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Tower Talk November/December 2012


Table of Contents


NDM remembers Dr. Millie Otenasek ’36 Back to Top

It was with great sadness the University learned of the passing of Mildred Otenasek ’36 on November 19 at the age of 98. Over the course of more than 80 years, Millie has been a leader, teacher, benefactor and friend to us all.

Millie’s love for Notre Dame is legendary. As a professor of economics and political science in Notre Dame’s History/Political Science Department for 23 years, she mentored and inspired countless women with her wisdom and wit. She was a political trailblazer, the first woman member of the Democratic National Committee for Maryland, and shared her passion for politics with her students. In Millie’s honor, the University established the Mildred Otenasek Award for leadership and civic engagement.

Millie remained devoted to Notre Dame throughout her life. She served on our Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1974 and had been a Trustee Associate since 1985. She served on the University’s historic Legacy of Leadership and Answering the Challenge capital campaigns and was a member of the Montrose Society, Notre Dame’s premier circle of donors. In gratitude for Millie’s service to the University and to the community, in 1993 Notre Dame presented her with the Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award and the President’s Medal. The new honors house, to be completed in 2013, will be dedicated as the Otenasek House of the Morrissy Honors Program – a tribute to Millie and her life of service, generosity and love of her alma mater.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 8 at 11:00 a.m.in the Marikle Chapel of the Annunciation. The Notre Dame community is invited to attend this tribute to a very special alumna.


University president’s residence Back to Top

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that we have achieved a longtime goal of purchasing a home near our campus to serve as the University president’s residence. Recently, settlement took place on a property that we believe is the ideal president’s house – 100 St. Albans Way. Located one block north of the University on North Charles Street, the home will allow Notre Dame’s presidents to maintain warm and personal ties to our neighbors, while providing space for entertaining just steps away from our campus.

With the advent of lay leadership in 1996, the need for presidential housing, which is common among colleges and universities, became evident. Notre Dame’s facilities plan was adjusted to include a president’s residence.

A president’s house will provide living quarters for Notre Dame presidents and their families, and more importantly, will offer a comfortable and distinctive location to host events and gatherings that strengthen the University’s bonds with our students, graduates, faculty, staff, donors, neighbors and community leaders. As Notre Dame’s strategic initiatives unfold in the years ahead, the president’s house will provide a hospitable address to convene our current – and future – stakeholders to advance the University’s mission and vision.

Since 2008, the Board has considered several properties for a president’s residence. When the St. Albans Way home became a possibility for purchase, we knew that its character and proximity to campus were a complete match and would serve the University long into the future. The house complements the grace and beauty of Notre Dame’s historic campus perfectly.

Market conditions are advantageous for the purchase. In addition, the property is being financed by a private source at an extremely favorable interest rate. The expense of presidential housing has long been part of Notre Dame’s budget; the operational cost of the home is comparable to what is already spent to provide presidential housing, yet the University has gained an asset.

Dr. Conneely and his family will become the first occupants of Notre Dame’s president’s house in early 2013. We look forward to welcoming the Conneely family as our newest neighbors and to their invitations to open house events later this spring.

Patricia J. Mitchell ’69
Chair, Board of Trustees
Notre Dame of Maryland University


Dr. Janice Bonner receives award Back to Top

The winner of the 2012 Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Association of College & University Biology Educators (ACUBE) is Notre Dame’s own Dr. Janice Bonner. This award recognizes faculty who practice and promote effective, innovative teaching in the biology classroom.

Dr. Bonner is a treasured member of the Notre Dame academic community and has served many roles within the university. Congratulations, Dr. Bonner!


Save the date: Meet author Alice McDermott Back to Top

Mark your calendars for the Alumnae and Alumni Association CE Chapter Spring Event, featuring National Book Award winner and Maryland resident Alice McDermott. The event will take place on April 10, 2013. More details to follow!


Networking series – Power Hour Plus Back to Top

If you missed our first Power Hour Plus networking event on November 10, don’t worry— there are two more opportunities to join us. The cost for each event is $15 and includes a wine and cheese reception prior to the lecture. Please register for these events.

