Sept. 26, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — All 44,000 of the “Return to Glory” T-shirts that have created a “sea of green” in Notre Dame Stadium this year have been sold, according to the university’s Student Activities Office. It’s one of the earliest sellouts in the 13-year history of what is officially known as The Shirt Project.
As a result, more than $200,000 has been raised to aid student charities and help fund the cost of operating student clubs and organizations, according to Mary Edgington, assistant director of Student Activities and adviser to the student-run project.
Notre Dame students have been wearing “The Shirt” to home football games since 1990 to show their support of the team. The project started when a graduate student suffered injuries in a car accident and students sold T-shirts to raise money to cover his medical expenses. Over time, other members of the Notre Dame community adopted the tradition, including alumni, faculty, staff and fans.
This year The Shirt Project attracted national media attention because the slogan on the front of the shirt, “Return to Glory,” has been accompanied by the team’s first 4-0 start since 1993.
“Great shirts, aren’t they?” asked Tyrone Willingham, who is in his first year as coach of the Fighting Irish. He has requested that all Notre Dame fans wear green to the stadium.
As the largest student-run fundraiser on campus, The Shirt Project has raised close to $2 million over the past 13 years.
“This is a great year for The Shirt,” said Courtney Schuster, a junior from Denville, N.J., who is chairperson for the project. “The team is winning, fans are excited, and the bright green shirt helps show it.”
The shirt is kelly green and displays an interlocking ND in addition to the “Return to Glory” slogan on the front. The back features a battle-chipped gold helmet, the Four Horsemen (the backfield made famous by sportswriter Grantland Rice), former Irish coach Knute Rockne, and an excerpt from a well-known Rockne speech – “We’re gonna go, go, go! And we aren’t going to stop until we go over that goal line!”
The Shirt was sold for $15 at various outlets on campus as well as on the web.