Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Notre Dame's Fighting Irish, Fighting for Life

Dear Members of the Notre Dame Family,

Coming out of the vigorous discussions surrounding President Obama’s visit last spring, I said we would look for ways to engage the Notre Dame community with the issues raised in a prayerful and meaningful way. As our nation continues to struggle with the morality and legality of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and related issues, we must seek steps to witness to the sanctity of life. I write to you today about some initiatives that we are undertaking.

Each year on January 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life is held in Washington D.C. to call on the nation to defend the right to life. I plan to participate in that march. I invite other members of the Notre Dame Family to join me and I hope we can gather for a Mass for Life at that event. We will announce details as that date approaches.

On campus, I have recently formed the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life. It will be co-chaired by Professor Margaret Brinig, the Fritz Duda Family Chair in Law and Associate Dean for the Law School, and by Professor John Cavadini, the Chair of the Department of Theology and the McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life. My charge to the Task Force is to consider and recommend to me ways in which the University, informed by Catholic teaching, can support the sanctity of life. Possibilities the Task Force has begun to discuss include fostering serious and specific discussion about a reasonable conscience clause; the most effective ways to support pregnant women, especially the most vulnerable; and the best policies for facilitating adoptions. Such initiatives are in addition to the dedication, hard work and leadership shown by so many in the Notre Dame Family, both on the campus and beyond, and the Task Force may also be able to recommend ways we can support some of this work.

I also call to your attention the heroic and effective work of centers that provide care and support for women with unintended pregnancies. The Women’s Care Center, the nation’s largest Catholic-based pregnancy resource center, on whose Foundation Board I serve, is run by a Notre Dame graduate, Ann Murphy Manion (’77). The center has proven successful in offering professional, non-judgmental concern to women with unintended pregnancies, helping those women through their pregnancy and supporting them after the birth of their child. The Women’s Care Center and similar centers in other cities deserve the support of Notre Dame clubs and individuals.

Our Commencement last spring generated passionate discussion and also caused some divisions in the Notre Dame community. Regardless of what you think about that event, I hope that we can overcome divisions to foster constructive dialogue and work together for a cause that is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission. We will keep you informed of our work, and we ask for your support, assistance and prayers. May Our Lady, Notre Dame, watch over our efforts.

In Notre Dame,
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Notre Dame Receives $35 Million for Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The University of Notre Dame has announced a $35 million gift from alumni Mark W. and Stacey Miller Yusko to establish a new undergraduate scholarship program.

The gift will be used to create the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars program, which is designed to attract talented undergraduate students and provide them with the tools to become transformational leaders in the image of former Notre Dame president Theodore M. Hesburgh, who led the university from 1952 to 1987. Twenty Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars will be selected annually based on their academic accomplishments, integrity and moral character, leadership abilities, and a commitment to a life of service embracing the values of Catholic social tradition. Scholars will receive $25,000 annually for four years as well as fully funded summer enrichment experiences, seminars and service-learning projects during the academic year, career advising, and alumni mentoring and networking.

Mark Yusko is the founder, president, and chief investment officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management, while Stacey Miller Yusko is director of Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels and a member of Notre Dame's advisory council for the College of Arts and Letters.

"On behalf of Notre Dame, I want to extend my most sincere appreciation to Mark and Stacey for this extraordinary gift," said Notre Dame president John I. Jenkins. "Their generosity is matched only by their vision for this scholarship program, and we look forward to working with them for many years to attract high-caliber students and nurture their gifts so that they might have an enduring impact on the university, the nation, and the world."

[full article]
[Cloche tip to Dad]