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Notre Dame Mourns the Death of Dr. Mildred Otenasek '36

November 19, 2012

Message from President Conneely

This morning the University learned of the passing of Mildred Otenasek ’36 at the age of 98. Her death truly marks the end of an era here at Notre Dame. 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 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 has been a Trustee Associate since 1985. She served on the University’s historic Legacy of Leadership and Answering the Challenge capital campaigns and was 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 Hoisington 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 to heralma mater.

In this week of Thanksgiving, please join me as we give thanks for the life and legacy of Dr. Mildred Otenasek. I ask that you remember her family in your prayers. Plans for a memorial service in December will be announced by the family shortly. It will be held in the Marikle Chapel of the Annunciation.