is hosted by the CE Chapter of the Alumnae and Alumni Association. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the CE Scholarship Fund.

Thursday, October 30
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Doyle Formal Lounge
Reception, dinner and lecture: $35. Cash bar available.

Register for A Literary Evening with Sheri Booker' 04!

NYC Bus Trip nyc bus trip
Dreaming of a day in the Big Apple? For the second year in a row, the Networking Committee of the Alumnae and Alumni Association is hosting a bus trip to New York City for Notre Dame alums and friends. Mark your calendars and plan to join us on November 1! We will travel together to New York, but then you are on your own to explore the sights, take in a show or just enjoy some world class shopping! We will regroup for a cocktail reception with our New York area alums before the return trip back to Baltimore.

Saturday, November 1
7 a.m. Depart from Notre Dame
11 p.m. Approximate return to Notre Dame
$65 per person

Register for the NYC Bus Trip!

Alumnae and Alumni News

Class Notes
In May, NDMU alumna Anne Corbett Cross ’83 was named Baltimore County's 2014–2015 Teacher of the Year. Anne has been an educator for 31 years—23 of which she’s spent at Gunpowder Elementary School in Perry Hall, where she teaches fifth grade. Anne began her teaching career at St. Dominic School in Hamilton; she was inspired by her mother to choose a profession centered on service to others. Anne was chosen for this prestigious award from a group of 119 nominees. She receives $1,000 for classroom supplies and technology, a laptop computer and personalized iPad, 50 free books, and more. In the coming year, she will compete for the honor of Maryland State Teacher of the Year.

Today’s Catholic Teacher has awarded the students of Cathy Bonfield, SSND ’76, at St. Martha’s Catholic School in Sarasota, Florida, a 2014 Innovations in Catholic Education Award. The award is given annually to twelve Catholic elementary and secondary schools that have led the way by implementing exemplary, innovative programs to improve both teaching and learning. Sister Cathy’s class won in the category of “An innovative project facilitated by technology.” In their cross-curricular project the sixth-graders created 17 videos of New Testament parables, rewriting each parable as a play for younger children, complete with original characters and backgrounds, stage directions and sound-effects prompts. The parables were published on YouTube for sharing with other classes, families, schools and retreat directors. Click here to view the videos. More information can be found on Today’s Catholic Teacher.

Class of 1963 Booklet Now Available
Members of the Class of 1963, the booklet of contact information and updates updates from the last fifty years of your classmates’ lives is now available. The booklet, which also includes beautiful photos of last year’s Reunion, is available upon request (in both electronic and print form) from the Office of Alumnae and Alumni Relations, 410-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu. Thank you to Ilma Rosskopf for compiling and managing the booklet!

Mark Your Calendars

Athletics Hall of Fame
We are proud to announce that accomplished head coaches Melissa Falen and Tim Engle are the 2014 inductees to the Notre Dame of Maryland University Athletics Hall of Fame. Melissa has coached lacrosse at Notre Dame of Maryland University for the past 25 years and was the field hockey coach for ten years. Tim coached our basketball team for 10 years during the 90s. Both dedicated their time, energy and expertise to our students at NDMU and led our teams to outstanding records and achievements.

We will celebrate them at our Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception. Please join us in honoring their amazing achievements with a champagne toast on Reunion Weekend, Saturday, September 20, at 11 a.m. in Noyes Alumnae House. Please respond to Erin Foley at efoley@ndm.edu or 410-532-3586 by September 5.

Please also join us after the induction ceremony for the Reunion Reception and Luncheon at noon, $30 per person until August 22 and $40 thereafter. To register for the luncheon, please visit ndm.edu/reunion.

Alumnae Basketball Game
Join fellow NDMU athletes for the alumnae basketball game! On November 8 at 3:30 p.m., NDMU basketball alums will take on the current basketball team in a fun day for the whole family to enjoy.

For more information, contact Allen Dehority at adehority@ndm.edu or 410-532-5378.

A Notre Dame Legacy
Sheila Chapman ’93 and her mother, Sandy Rice W’89, came back to campus in mid-June for the first time in many years. Sheila was a four-year volleyball player and team captain at NDMU who remembers being so pleased when she arrived on campus as a first-year student to discover the brand-new basketball court in the MBK Sports and Activities Complex. She recalled many great memories on that court and how much playing a sport in college meant to her.

Sandy shared a story about seeing the show Uneasy Lies the Crown at Notre Dame in 1990, starring the famous actor Patrick Stewart, in which he recreated many of the Shakespearean characters he has played in his illustrious career. A Weekend College graduate, Sandy spoke with pride about the leadership of then-president Kathleen Feeley, SSND, Ph.D. ’50—and how proud she was when Sheila decided to attend NDMU as well.

