Brothers and Notre Dame alumni Walter and Patrick Hessert are living the dream, traveling the country in an Airstream trailer sharing their passion for American entrepreneurial spirit. “We wanted to go on the ultimate road trip before I started my next job and before Patrick started his,” Walter said. “So I bought an Airstream trailer, but right before we left, I decided that I wanted to do something with it.” Instead of just hitting the open road, Walter, a 2006 Notre Dame graduate, and Patrick, who graduated in 2009, founded the Million Dollar Roadtrip, a dynamic marketing company celebrating young, passionate American entrepreneurs. Their journey began on July 4 in Lebanon, Kan., and they plan to visit 48 states in one year. “As a company, we can cover a full gamut of national events for businesses because we are so mobile,” Walter said. The brothers plan for their 23-foot blue Airstream trailer to be covered in 10,000 advertisements, measuring two square inches each. They hope to sell $1 million in advertisements during their journey to reach this goal. To date, they have sold $50,000 worth of advertising. “We want to create a mosaic of American brands,” Patrick said. Even though their Airstream trailer is at the core of their brand, it is more than just their business — it is their home for the next 11 months. They said they affectionately refer to it as “Alleroy,” in honor of their grandfather. “The Airstream is covered in ads that are products of enterprising and ingenuity of this country,” Walter said. “Seeing the Airstream generates a visceral reaction among young people.” The brothers said they want to create a social and creative network of young visionaries. Million Dollar Road Trip also gives Inspirations Grants every two weeks. They award these grants to businesses that embrace the passionate spirit the Hessert brothers want to spread. Thus far, they have given $500 cash and $200 worth of advertising space to three recipients. At the beginning of the trip, Walter and Patrick said they talked about the people they met and decide who deserved the award. A huge milestone for this dynamic duo came a few weeks into their journey; people began to recognize the Airstream trailer and the Hessert’s message and started to make nominations for the grants. Now that people have heard about their project, they are implementing a voting system through their website so people who are following their journey can vote for winners of the Inspiration Grant. The brothers said the passionate people they meet continue to inspire them. “I love finding people and sharing their stories,” Patrick said. In the past few months, they traveled through big cities and attended events such as the Ironman in Lake Placid, N.Y., The Brendan Borek Surf Competition in Avalon, N.J., and the Notre Dame vs. Michigan football game in South Bend last weekend. “Going to the game is a homecoming for us,” Walter said. They said they are also looking forward to other events, such as a rodeo in Omaha, Neb. “We’re just wannabe cowboys,” Patrick said with a laugh. When their yearlong cross country trip is over, the brothers hope their Airstream will be a design piece. In addition to its exterior advertising, the interior will be covered with pictures of the people they met. The brothers said they hope it could be showcased in art museums across the country. “It will be a mosaic of Americana art celebrating what is at the core of this country,” Walter said.
Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) discussed during its meeting Tuesday the possibility of decorating the Le Mans Hall Tunnel, which currently has plain walls. The Le Mans Hall Tunnel connects the dormitory to the Student Center and allows for easier transportation between buildings during the winter months. The current tunnel was renovated a few years ago. Members of SGA suggested in last week’s meeting there be an opportunity for students to create murals for the interior of the tunnel. Emma Brink, student body secretary, said the plan is still in the works. “We have not officially decided anything yet, but we all did come up with a lot of different ideas last week,” she said. Nicole Gans, student body president, said any kind of decoration would be an improvement from the current stark walls. “Anything is better than creepy walls,” she said. Student Service Commissioner Laura Glaub said SGA has considered the option of having multiple murals in the tunnel to allow many different students to leave their marks. Brink said the length of the tunnel would allow for multiple different murals. “We should have multiple murals because the tunnel is so large,” Brink said. During Tuesday’s meeting, members drafted an email that will be sent out to Saint Mary’s students as early as this week. SGA members said they wanted the email to be able to capture students’ attention, and wanted to avoid having a lengthy description about the project that would deter students from becoming involved. Following Tuesday’s meeting, SGA will move forward with approving the email and sending it out to students. The email could be sent out by this week, giving students the time to work on their ideas over fall break if they choose. Jackie Zupancic, student body vice president, suggested last week that the student body should be allowed to vote on the submissions. If SGA chooses to move forward with the submission deadline, members agreed it would be Nov. 22, right before Thanksgiving Break.
