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College of Notre Dame Honors Boys Hope Girls Hope Scholars

September 24, 2010

BALTIMORE—College of Notre Dame of Maryland is awarding the President’s Medal to the eight young men of Baltimore’s Boys Hope Girls Hope. The award is among the College’s highest honors, presented on behalf of the College to individuals whose outstanding personal qualities and achievements exemplify its mission. The teens are the youngest honorees in the College’s history.

The awards will be presented at the College’s Honors convocation, Saturday, September 25, at 11:00 a.m. in LeClerc Auditorium.

The young men, all scholars and residents at Boys Hope Girls Hope in Northeast Baltimore, petitioned the ABC television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to build a residential facility for girls, so that they, too, can enjoy the mentoring, tutoring and scholarship benefits that the program provides to academically promising at-risk teens. When the girls’ program was chosen, the boys worked on the build alongside hundreds of volunteers on a grueling 9-day schedule to complete the 11,000 sq. ft. home.

”At Notre Dame, we ask our students this question: ‘Whose life will you change?’ What these young men started, by appealing to Extreme Makeover to build a girls’ home, is remarkable—and changed lives in profound ways,” said Mary Pat Seurkamp, Ph. D., president of College of Notre Dame. “Through their action, an entire city came together to embrace the girls. Volunteers from every corner of the community worked around the clock, through the most extreme summer weather imaginable, to make the home a reality. I know this is just the beginning of many great things we will see from these extraordinary young men. I am proud to present them with College of Notre Dame’s President’s Medal.”

Inspired by the young men’s commitment, Notre Dame stepped up to offer full academic scholarships for the girls. Loyola University Maryland responded immediately to a request for partnership and offered the same scholarship opportunities to the young men.

Also at Honors Convocation, Dr. Seurkamp is presenting Boys Hope House Manager W. Georg Barber and Boys Hope Girls Hope Program Manager Kristy Whitman Norbert with Notre Dame’s “Pro Urbe” award. Meaning “for the city,” the honor is presented to those whose accomplishments within the community have had lasting impact. 

“Georg and Kristy are the steadfast, behind the scenes heroes of Boys Hope Girls Hope,” said Dr. Seurkamp. “With love and tireless dedication to the young people in the program, they are transforming the future of our city by helping to shape the next generation of leaders.”

Honors Convocation is held each fall, bringing together the College's academic community to illuminate the meaning of academic honor. New students take the Honor Pledge and wear the academic regalia for the first time. Students in the upper levels who have earned honors and awards during the previous academic year are recognized during the ceremony.

College of Notre Dame of Maryland is recognized for its commitment to a liberal arts education, including strong teacher preparation and health sciences programs and small class sizes. The Women’s College—the first Catholic college for women in the United States to award the four-year baccalaureate degree—offers 26 majors. Notre Dame was named to the “Great Schools, Great Prices” listing in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges, 2011.” In fall of 2009 the College welcomed its inaugural class to the School of Pharmacy. Weekend and Accelerated colleges offer flexible part-time programs for working women and men. Graduate studies in education, nursing, management, communication and liberal studies provide students with a focused contemporary curriculum. Visit ndm.edu for more information.