Networking Naturally

Ginny Robertson helps you learn how to transform “cocktail chatter” into meaningful opportunities and to be more at ease the next time you walk into a room of strangers.

Tuesday, February 5
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; wine and cheese reception precedes lecture
Doyle Formal

Power Tools for Women™: Plugging into the Essential Skills for Work and Life

Joni Daniels taps into the metaphor of the tool kit. Too few women grow up wielding power tools and enjoying that sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency they impart. Power Tools for Women® helps participants use the same set of skills to be more successful in a variety of work/life situations.

Tuesday, April 16
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; wine and cheese reception precedes lecture
Doyle Formal

For more information, please contact the office of alumnae and alumni relations at 410-532-5201 or email ndmalum@ndm.edu.


Save the date: Dr. Conneely’s Inauguration Back to Top

On Friday, April 5, Notre Dame of Maryland University will celebrate the inauguration of President James F. Conneely with a series of campus wide events for our entire community! Mark your calendars and look for more information in the next Tower Talk!


Holiday Bazaar Recap Back to Top

The annual Holiday Bazaar sponsored by the Weekend College Chapter of the Alumnae and Alumni Association was held on Saturday, December 1. A great success, the bazaar featured over 45 vendors selling handmade crafts. We’d like to give a huge thank you to Amy Baskerville W’00 for her leadership and hard work in support of this annual event. Her amazing committee— Jan Kilar W’03, Donna Comstock W’02 and Roxanne Miller W’99— works throughout the year to make sure the event goes off without a hitch. Kudos!

The children really enjoyed Santa’s Workshop, where they not only got to visit Santa but also made crafts to share with their families. The class of 2013 joined the fun with a bake sale to raise money for their 100 Nights celebration.


Calling classes ending in 3’s or 8’s Back to Top

If you are a graduate from the class of 1963, 1973, 1988 or 1993 and would like to serve as a class representative on the Reunion 2013 Committee let us know. We look to class reps to reach out to classmates to invite them to Reunion as well as contribute to the class gift. Reps attend five meetings over the course of the year, beginning in February and ending with a Reunion wrap-up meeting in October. And, of course, they attend Reunion itself, which will take place September 20 to 22, 2013. For more information and to see current class reps, check out our website

If you would like to serve as a class representative, please contact the office of alumnae and alumni relations at 410-532-5542 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.


Travel to Cuba: A society in transition Back to Top

A new travel abroad opportunity has just been announced: a trip to Cuba in May 2013. The nine-day trip is led by Leonor Blum, Associate Professor Emerita of History and Political Science at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She specializes in Latin American Studies and has traveled to Cuba many times with student groups and to attend professional conferences.

Our Notre Dame trip is open to current students, faculty, staff, alums and spouses and provides an exclusive look at everyday life and culture in transitioning, socialist Cuba. We will travel on a people-to-people license and will listen to lectures from University of Havana professors. There will be a two-night trip to Cienfuegos; charming, colonial Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus, and Santa Clara; a day trip to Las Terrazas, a model farming community in scenic, tobacco-growing Pinar del Rio Province; and a Hemingway day. You will learn about colonial, early 20th century, revolutionary, and present-day Cuba as you explore the streets of Old Havana, visit museums, schools, a hospital, food markets and a Santería ceremony.

The trip includes an overnight stay at a Miami Airport hotel, five nights at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, two nights at the Las Brisas Hotel near Trinidad and most meals. The charter flight from Miami to Havana and back is included; however, travel to and from Miami is not included. For passengers traveling from Baltimore there will be two preparatory meetings prior to departure. We will be traveling under the Friendly Planet Travel Agency’s license. Our trip will approximate their Colors of Cuba itinerary but will be tailored to our specifications. By mid-December you will be able to access the trip information on the Notre Dame web page and a private Friendly Planet page.

For more information please contact Leonor Blum at 410-358-4248 or 410-591-0547 or via email at blumle@aol.com or lblum@ndm.edu.

