April 2022
Tower Talk Graphic

Message from the Alumnae and Alumni Engagement Team

Greetings Alumnae and Alumni,

Happy April! We hope our relaunch of Tower Talk this past January was as exciting for you as it was for us. We know hearing more about what is happening on campus, highlighting our sensational alumnae/i, and learning about upcoming events and programs to participate in was crucial for so many of you, and we are thrilled to be sharing this next edition. Please do us a favor; if you have classmates and friends who feel like they don’t hear about Alumni Engagement news, go ahead and forward this message to them so they can reconnect with us. As a new team, we are very interested in reconnecting with all of you.

With spring in the air, the campus feels rejuvenated and our community is enjoying events and classes outside. Our students are so happy to be wrapping up the semester. However, seniors are experiencing that beautiful combination of joy and sadness with Commencement around the corner. As the Alumni Engagement Team, we are showering them with celebration because we cannot wait to welcome them into our Alumnae/i Family. I’m sure you share our feelings there!

If you’re following our social media accounts, you’ve seen posts about extraordinary alumni doing amazing things every week. We are always interested in hearing about what is happening in your life personally and professionally, so please send us your updates and news whenever you can. As we look ahead to the summer, we have some new events for you to enjoy, including a crab feast on campus and a trip to Camden Yards for alumni, family, and friends! Happy Easter, everyone, and we hope to see you at an event or back on campus soon.

Alex & Rose
Your Alumni Engagement Team

The Montrose Society: Legacy Giving

The Montrose Society includes alumnae and friends who have committed to a planned gift to Notre Dame. Options for planned gifts include remembering Notre Dame in your will, making Notre Dame a beneficiary in your retirement account or insurance policy, bequeath real or personal property to the University or creating a Notre Dame donor advised fund naming the University as a benefactor. Vanetta Wallace is a graduate from the Class of 1993 and current Montrose Society member. Read more about Netta's love for Notre Dame and why she decided to join the Montrose Society.


Vanetta Wallace
Vanetta Wallace

Early one Saturday morning, I stepped onto Notre Dame’s campus for a music audition and instantly fell in love. Prior to that visit I had never heard of Notre Dame. I wondered, what on earth could a women’s college do for me?  

As we drove up the Charles Street entrance, the first thing I saw was the tower. The tower called out to me. I truly believe it was the Holy Spirit telling me I had found my home away from home for the next four years, a place where I would be spiritually and intellectually stimulated in both an enriching and inspiring environment. 

My four years inspired me to become a leader with purpose, a force to be reckoned with. I watched and learned from inspiring female faculty members like Dr. Karen Stoddard and Sister Joseph Mary Zimmer. They pushed me to try harder, because being OK is never enough. They wanted me to be all I could be and then strive for more.  

Twenty-five years later, I have my own day care business: Netta’s Nest Family Childcare. I feel that the strong leadership skills and self-confidence I gained while attending Notre Dame have made me the success I am today. With so many fine institutions closing due to lack of support—such as my elementary and high schools and the graduate school where I earned my Master’s in Early Childhood Education—I had to make a decision that I felt was best to help support Notre Dame.  

Keeping the dream alive for future generations of women is not something I had to think about twice. I felt it was my duty to give back to the one place that gave me so much and made me who I am today. I therefore decided to include NDMU in my will and became a member of the Montrose Society.


You can help strengthen and sustain the mission of NDMU for future generations by becoming a member of Notre Dame's Montrose Society. 

Learn more about Montrose Society and Planned Giving at NDMU


Help Notre Dame Go Beyond!

Go Beyond: The Campaign for NDMU is a $45 million campaign to support transformational initiatives at NDMU, including faculty research, student scholarships, and capital improvements to the university’s Knott Science Center and athletics facilities. The campaign's public announcement encourages everyone to support NDMU's mission to educate leaders to transform the world. As of Mar. 31, the University had already raised $38.3 million, representing 85% of the campaign's total $45 million goal. 

Any donation of any amount will count towards Go Beyond, so we hope you will make a meaningful gift of any size and help us make a BIG difference for Notre Dame!

The Morrissy Honors Program Celebrates 40 Years

On April 2, 2022, NDMU staff, faculty, faculty emeriti, alumni and current students gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Elizabeth Morrissy Honors Program. The program was named for Dr. Morrissy, who taught economics and history at Notre Dame from 1920 to 1963. She was well-respected even outside the Notre Dame community, serving as an advisor to two United States presidents, being awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal by the Pope, and playing a part in desegregating Baltimore's school district.

