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Mildred Buzek Otenasek ’36, Ph.D.
Dr. Otenasek’s love for Notre Dame is legendary. As a professor of economics and political science at Notre Dame 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 Dr. Otenasek’s honor, the University established the Mildred Otenasek Award for leadership and civic engagement.
Dr. Otenasek remained devoted to Notre Dame throughout her life. She served on our Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1974 and was a Trustee Associate from 1985 until her passing. She served on the University’s historic Legacy of Leadership and Answering the Challenge capital campaigns and was a member of the Montrose Society. In gratitude for Dr. Otenasek’s service to the University and to the community, Notre Dame presented her in 1993 with the Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award and the President’s Medal. The new Otenasek House of the Morrissy Honors Program is a tribute to Dr. Otenasek and her life of service, generosity and love to her alma mater.
From 1971 until 1977, Dr. Gibney served as Notre Dame’s dean of admissions and director of financial aid. Her warmth, her sense of humor and her wonderful joie de vivre made Dr. Gibney a most beloved member of the campus community.
In 1977, Dr. Gibney left Notre Dame to become the assistant vice president for academic affairs at Georgetown University, and from 1988 until her retirement in 1994 Dr. Gibney served as Georgetown’s associate provost.
In 1995, Dr. Gibney was named to Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, and from 1996 to 1997 she served on the presidential search committee. During a time of transition three years later, President Mary Pat Seurkamp appointed Dr. Gibney to a year-long term as interim vice president for academic affairs. Her term concluded, Dr. Gibney continued her involvement, serving on the Legacy Giving Committee and as regent of the SSND Family Chapter, which connected School Sisters and former School Sisters more closely to their alma mater. She was a member of the Alumnae and Alumni Association Executive Board as well as the Meletia Society, Notre Dame’s premier circle of donors.
Mr. Hackerman’s company, Whiting-Turner, has been a wonderful partner to Notre Dame for more than two decades, helping fulfill much of the work of the master facilities plan that has transformed the face of the campus. In addition, Mr. Hackerman has generously supported Notre Dame through the years.
A Baltimore native and graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Hackerman was appointed to the Whiting-Turner board in 1946. In 1955, he became the firm’s president. Under his leadership, Whiting-Turner has grown to become the fourth-largest domestic general builder in the U.S. Its headquarters is located in Towson and it has 33 regional offices across the country.
Fearless and Faithful:
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