May 11- May 19, 2013
Estimated cost: $3,170
Limit: 21 people


Notable Alum Back to Top

Sister Kathleen Marie Engers ’47 founded Pumpkin Theatre at Notre Dame forty-five years ago. She has made it possible for thousands of children to witness the magic of theatre. Join us for a special theatre presentation to celebrate her dedication and commitment to Baltimore's children.

For tickets call 410-828-1814, email pumpkintheatre@verizon.net, or purchase tickets online at the Pumpkin Theatre website.

Sunday, December 16th
3 p.m. "Beauty and the Beast" ($14 ticket price)
4:30 p.m. wine, cheese and dedication ($10 donation)
Hannah More Arts Center at St. Timothy's School
8400 Greenspring Avenue Stevenson, MD 21153


Let us know if you have moved Back to Top

We want to keep in touch with all of our alums. Please send your updated information to the office of alumnae and alumni relations at ndmalum@ndm.edu so we can let you know the latest Notre Dame news. You can also send in your new contact information on our Update Your Information page. 


Looking for a new job? Back to Top

Join the Notre Dame of Maryland University Alumnae and Alumni Association LinkedIn page. We frequently post current job opportunities from local businesses and non-profits. 


Hurricane Sandy Back to Top

The effects of Hurricane Sandy continue to be felt. The Notre Dame of Maryland University community is keeping all NDMU alums, especially those in the most hard-hit areas of the East Coast, in our thoughts and prayers.

We wish all our alums a very speedy recovery from the storm.


Students awarded Hattie M. Strong Foundation Scholarship Back to Top

The Hattie M. Strong Foundation, founded in 1928, recently replaced its student loan program with the Strong Scholars Program in response to the student debt crisis. The scholarship is intended to offset the expenses students incur during the student-teaching semester.

The committee looks for students who have exhibited outstanding success and enthusiasm in field experience prior to the final year of the program or graduate students whose life experiences prior to enrollment reveal the same traits; students with demonstrated financial need; and students who have achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA in the two semesters prior to their final year.

This year’s recipients are our own Ariel Carter ’13, a Women’s College student from Baltimore who is completing her student teaching internship to become certified as an elementary school teacher, and Alexandra Marcum M’13 from Crofton, Maryland, a student in the Graduate Education Intern Program who is also preparing to become a certified elementary school teacher.

Congratulations, Ariel and Alexandra!

L to R: Gary Thrift, Ariel Carter, Alexandra Marcum and Sr. Sharon Slear.


Arts for Hearts’ Sake Back to Top

Join the Notre Dame community for a series of cultural events hosted by the School Sisters of Notre Dame at Villa Assumpta. All events are free, open to the public and presented on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. at Villa Assumpta, 6401 North Charles Street. For additional information, please call 410-532-5386.

For the 2012-2013 full line-up see our website


Save the date: Student Exhibition at Gormley Gallery Back to Top

This show is a salon style exhibit of work by students enrolled in Art courses this Fall semester. The exhibit includes works in watercolor, painting, drawing, and photography. The exhibit runs from December 10 through December 14.

Tuesday, December 11
4:30 to 6:30 pm
Gormley Gallery
second floor of Fourier Hall


Networking Back to Top

Are you interested in connecting with other alums, brainstorming events or simply networking for potential job opportunities? The networking committee welcomes new members, so if you are interested in giving back to your alma mater by staying involved and connected, contact the office of alumnae and alumni relations at ndmalum@ndm.edu or 410-532-5201.

Please join us for our next Networking committee planning meeting on Thursday, January 24 at 5:30 p.m. in Noyes House.


First Impressions Back to Top

The First Impressions committee is looking for alums to volunteer in assisting current students to prepare for their entrance into the workplace by reviewing resumes, conducting a mock interview, or preparing and serving food for an etiquette dinner. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office of alumnae and alumni relations at ndmalum@ndm.edu or 410-532-5201.

Please join us for our next First Impressions committee meeting on Tuesday, January 15 at 5:30 p.m. in Noyes House.

For more information about the First Impressions program, check out the Committees page on our website.