The 40th anniversary event focused on an oral history project conceived by Dr. Andrew Moore, Dr. Evelyn Spratt and two Morrissy student researchers, Kristina Pickering and Jensen Armstrong. Through archival research and oral history interviews with many of the alumni, administration, and faculty, the research group was able to create a video (shown to the right) tracing the evolution of the program, which was shown for the first time at the celebration. The research revealed that alumni and student appreciation of the program is consistently high.

“The skills I learned at Notre Dame led me to get my masters in history and I still use those skills today.” - Christy Gretsinger '10

Alumni recounted their time in the Honors Program and how that experience was influenced by current societal issues, but also how it affected their time at Notre Dame. Students expressed their enjoyment of the social activities Morrissy provides. These activities range from eating lasagna dinners made by Sr. Delia, taking trips to the Senator Theater to see films, and experiencing the cultural exchange with students in Japan.

“The academic rigor [of the courses offered in the program] . . . was just fascinating.” - Cherie Howard McGovern '90

However, the project is not complete. The two professors and student researchers will continue to complete oral history interviews over the summer. The researchers will examine these interviews, place them within the historical contexts of NDMU, the history of honors programs, and ultimately the history of women’s experiences in higher education. The final project will be submitted to a scholarly journal for publication.

Campus News and Updates

The archives at Loyola Notre Dame Library recently created a digital exhibit based on the life story of Father John J. Griffin. Father Griffin was a a Jesuit priest, boys’ summer camp founder, photographer, and joined the Notre Dame of Maryland chemistry department as a faculty member in 1895. One can understand science and technology, world traveling, the priesthood, and even camp counseling through his life. His importance as a figure comes from the lives he touched, and the institutions he changed. This exhibit ventures to illustrate Father Griffin's life and the effect he had on the world around him. 

The Archives and Alumni Engagement Office are also looking to collect yearbooks, scrapbooks, Sing Songs, photographs, and any other memorabilia from our alumni. If you have a yearbook from 1929, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1981, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005 and later please let the Archives or Alumni Engagement Office know! At this time, we cannot accept yearbooks from years not listed.
NDMU Balloons

Renaissance Institute Moves to Feeley International Center

Renaissance Institute, NDMU’s Lifelong Learning program, has relocated its office and several classrooms to Feeley international Center on the ground floor of Meletia Hall. The move took place just before spring semester commenced, allowing Renaissance members to return to campus classes after a long COVID-19 hiatus. 

The Institute is offering 50 classes for Spring 2022 both on campus and via Zoom, and will do the same in Fall 2022. The Institute welcomes new members aged 50-plus, and encourages NDMU community members to consider teaching a 6, 7, or 13-week class. NDMU alumnae are among active RI members and alums who join as NEW members receive a 10% membership discount.

Course proposals for Fall 2022 are being solicited now. Contact Curriculum Committee chair, Terry Weisser (terryweisser@gmail.com) for information on teaching, and Sandy Adams (sadams@ndm.edu) for membership information. This story was originally printed in the Bulletin.

​Basketball: The Gators' season ended at the semi-finals with a 75-73 defeat against Keystone College. The basketball team ended the season with the most wins (14) against CSAC opponents.

Lacrosse: The lacrosse team improved to 4-4 on the year and 2-1 in the CSAC with a 10-goal victory on April 9.

Softball: The softball team (4-8, 1-3 CSAC) picked up its first conference victory of the season with a dominant 15-0 win at Clarks Summit in game two of a doubleheader on March 26.

Tennis: NDMU tennis was ranked fourth in the 2022 CSAC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll. They won their first game of the season against Trinity Washington University.

Track: The NDMU track and field team was selected sixth overall in the CSAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The team competed at Goucher's Inter-Conference Meet where Laura Longeway set a new school record in the 1500 meters (6:24.92).

Call for Alumnae and Alumni Awards and Sports Hall of Fame Nominations

Natalie Ramirez winning an award 2021

Alumnae and Alumni Weekend is when we bring all of our alumni together to celebrate and reminisce. It is also a time for us to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of alumni since graduating, or their accomplishments as student-athletes.

We ask you to consider nominating an alum for an alumni award or Athletics Hall of Fame induction for this year's award cycle.

Help us recognize the achievement of our alumnae and alumni by submitting a nomination for any of the following alumni awards:

NOMINATIONS are due by June 15,2022

We are also looking for nominations for our Athletics Hall of Fame. The Notre Dame of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame is for former student-athletes, coaches, administrators, or staff who demonstrated outstanding athletics achievement at Notre Dame. In addition, the individual exemplified the Notre Dame Athletics mission of striving for success in both educational and athletic pursuits.