Sheila has had a busy career since graduation, starting with her first job working as a contractor for FDA’s media department to running her own videography business to becoming station manager and News Director of an NBC affiliate in Kalispell, Montana. She now works as the Public Relations Manager at the Big Sky Resort near Bozeman, Montana. Sandy lives in Easton, Pennsylvania; she is semi-retired, working for Barnes & Noble and spending time with her granddaughters after being the Human Resource Manager of Key Federal Savings Bank in Maryland.

Both women were amazed at all of the growth on campus, with the recent additions of the School of Pharmacy’s new building, G. Avery Bunting Hall, and the University Academic Building. They were excited to hear about the arrival of Dr. Marylou Yam as NDMU’s 14th president, and both promised that they would come back to campus soon.

Exclusive Benefits for Notre Dame Alums
Planning a late-summer vacation? Gearing up for a big college visit trip this fall? All Notre Dame alums are eligible for rental car discounts from a variety of national companies, including Alamo, Hertz, and Budget. Visit http://www.alumnibenefits.org/ndm/ to learn more.

Special Insurance Offer for the Class of 2014
We recently mailed a postcard to the Class of 2014 to introduce the Alumnae Insurance Program. Two deadlines are fast approaching:

  1. Health Insurance. If your student health coverage (or other coverage) is ending after graduation, you have until the 15th of the month to purchase new coverage with an effective date on the 1st of the following month, so don’t delay! You must enroll by 8/15/14 for coverage to begin on 9/1/14.

    It’s complicated, but we can help.
    Call 888-252-2242 or visit our website for advice, coverage options, or just to make sure your current coverage is right for you.

  2. Accidental Death Insurance—at no cost to you! The postcard included a complimentary offer of $5,000 of Accidental Death Insurance for one year.

    The offer is only available through the end of August, so don’t miss out! Enroll now. This offer ends on August 31, 2014.
    It’s simple to accept the offer. Just visit http://meyerandassoc.com/ndm/newgrad.

    The Alumnae Insurance Program is a benefit for all alumnae, and offers products for many stages of your life. In addition to Health coverage, Life, Accidental Death, Special Event, and even Pet insurance are available through the program. The great news is that you can share this benefit: most products are available to alums and their family members, even if they didn’t attend Notre Dame of Maryland University. For more information visit http://meyerandassoc.com/ndm.

Seeking Great Summer Reading Recommendations from Notre Dame Alums!
This summer, have you rediscovered a classic, gotten hooked on a beach read, or been transported by a travel narrative or historical novel? Summer is winding down, but there's still time to enjoy a good book. We want to know what books you'd recommend that fellow Notre Dame alums read this summer! Post your suggestion on our Facebook page or email it to ndmalum@ndm.edu—we'll share the results online.

Giving back/volunteer opportunities

Networking Initiative Committee
The Networking Initiative Committee of the Alumnae and Alumni Association is preparing for another successful year of networking, professional development and social events for Notre Dame alums and friends. If you’d like to join the Networking Initiative Committee—made up of Notre Dame graduates who work in higher education, law, public relations and many other fields—contact us at 410-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the first event in the 2014–2015 Power Hour Plus series: Mingle, Mingle, on October 15. For more details, see the article in this issue.

Next meeting: August 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Noyes Alumnae House. Please RSVP to Emilia Poiter at epoiter@ndm.edu if you are able to attend.

First Impressions Committee
For young women just out of college, advice and counsel from experienced professionals can be critical to success. Do you have experience and insight that could benefit Notre Dame graduates as they prepare to enter the workforce?

The First Impressions program provides juniors and seniors in the Women’s College with the skills to make a strong first impression. Students must apply and be accepted into the program, which includes a personal brand-building workshop from WBAL sports broadcaster Gerry Sandusky, a professional dress fashion show at Macy’s, a resume writing workshop, an interview prep workshop and the annual Etiquette Dinner.

The Office of Alumnae and Alumni Relations is actively seeking volunteers to review student resumes, conduct practice interviews and serve on the committee during the next academic year. To volunteer or for more information, contact Alumnae and Alumni Relations at 410-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.

Montrose Society: Support NDMU with a Lasting Gift
We invite you to join our distinguished members of the Montrose Society at NDMU who have made lasting gifts to support our University. By doing so, you would be joining over 200 other Montrose Society members in an association that is helping to strengthen and sustain Notre Dame for generations to come. There are a multitude of ways to give to become a member, so please contact Eleanor Smith, Director of Donor Relations and Operations, at 410-532-5556 or esmith7@ndm.edu to learn more!

The Notre Dame Fund
The campus is buzzing with activity as our students return, professors design their fall lesson plans, and staff busily prepare for an exciting new school year! With such a beautiful summer almost behind us and another year of growth and learning ahead of us, we are counting our blessings and feeling extraordinarily thankful for our faithful supporters. Each year, our loyal alums make gifts to The Notre Dame Fund that help to address the many needs that tuition alone cannot—financial aid, technology upgrades, support of student programs, and more. As we look towards an even brighter future, we need the support of our dedicated alumnae and alumni more than ever.

