May 21, 2003
Rev. Alfred E. D’Alonzo, C.S.C., a senior counselor in the Office of Academic Services for Student-Athletes and director of the Campus Bible Study at the University of Notre Dame, has been honored with the creation of an athletic grant-in-aid in his name.
The University has received a $100,000 commitment to endow the Father Al D’Alonzo, C.S.C., Grant-In-Aid, which will benefit members of the women’s fencing and softball teams. It was established with a gift from the family of his brother Frank and nephew Frank Jr., in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Father D’Alonzo’s ordination as a Holy Cross priest.
“Father Al has provided wise counsel to Notre Dame student-athletes for 15 years,” said Kevin White, director of athletics. “We are most appreciative of his service and of his family’s gift in support of two programs for which he has developed a particular appreciation.”
A native of Orange, N.J., Father D’Alonzo enrolled at Notre Dame on an athletic scholarship in football in 1944 and played for two years. As a member of the Navy’s V-12 program, he also attended Officers Training School on campus.
In his sophomore year, Father D’Alonzo gave up football and turned down his commission with the Navy to enter the priesthood. He received the habit of a novice in August 1946 at the Holy Cross Novitiate in North Dartmouth, Mass., and returned a year later to Notre Dame to complete his undergraduate studies in philosophy. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1949, he undertook theological studies at Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C., and in 1953 was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross. He later earned his master’s degree in educational administration and sociology and his doctorate in administration.
Father D’Alonzo served from 1953-69 as a prefect of discipline, director of athletics, teacher, vice principal, counselor and headmaster at high schools in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. He then spent two years in Canada as a research assistant at the University of Ottawa, from which he earned his doctoral degree. While in Canada he served as chaplain and counselor at Ottawa Teachers College.
From 1971-81, Father D’Alonzo served as dean of students at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he also taught Italian as an assistant professor of education.
Father D’Alonzo returned to Notre Dame in 1981, first on sabbatical and then serving for eight years on the staff of Moreau Seminary. He became director of Notre Dame’s Campus Bible Study in 1986 and two years later was appointed a counselor in the Office of Academic Services for Student-Athletes. He also has served as an assistant rector in Pangborn and Carroll Halls. In academic services, he has assisted student-athletes with curricular planning, taught study skills, maintained NCAA records and provided academic and personal counseling. He has worked with various athletic teams, including lacrosse, hockey, baseball and football, and in recent years he has worked most closely with the fencing and softball programs.
In 1995, Father D’Alonzo was honored for his many lifetime endeavors when he received the Distinguished American Award presented by the Essex County (N.J.) Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The foundation bestows the award on former players who have carried the lessons learned on the field into a life of service to community.
The golden jubilee of Father D’Alonzo’s ordination will be celebrated this weekend (May 23-24).