Prom is a celebratory pinnacle of four years walking high school hallways, and Saint Mary’s Stands Up will bring the magic of that night to cancer patients and survivors in March. The College chapter, which is a branch of the national Stand Up To Cancer organization, will host a prom for those in the local area dealing with cancer March 2. Senior Devon Graham, Saint Mary’s Stands Up president and founder, said she wanted to create an event that would allow students to interact with cancer patients and survivors. “So many of us are healthy people and we underestimate things like prom, but prom is a big deal for people who aren’t healthy enough to go,” Graham said. “I think this prom gives students and patients the opportunity to interact and be a support system for each other. The event will be held at Haggar Parlor and is open to all students and cancer patients in the area. There is no cost for cancer patients and their guests. This is Stand Up’s second prom, and Graham said she hopes the event will eventually become an annual occurrence. “It’s amazing to hear a cancer patient’s story,” Graham said. “The prom is a great way for patients to share those stories with students.” Graham said she established a Saint Mary’s chapter during her sophomore year because of her belief in the value of Stand Up’s mission. “My dad passed away from cancer when I was in high school and ever since I’ve kept up with Stand Up To Cancer,” Graham said. “Everyone is so affected by cancer. We have a passion for it because we’ve all had someone we love either survive or lose the fight.” During the school year, Stand Up member s volunteer at Memorial Hospital and fundraise, Graham said. Supporting cancer research is a key aspect of the club’s goals. “I really like that 100 percent of any donation goes straight to research,” Graham said. “Researchers work together through out the country to come up with treatments or ways to detect different types of cancers.” Graham said she is happy to be a part of an organization that provides both financial and emotional support for students who have been impacted by cancer. “I like being a part of Stand Up because not only is it a great organization with a great mission, but it’s also such a great support system.”
Notre Dame football brings the Saint Mary’s College and Notre Dame student bodies together each year, and Saturday it brought together the student government executives of both institutions. Prior to Saturday’s football game, Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president Kat Sullivan and Maddy Martin were honored alongside Notre Dame student body president and vice president Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce. The ceremony consisted of both teams walking the American flag across the field and presenting it to members of the Irish Guard, who hoisted it onto the flagpole during the national anthem. The names and hometowns of the four leaders were also announced, she said. The four also watched the game from the press box, Sullivan said. “I was just in shock when we were walking out. I was like, ‘This is a really surreal experience,’” Sullivan said. “I was just so excited, and I felt really blessed to have that experience, and the fact that Notre Dame really considered us a part of the community. That they allowed Saint Mary’s to be involved was really cool. It was just exciting that my whole family was there to see me for that.” Martin said she agreed that it was a great experience, emphasizing how nerve-wracking the experience was for her and how close they were to the players. “Although it sounds simple, I was so nervous,” Martin said. “We were all really excited. We got there around 2:45 p.m. We just got a chance to walk around the field by the fifty-yard line. I was close enough that I probably could’ve touched one of the football players, probably like Tommy Rees when he was walking by.” Martin said this is the ninth year in which both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame student executives have been included in performing the ritual, and she said she felt honored to participate. “I know it was started back in 2004. However, it is such an honor that Kat and I are able to share such an exciting experience with the Notre Dame student body president and vice president, especially since we are not technically students of Notre Dame. It was awesome to look like a unified front,” Martin said. Before the game commenced, the student government leaders met Irish basketball head coach Mike Brey, University President John Jenkins, Assistant University Vice President Dennis Brown and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Sullivan said. Sullivan said Rice was very relatable and the group relished the chance to meet her. “We shook hands with her, and she asked if we were seniors, what our plans were for next year. She was very down-to-earth. She’s a Notre Dame alumna. She was awesome. It was a really, very cool experience. It was really cool that all four of us got to share that as well,” Sullivan said. Sullivan credits the fellowship between Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s student governments for their immediate association following elections last spring. “Maddy [Martin] and I have a really good relationship with Alex [Coccia] and Nancy [Joyce]. We started hanging out with them … right after all four of us were elected to plan to collaborate this year on different events,” Sullivan said. The two administrations and Holy Cross student government will collaborate on a yearlong calendar of community events, Sullivan said. “There’s an event called Support-A-Belle-Love-A-Belle here [at Saint Mary’s]. It’s for Mental Health Awareness. It was started three years ago, and when we described it to Alex and Nancy, they wanted to introduce something like that at Notre Dame. So now they’re doing Irish State of Mind. We’re doing our own [collaboration] on three different events. We happened to get a hold of the Holy Cross student government as well this year. So it will be all three schools, and that’s in a few weeks,” Sullivan said. Martin said, ultimately, she was honored she was able to represent Saint Mary’s College with Sullivan. “I am so proud of my school and the women that attend it,” she said. “My opportunity to participate in the flag presentation signified the importance of Saint Mary’s as a whole. I was honored to be able to represent an incredible group of women in front of thousands of people.”
Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the nonprofit global venture fund Acumen, received the 2013 Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity for her advocacy for the revitalization of impoverished communities. University President Fr. John Jenkins presented Novogratz with the award on behalf of the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity in a ceremony Thursday. The event in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium was part of the Notre Dame Forum on women in leadership. Jenkins said Novogratz stands as an exemplary person in the area of women in leadership because of her dedication to human dignity. “There are two dangers when seeking to help people in need. One is condescension; the other is imposing solutions on the poor,” Jenkins said. “Novogratz is particularly worthy of celebration for avoiding those dangers.” “She displays a profound respect for the dignity for those whom she serves, knowing that the real gifts in life are not material, but empowering acts of love that form community.” Fr. Robert Dowd, director of the Ford Family Program, echoed Jenkins’s remarks, emphasizing the power of human dignity that drives the mission of the program. “We are thankful to Jacqueline Novogratz for advancing the mission of the Ford Family Program, which seeks to help people to lift themselves out of poverty and produce sustainable outcomes,” Dowd said. Novogratz spoke about the mission of Acumen, the nonprofit organization she founded in 2001 after working in the banking world of New York City. Novogratz is the daughter of Catholic immigrants from Austria, a fact which made Notre Dame stand as a mythic name in her family while she grew up. She also holds an honorary degree from the university. To begin her remarks, Novogratz appealed to the sense of kinship at the heart of Acumen’s mission. “We all do this work in different ways, and we do this work together and stand on top of each other’s shoulders,” she said. Acumen attempts to unify aspects of philanthropy with a sound understanding of investing to fund aspiring entrepreneurs primarily in Africa and south Asia, Novogratz said. “The goal is to take the humanitarian impulse of philanthropy with the efficiency of the market while recognizing the limitations of the market as well,” she said. Novogratz said this approach enables her to taks on issues of poverty and the great “un-freedoms” of economic inequality in a new and courageous way. Building and renewing conventional institutions lies at the core of this pursuit, and Novogratz lauded Pope Francis for his own efforts to renew one of the world’s oldest institutions: the Catholic Church. Since the organization’s founding in 2001, Novogratz said it has made immense strides, providing funding to projects that serve more than 100 million people around theworld. These projects aim to give the poor time to make mistakes and to help them satisfy basic needs in their communities, she said Novogratz gave two examples of how poor entrepreneurs have transformed their communities with funds from Acumen. Bruce Robertson, an entrepreneur originally from South Africa, took funds to Gulu in northern Uganda, a place typified by refugees and the aftermath of genocide. He gave capital to the newly returned inhabitants, trusting some who had virtually no farming experience. “Today, there are 50,000 farmers as part of an all-Uganda company in Gulu,” Novogratz said. “This is an image of resurrection.” Jawad Aslam, a Pakistani-American, used Acumen funds to establish low-income housing outside the Pakistani city of Lahore, Novogratz said. Aslam provided the poor with sustainable shelter without bribing corrupt officials. “Jawad did what was right, not what was easy,” Novogratz said. “Many people go into this thinking they’re building bricks and mortar, but Jawad built a community. There was one mosque in the whole settlement, and Jawad worked with the elders so that Imams from various Islamic sects could share.” The innovation of empowered citizens, along with the charity of philanthropists and ordinary kind-hearted individuals, maks these projects possible, Novogratz said. Novogratz provided a final example of her personal encounter with the poor to show how various kinds of capital can change the world. “I was visiting a site with an Australian entrepreneur who sells solar energy. I asked a woman who had bought his product if she thought it needed any improvements. Though she said she loved the product, she went on to list four ideas for improvement,” Novogratz said. “Seeing this little woman talking to this big man with such confidence about how he could improve his product reminded me of why I founded Acumen – to empower the poor to find their own solution.” In the end, Novogratz said we need both the soft and the hard – the head and the heart – to fight the status quo, the bureaucracy, corruption and complacency. “We need charity and philanthropy, but it can create dependency and arrogance, and the systems that will better the world have human dignity at heart,” she said. Contact Charlie Ducey at email@example.com
Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff gathered in Carroll Auditorium on Monday to hear Pakistani entrepreneur and social organizer Shiza Shahid share her life’s trajectory towards her position as the co-founder and Global Ambassador of the Malala Fund. Shahid was the closing keynote speaker for the College’s 10th annual Diverse Student Leadership Conference (DSLC).Despite Shahid’s strong family structure, she “knew all around [her] that things were broken.”Shahid said she sought answers as terrorism and radicalization grew during her post-9/11 childhood, lived under military dictatorship in Pakistan.“Things like suicide attacks, terrorist attacks were becoming commonplace,” Shahid said. “I needed to understand what was happening to my society, so I decided to understand it through the lens of women and girls who lived the issues that I only saw from afar.”Shahid said she began to take up roles that would allow her to help the very women she sought to learn from.“When I was 13, I began volunteering in a women’s prison,” Shahid said. “In the prison, there were not any real female doctors, so I offered to set up medical counsel along with a local NGO [non-governmental organization]. I would spend time with women who were in deeply vulnerable positions.”Shahid said observing these women, and their incarcerations’ effects on their families, was tragic, particularly for their children.“Children at the site were born while their mothers were in captivity,” Shahid said. “I understood what it meant then to be discarded before you were born for those who were born behind bars and then raised behind bars along side their mothers.”Her role as a grassroots organizer would be something she would practice repeatedly throughout her lifetime.Shahid said when she was 16, her best friend died in an earthquake because the building he was in was built with faulty materials. Shahid said she was the only regular female volunteer at the local relief center, which meant all the women and girls with medical problems came to her.“I remember taking a [Pakistani woman to a doctor because her] breast milk froze inside her from the cold,” Shahid said. “I would spend the day talking to young girl in hot tents knowing we couldn’t go outside because their mothers and fathers did not want them to be seen.”She said the gender dynamics of the relief center informed her of a reality she had not witness before.“I understood then what it meant to be a woman facing harsh circumstances in the world,” Shahid said. “To have your very body, your very existence, as a source of shame.”The activist said the learning experience was as inspiring as it was saddening.“I also learned the power of being an advocate,” she said. “I learned that I could multiply the influence that I had as a grassroots volunteer if I could mobilize people, tell stories effectively and get people to act.”Shahid said her volunteering experiences allowed her to understand her own role in the world around her.“All of us have the power to create change,” she said.Empowered, Shahid said she applied to some of the top schools in the United States with a personal statement that read: “My society is like a moth, drawn to the flame of its own destruction … I want to get a scholarship so that I can help my society, so that I can help other girls.”Shahid said her full-ride to Stanford helped her understand her country’s problems in a much more academic way. Her deeper intellectual comprehension, paired with Stanford’s entrepreneurial brightest, primed her to think about constructive solutions for contentious issues.As terrorism in Pakistan grew, Shahid said she “felt the social fabric of [her] society growing.” With its fray, Shahid felt beckoned to her homeland to apply what she had learned to those in need — girls who were forbidden to attend school, she said.Shahid said she heard how the Taliban threatened young girls who wanted to attend school just three hours north of Pakistan’s capital and felt compelled to do something.At 20 years old, Shahid was inspired by a little girl named Malala to help create an environment for girls where their education would not be destroyed.“Discover beyond the life you were born into,” Shahid said. “Understanding who you are is not only an incredible responsibility but an immense joy.”Tags: DSLC, Malala Fund, Shiza Shadid, women’s rights
The Hesburgh Libraries received the largest donation in its history, a $10 million gift from the Marilyn & Rudolph M. Navari Charitable Foundation that will be used to further develop the Libraries’ digital services, the University announced in a press release Friday.The donation will fund the renovation of what will be the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship at the Hesburgh Library, part of ongoing renovations. Part of the gift will also be used to “establish an endowment to support digital library services and research projects related to the center,” the press release stated.“I am deeply grateful to Rudy and Jane Navari and their family’s foundation for this generous gift,” University president Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “It recognizes the importance of a library for any university community and the centrality of the Hesburgh Libraries for Notre Dame. This gift will allow us to expand and enhance our library services through digital technology to support the critical work of scholars now and in the future.”According to the release, the Navari Center will include Digital Research Lab and Digital Production Facility, as well as a high-tech meeting room and classroom.Tags: Hesburgh Libraries, Hesburgh Library, Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship
