Friday Week: The Irish fight back

Author: Andy Fuller

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

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At the Grotto, candles for this year’s seniors. (Photo: Matt Cashore, University of Notre Dame)

Dear Notre Dame Community,

This week, Fr. Jenkins contacted the Class of 2020 on Tuesday to update them about the conferral of degrees on May 17 and ideas for a commencement celebration during Memorial Day weekend 2021. He said that a student committee would soon be convened to help plan the events. “Let’s look forward to when we are through the current trying circumstances and can gather together to celebrate your accomplishments.” 

Fr. Jenkins also sent a video message on Tuesday, updating the Notre Dame community on developments a month after the University evacuated students from Italy in our “first brush with the coronavirus.” Fr. Jenkins described how Notre Dame historically emerged stronger and more united after adversity. “That’s what we do. That’s why they call us ‘the Fighting Irish.’”

Other Voices

Commencement was also on the mind of Margaret Duncan ’17, who was an RA in McGlinn Hall when the current graduating class was in its first year at Notre Dame. Magaret is currently a third-year medical student at Washington University in St. Louis. She wrote a heartfelt letter to the seniors for Notre Dame Magazine online, and asked them to contact professors and others who influenced them during their four years at the University.

The Office of Public Affairs and Communications has been in touch with members of the Notre Dame family around the world who have shared inspirational stories during these difficult times. Andy Fuller talked with undergraduate Paolo Mazzara ’23, who moved to the U.S. from Italy with his family two years ago. Now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit Italy so hard, Paolo finds himself connecting with his Italian roots more than ever. “He’s playing a role in securing personal protective equipment for Italian healthcare workers by breaking down the language barrier that has, at times, slowed interactions with the World Health Organization,” Fuller writes.

Colleen Sharkey writes about a Notre Dame professor’s family inn that served as a port in the storm for students sidelined by coronavirus-related closures. Also, from another OPAC writer, Amanda Skofstad contemplates “Prayer in a Plague,” after talking to Rev. Brian Ching, C.S.C., Rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart; Rabbi Karin Companez of South Bend’s Temple Beth-el; theologians Timothy O’Malley, Director of Education for the McGrath Institute for Church Life, and Tzvi Novick, the Abrams Jewish Thought and Culture Associate Professor of Theology, about the significance of the pandemic escalating in the spiritually resonant seasons of Easter and Passover.

Provost Tom Burish talks with VP for University Relations Lou Nanni

On Wednesday, Lou Nanni sat down with Notre Dame’s Chief Academic Officer to take the pulse of the academy in these extraordinary times.

From EVP Shannon Cullinan 

On Wednesday, Executive Vice President Shannon Cullinan reported in a letter to the Notre Dame community how the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus is impacting Notre Dame. He outlined several prudent steps the University was taking and concluded, “There is no question we are facing a serious financial crisis, but let me once again underscore that we are committed to doing all we can to support the members of this community.”

From VP for Student Affairs Erin Hoffman Harding

On Tuesday, Vice President for Student Affairs Erin Hoffman Harding outlined plans for making appointments to move belongings out of residence halls, once public health constraints about returning to campus are eased or addressed in such a way that permits staged move-outs. Student Affairs is also circulating a weekly newsletter on Thursdays. Here’s the April 2 edition. 

From the Office of Information Technologies

Notre Dame’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has developed an index to find resources for working and teaching remotely called Teaching Resources for COVID-19 Response Activities. It can help you find answers to Zoom, Sakai, Virtual Computer Labs, Panopto or connecting to the Notre Dame network.

Navigate Market Volatility

A series of financial education online workshops for Notre Dame faculty and staff has been scheduled beginning next week.

In Notre Dame,

Paul J. Browne
Vice President 
Public Affairs and Communications