NOMINATIONS are due by June 15, 2022

Summer Camps at NDMU

Are you looking for a summer camp for your child or children? This summer, Notre Dame will be hosting a variety of camps available to all ages! All available camps are listed below and registration is open.


A Child's Place Summer Camp: Ages 3-6
Dates: June 13 - 24; June 27 - July 8; July 11 - 22; July 25 - August 5; August 8 - 19kids in swimming pool
Description: Join us for days filled with storytelling, music and movement, making art, nature and craft projects. We'll experience water play, daily indoor and outdoor play, STEAM activities, cooking, play-based learning, daily exploration and investigation, and so much more!

Pharmacy Summer Camp: Rising freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school
Dates: June 20 - 24
Description: Pharmacy Camp is designed to help high school students entering grades 9-12 discover exciting topics and career paths in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences from the School of Pharmacy faculty at NDMU!

Camp Notre Dame: Ages 5-11
Dates: June 20 - July 1; July 5 - 15; July 18 - 29; August 1 - 12
Description: With rotating sessions throughout the day, campers will have the opportunity to participate in explorations, arts & crafts, sports & games and swimming (a mix of instructional swim and recreational swim)! Children are placed into groups of 9 to 13 campers of the same general age and grade in school.

Women's Leadership & Creative Change: Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school
Dates: June 20 - July 1
Description: Develop your creative identity, strengths and passions in this 2-week summer art camp with an option to earn college credit. Combining art and media with principles of strong leadership, we look at how art can be a powerful tool to address social justice issues in your community.

Waters of the World STEM Camp: Rising K-8
Dates: July 18 - 22
Description: Waters of the World is an exciting and fascinating topic for students of all ages. The many resources and business partners focused on water conservation and preservation available to us in Maryland make this topic very relevant and accessible! Campers will experience five full days of STEM activities focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Each day will tie into the overall theme of Waters of the World.

Cooking with SAGE: Ages 5-12
Dates: August 15-19
Description: Cooking with SAGE is a fun opportunity for campers to come together and learn new recipes and cooking techniques with a SAGE chef! Each day will focus on a different theme – from pizza dough to cake decorating. Your camper will walk away with new knowledge and skills. At the end of the week, recipes will be assembled for a final product and campers will have the opportunity to share their creations and explain why they chose their favorite ingredients!


Interview with Nursing Professor, Jennifer Mitchell

Jennifer Mitchell’s grandmother, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, was the first African American woman to practice law in Maryland, filing lawsuits that desegregated pools, restaurants, and parks. She was pivotal in Maryland becoming the first southern state to integrate schools after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision. She and her husband, Clarence Mitchell Jr., chief lobbyist for the NAACP known as “the 101st Senator,” worked tirelessly to ensure civil rights for all people.

Growing up, Jennifer knew her as Grandma Mitchell. Today, as an assistant professor of nursing at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Jennifer draws inspiration from her grandmother as she encourages her students to advocate for the underserved. As the Maryland Center for History and Culture prepares to honor Juanita Jackson Mitchell and other civil rights activists in the “Passion and Purpose” exhibit, opening May 20, 2022, Jennifer reflects on her grandmother’s legacy.

"She encouraged anyone she interacted with, especially women, motivating them to be their best and reach their potential. She was a champion for all women. She was a fierce leader."

Read the full interview with Jennifer Mitchell here.

Want more NDMU Stories? Read the Bulletin, the bi-monthly newsletter with more student, staff, and faculty updates!

Save the Dates

NDMU Day of Service

April 23 | Time differs per project | Various locations

The annual NDMU Day of Service unites the Notre Dame of Maryland University community in service to humankind, showing our NDMU pride, and in the collective power of volunteerism. This event is open to all members of the Notre Dame alumni who wish to make their local communities an even better place. Join other alumni on April 23 as we strive to follow the University's mission of engaging others in service.

Summer Crab Feast

June 25 | 4:30 PM | Doyle Lawn

Join us for a get together with fellow alumni and enjoy some crabs and BBQ! This will be our first summer event to celebrate the accomplishments on the Class of 2022 and welcome them into our alumni family. Be sure to show up in your best Notre Dame swag and you might receive something new to add to your collection.

NDMU Goes to Camden Yards

July 9 | 4:05 PM | Camden Yards

Join us at Camden Yards to watch the Orioles take on the Los Angeles Angels! Get together with family, friends, and other alumni to cheer on the home team. Your discounted ticket will include a pre-game picnic and reserved seats overlooking third base.


View all upcoming events here!