Norman Wirzba, professor of ecology and rural life at Duke Divinity School and author of several books, explained the scientific and theological significance of soil on Thursday in a lecture titled “For God So Loved the Soil.” He said over the past 100 years, the human relationship with soil has shifted in such a way that by harming the soil, humans are also harming themselves.“This is a totally new situation we find ourselves in because we now have more people in cities across the world than on the land,” Wirzba said. “This matters, because human beings are growing up without any deep appreciation for why land matters. We are terrestrial beings, which means we draw our very life from the soil.“And if we don’t know anything about the soul, we are more likely to become negligent, or even worse, abusive.”Human abuse of the soil increased during the 20th-century period known as the Green Revolution, when more minerals and pesticides were added to soil alongside root-destructive farming techniques, all of which degrade the life of soil while increasing calorie output, he said.“We had this relationship to the land that was the direct result of your day-to-day livelihood … you had to get your hands in dirt,” Wirzba said. “What we’ve done is change the way we treat the soil. Instead of thinking about soil as a complex reality, we have come to think of soil as a receptacle for certain kinds of minerals we need to grow food.”Along with being an environmental concern, care for the soil is also a vocation of humanity, he said. The complex mineral element interactions of soil provide the flavor and nutritional value of foods as well as valuable kinship with the surrounding environment, Wirzba said.“If you despise the ground, you despise the creatures that depend upon it,” Wirzba said. “The relationship that joins us to the land becomes very clear once you start to trace patterns of health and ill-health in different forms of organisms in the circular chain.”From a theological perspective, Wirzba said humans have always had a connection to the soil. Indeed, he said the name “Adam” comes from a Hebrew word meaning “from the soil.”According to Wirzba, in the Garden of Eden, God is not depicted as a warrior but a gardener working close to humanity.“This is a God on his knees holding soil so close as to breath into it the life that is human … you are an en-soiled being, not just an ensouled being,” he said.Wirzba said working in a garden — such as the way Adam works in the Garden — should be viewed as an invitation to develop humanity and better see the world as God does. He said working with soil provides valuable life lessons.Wirzba said the idea of caring for the soil is relatively new to humanity, but that there are ways to re-shape today’s culture. There is research being done on regenerative and organic forms of agriculture which take into account the integrity of the soil, he said.“By not learning to love the land, the place you are in, you have not been able to experience the reality that the land loves you back,” Wirzba said. “Fertile soil is the place where God’s love becomes active, and why would you want to pull away from that?”Senior biology major Cinthya Benitez said she was impressed with the lecture and appreciated the new perspective on the human relationship with soil.“The relationship with the soil goes beyond ourselves,” Benitez said. “There were a lot of interesting ideas I had never thought of before, like how we are connected to the soil through Adam and also so interconnected with everything else.”The lecture was the first of four in a series titled “Earth, Water, Air and Fire: Theology, Ethics and the Elements of Life,” sponsored by the Center for Spirituality. The series intends to look at the environment through the lens of theology in response to Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Laudato si’. The next lecture will be Sept. 29.Tags: agriculture, Norman Wirzba, soil, spirituality
On Tuesday, nearly two years after breaking ground at Ignition Park, the University, partnered with the City of South Bend, Great Lakes Capital, the state of Indiana and Indiana Michigan Power, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the $36 million Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL), according to a press release. The lab, which will focus on studying aerodynamics, thermodynamics and structural mechanics of parts of large rotating machines, opened Tuesday, according to the release.Vice president for research Robert Bernhard said the facility gives researchers a unique capability. “We can work in a research and development space no one else works in,” Bernhard said in the release. “It will help us draw the best faculty and graduate students to Notre Dame while providing valuable data to our business partners about their technology and equipment.”At the helm of NDTL are Joshua Cameron, research assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and director of the new laboratory, and Scott Morris, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and the lab’s new research director, according to the release. Additionally, the release stated the new lab currently employs 37 people with plans to continue to expand — a significant increase from the 10 previously employed by the turbomachinery facility operated by the University on campus.The lab is partially co-sponsored by General Electric Co., and has engaged in conversation with previous sponsors and collaborators Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, Honeywell, Siemens, ANSYS, Inc., NASA and the Air Force Research Lab about future partnerships. Tags: aerospace engineering, General Electric, NASA, NDTL, Turbomachinery