Montrose Society - Suzi Peters Coy ’60 Back to Top

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

“My Notre Dame education provided a broad foundation through exposure to various disciplines and prepared me well for advanced academic studies. My mother, a graduate of the Class of 1931, instilled in me a love of learning. She was a strong supporter of and tireless volunteer for Notre Dame. It is through this legacy gift intention that I honor and remember my mother’s love of Notre Dame. Through volunteering at Notre Dame I honor my mother’s legacy as well.”

Click here to find out more about legacy giving.


Your Holiday Generosity is a Gift to You Back to Top

The holiday season at Notre Dame of Maryland University is full of traditions—old and new. The annual Tree Trim and Christmas dinner, Midnight Breakfast during exams, the highly anticipated Holiday Bazaar and Christmas Eve Mass in the Chapel are all examples of traditions that endure even as remarkable growth and innovation become more visible on campus each day. As the newest academic building rises over Alumnae field, and with bold new academic programs like our School of Pharmacy and expanded offerings through our Schools of Nursing, Education and Arts & Sciences, the “Jewel of North Charles Street” is a campus being transformed even as it transforms lives.

Consider making a gift to support our beloved Notre Dame!

Click here for more information, or contact Rachael Mann, Annual Giving Coordinator at 410-532-3197 or at rmann@ndm.edu.


Did we miss your name? Back to Top

"Montrose" is the name of the original building on our beautiful campus, known today as Noyes Alumnae House. Montrose also symbolizes permanence, commitment, and the enduring values that inspire many of our graduates, friends, and their families to invest in Notre Dame’s future.

The Montrose Society recognizes and honors Legacy Donors whose foresight and generosity will help strengthen and sustain Notre Dame of Maryland University into the future. Membership in the Montrose Society is confirmed when you alert us of your intent to remember Notre Dame in your estate planning, at any gift amount. No legal or financial paperwork is necessary. Inclusion in the Montrose Society is a declaration from the heart about your legacy, values and your hopes for the future of Notre Dame of Maryland University.

If you wish to inform the University about your Legacy Gift intention, or to learn more about the Montrose Society and the Pinning Ceremony, please contact Brent Swinton at bswinton@ndm.edu or 410-532-5556.


Give to Guatemala Back to Top

This January the annual Notre Dame trip to Guatemala is led by professor emerita Leonor Blum and Dr. Anne Henderson. The two-week trip will include community service in San Lucas Toliman, and all travelers are taking useful and essential items to donate to the people of San Lucas. Needed items are: school supplies, children’s clothing, toys, and medicines (prescription and non-prescription, especially for children), gloves, bandages, and other supplies for minor operations. If you would like to contribute any of these items or have any questions about what items are acceptable, please contact Marianne Amoss at 410-532-5542 or mamoss2@ndm.edu. Any and all contributions are appreciated!


In Memoriam Back to Top

Dr. Mildred "Millie" Buzek Otenasek '36

Regina Reynolds Schulz '48 

Emma Vanni Uchuck '42 


In the news Back to Top

Choosing a College
Vice President for Enrollment Management Heidi Roller was interviewed by the Gazette for a piece on how to evaluate college rankings, advising students to always consider which college will be the right fit for them personally.

Health Care Leadership
Dean Anne Lin spoke to the Baltimore Business Journal about how the School of Pharmacy incorporates principles of public health and community service into its curriculum. Just weeks later, the Baltimore Sun’s Special Education Section featured the School of Pharmacy’s innovative approach to community health and service work.

The Huffington Post featured an article about American Nurse, a book and blog project documenting the dedication and heroism of nurses around the country, including Notre Dame RN to BSN student Naomi Cross, a nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Coming Up

Associate Professor Mary Packard spoke with the Baltimore Sun about the caring curriculum that is at the center of Notre Dame’s School of Nursing and the innovative Center for Caring with Technology in the new academic building.

An upcoming issue of the Sun will focus on Operation TEACH, Notre Dame’s unique program that combines service and learning to train Catholic School educators.

Visit the Notre Dame Newsroom to stay on top of all of our headlines, including coverage of our talented students, accomplished graduates, campus capital projects, special events and faculty expertise.