Make a gift to The Notre Dame Fund today!

The Notre Dame Fund is vital to our ability to remain a fearless institution for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders. Your support will ensure that generations of students will continue to join the ranks of Notre Dame’s amazing teachers, humanists, caregivers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and humanitarians, each of whom is playing a critical role—big and small—in transforming our world for the better.

University News

NDMU Students Featured in the Huffington Post
Two Notre Dame students have been featured in the Huffington Post this summer, in a column all about the accomplishments of women’s college students and graduates.

Biology major Brittany Dunkerly, Class of 2015, was featured in the July 16 article “What These STEM College Women are Doing this Summer.” Through her participation in the Sister Alma Science Year program, Brittany is beginning her third year of work in a cardiac pathology lab at the renowned Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Read more about her experience.

Political science major Ashleigh Hughes, Class of 2015, was featured on July 24 in a column about exciting summer internships undertaken by women’s college students across the country. Ashleigh, who is mediating disputes between consumers and companies at the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General, was one of just twelve students chosen for the column. Read more about Ashleigh’s internship experience

Calling Teachers, Tutors, and Mentors for Adelante Latina!
Beloved associate professor emerita Leonor Blum is beginning the second year of Adelante Latina!, a college-bound program for Latina Girls that she founded. The program serves low-income Latina tenth- and eleventh-grade students in the Baltimore area and aims to prepare them for college. It is headquartered at the Esperanza Center on Broadway and Eastern Avenue.

Last year, the first seven girls successfully completed tenth grade and their first year in the Adelante Latina! program. During the summer, the girls spent a week at a Notre Dame camp, after which four of the girls participated in a paid Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions internship. This September they will be entering the eleventh grade while continuing for their second year in the program.

Professor Blum, as she’s affectionately known on campus, is seeking volunteer tutors for Tuesdays or Thursdays from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. On Tuesdays, the tenth-graders will have a group class conducted by an English teacher, and the Thursday class will concentrate on individual or small-group English tutoring. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension, English composition, and vocabulary, with sessions on SAT prep, resume writing, the college application process, and financing a college education. The eleventh graders will be individually tutored on Tuesday and will have a group class with a teacher on Thursday.

The commitment is for one day a week, for a maximum of two hours. There is a greater need for Tuesday tutors, since most of last year’s tutors will be staying with their respective student. No knowledge of Spanish is required. English is the preferred language of all the girls, who go to public schools such as Poly, Western, City, and Digital Harbor.

Also sought are Notre Dame students or recent graduates who would like to form a mentoring relationship with one Adelante Latina! student. This would entail establishing email communication with the student, meeting with her a couple of times a month for a fun activity, and encouraging her in her studies.

Please contact Leonor Blum at 410-591-0547 (cell) or 410-358-4248 (home) or via email at blumle@aol.com to find out more about the program and what you can do to help.


Soul Sister
Do you see what I see?

I walk in wonder—amazed at how Tessie can focus on what seems to be invisible. To my surprise, when a squirrel scampers out of a bush, I know that Tessie truly had a vision of reality all along. But just as quickly, when the squirrel disappears up a tree, Tessie is left with a different reality: now you see it, now you don’t. The hope of catching a squirrel mulls around in her mind’s eye and heart. Perhaps next time!

A dog’s life teaches me about our pursuit of God. Some days, God seems close to us—other days, not so much. We are left to seek, to find. That is when faith activates: we believe in what we cannot always see. We hope to attain the Divine, which sometimes eludes us. As St. Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians: “Now we see indistinctly…then we shall see face to face…There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.”

The greatest love is unconditional. Tessie’s love is exuberant and comforting. Her soulful eyes of longing for the absent one are coupled with generous licks of “welcome home.” What does she see in us? I’m not sure, but it makes me wonder what God sees in us. After all, “dog” spelled backwards is “God.” Thank God for Tessie and for all who teach us about faith, hope, and love.

With soulful eyes from your Soul Sister,
Mary Roy Weiss, SSND

In memoriam

Theo Chrul Griesacker '56

Helen Chessock Krzywicki '52

Charles Hines IV W'95

Bernadette Gietka

In the news

The City Paper, History Channel, an interview with Gene Farrington, Ph.D. of Notre Dame's English department on his latest novel, The Blue Heron.

Coverage of the $1.5 million gift to the School of Nursing

The Associated Press
The Baltimore Sun
The Catholic Review
The Maryland Daily Record
The University Herald
PR News

Coverage of NDMU as a Baltimore Anchor Institution

Baltimore Sun Op-Ed, 'Anchor' collaboration will move city forward.
Baltimore Sun, City formalizes partnership with local 'anchors'
Baltimore Business Journal, Baltimore plans collaboration with colleges, health centers on economic development
WBAL-AM, Joining Forces for a Better Baltimore
ABC2 News, Baltimore launches economic growth with 'anchor' institutions