A $10 million donation from New Jersey couple Anthony and Christie de Nicola will help develop Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, the University announced in a Jan. 8 press release.Renamed the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture in the family’s honor, the Center was originally founded in 1999 by professor David Solomon and then-provost Nathan Hatch. The Center focuses on student formation, academic research, programming and publishing, “Culture of Life” — or pro-life — programming and mission hiring.“For two decades, the Center for Ethics and Culture has played a critical role in fostering dialogue both on our campus and in our broader society, especially around issues involving human dignity and the common good,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “This tremendously generous gift from Tony and Christie will allow us to expand the reach of the Center. We at Notre Dame are truly grateful.”The de Nicola’s donation will help “expand [the Center’s] work forming and mentoring Notre Dame students, engaging in interdisciplinary programming and research and promoting a culture of life worldwide through teaching, exchange and service,” the release said.“Tony and Christie have been instrumental in supporting the Center throughout my tenure as director; their vision, commitment and generosity are the sine qua non of the center’s growth and success,” Center director O. Carter Snead said in the release. “The staff and fellows of the de Nicola Center are honored and humbled by their gift and are excited to continue our work in service to Our Lady’s University and its distinctive mission as the world’s preeminent Catholic university.”“Tony and Christie are extraordinary benefactors of the Archdiocese of New York, and dear friends of mine. I am inspired by their devotion to our Blessed Mother’s University and their commitment to the Center for Ethics and Culture — a jewel in the crown of Notre Dame,” Archbishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan said in the release.The de Nicolas are parents of two recent Notre Dame graduates, the release said.Tony de Nicola is the president and managing partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a New York private investment firm. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and computational mathematics from DePauw University, and after working as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs, received and MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1990. Tony has held seats on numerous boards, including the Partnership for New York City, Toigo Foundation, Inner-City Scholarship Fund for the Archdiocese of New York and the New York Catholic Foundation.“We are drawn to the mission of the University and in particular to the Center for Ethics and Culture because we believe they are shining beacons of the complementarity of faith and reason, as they share and explore the transcendent truths of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition with students, scholars and public policymakers,” he said in the release. “Through its engagement with eminent academia and the public square, the Center for Ethics and Culture demonstrates that the truths affirmed by the Church about the dignity of the human person are intelligible and attractive to people of all backgrounds, religious and secular.”Christie de Nicola graduated from Ferris State University and has served on the boards of St. Elizabeth Home School Association and Don Bosco Preparatory High School.The de Nicolas are Stewards of St. Peter in the Papal Foundation and belong to the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. They have received Notre Dame’s Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools and the Spirit of Service Award from St. John’s University. Additionally, the couple was recognized for outstanding service from the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Newark.“Through initiatives like the Sorin Fellows student formation program and the Vita Institute for pro-life leaders worldwide, the Center reflects Notre Dame’s institutional commitment to building a culture of life both on campus and in the global public square,” Christie de Nicola said in the release. “Our faith calls us to speak out in defense of the unborn child, the refugee, the poor, the disabled and the elderly. We are proud to add our name to this center.”Tags: Center for Ethics and Culture, de Nicola, donation