Friday Week: Conferral: Sunday, May 17

Author: Andy Fuller

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

Stairs Main Building
By tradition, students won’t climb the steps of the Main Building before they graduate. (Photo: Matt Cashore)

by Paul J. Browne

Conferral: Sunday, May 17

The Notre Dame community was, in many respects, focused this week on this coming Sunday when the Class of 2020 will participate in a diploma conferral ceremony conducted virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ceremony, over which Father Jenkins and Provost Tom Burish will preside and include the deans of our colleges and schools, will be live streamed beginning with a virtual procession at noon and conferral of degrees at 1 p.m. EDT.

An in-person, full University Commencement Ceremony with all of the traditions and pomp and circumstance will be celebrated over four days of Memorial Day weekend 2021. Details can be found here.

The Great Escape

When the spread of the coronavirus in Italy led Notre Dame's leadership to suspend programs at the Rome Global Gateway on February 28, director Silvia Dall'Olio stepped up and led the process of communicating with students and helping them to both cope with disappointment and prepare to leave for home. Her "leadership was heroic in dealing with the various dimensions of the crisis," according to Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. Read about Silvia here.

Mia Out!

Last month, in an essay for Notre Dame Magazine, Margaret Duncan ’17 encouraged graduates to “say the things that catch in your throat,” to express their gratitude to the people who meant a lot to them in college.  Kerry Temple, the magazine’s editor, invited a few seniors to share those feelings on its website.  Here is a sampling, beginning with Mia Barry ’20.

“At the beginning of the school year, I envisioned a grand final hoorah. I wanted a victory tour like the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team with a final prayer trip to the Grotto, a walk down the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium, and a bike ride around the lake. My ultimate celebration would have been walking up the Main Building steps for my official ‘Mia Out’ diploma drop in homage to Kobe Bryant’s famous ‘Mamba Out’ retirement mic drop.”—Mia Barry ‘20 (link)

Best Buds

“For as long as I can remember watching Notre Dame football games with my dad, Paul Korzeniowski ’78, I’ve known about his friendship with my godfather, David Bender ’78, my ‘Uncle Dave.’  They would call each other during halftime and after every game, their emotions ranging from excitement to frustration. My dad told me they had met at Notre Dame and had been best friends since. For a long time, I didn’t know what that meant. I do now.”—David Korzeniowski ’20 (link)

A Tribute

“Hardly a week has gone by since that I haven’t talked to them. Sophomore year, I loved my journalism classes, but still wasn’t sure the industry was for me. In these mentors, I found not only two of the most accomplished and knowledgeable people in the field, but examples of the compassion and drive that distinguishes great journalists. They gave me a model to strive for in my career and the tools to start heading in that direction.”—Mary Bernard ’20 (link)

A Love Letter

“Thinking about how to thank my professors in the world’s current circumstances, I am lost. There are no conventions for this process, and emails simply cannot convey my gratitude. I hope this love letter will suffice.”—Laksumi Sivanandan ’20 (link)

Four Star Attraction

On Sunday, households across America and around the world occupied by 2,324 members of the Class of 2020 will be filled with justifiable pride for family members who completed four years or more of education at the highest levels of achievement.  Among them, will be a group of graduates who will have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  They are the members of Notre Dame’s Reserve Officer Training Corps who are scheduled to be addressed remotely tomorrow, Saturday, by Admiral Christopher Grady, four-star Commander, United States Fleet Forces Command, the highest rank achieved by an alumnus of Notre Dame’s ROTC. Press release here.

Too Many States Are Flying Blind Into Reopening. Not Indiana—New York Times

On Wednesday, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Highlights:

One of the most frustrating things about this pandemic is that we still don’t know how many people have been truly infected… It would require a full statewide, random sample study to allow us to see what’s going on.

That, of course, would require a government that leads.

We’ve just seen that happen in Indiana. Thanks to a study done with the state’s help, we now know that it’s likely that about 2.8 percent of Hoosiers have so far been infected with this virus. It also means that the fatality rate in Indiana is about 0.6 percent, significantly higher than what we usually see for seasonal influenza.

Link to article.


Paul J. Browne is vice president for public affairs and communications