Sept. 21, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Last weekend the Joyce Athletics Grants-in-Aid Program welcomed former Secretary of State and Notre Dame graduate Dr. Condoleezza Rice (’75) back to campus for its annual Recognition Weekend.
As the keynote speaker for the Joyce Recognition Dinner, Dr. Rice spoke about the integrity of Notre Dame Athletics, and the important role philanthropy plays in supporting all 26 varsity programs.
Attending the dinner were University Vice President and Director of Athletics, Jack Swarbrick, several Notre Dame coaches and student-athletes, as well as the Joyce Grants-in-Aid benefactors.
Other speakers included Jeff Jackson, coach of the 2011 Frozen Four hockey team, and the point guard for the Irish women’s basketball team, Skylar Diggins.
One of the highlights of the evening occurred when Diggins presented Dr. Rice with an autographed 2011 Women’s Final Four jersey. The two had met on a previous occasion, including the 2011 Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind., and a conference on the future of women’s athletics in California.
Marta Stepien and Alex Coccia from the 2011 national championship fencing team offered the invocation and benediction.
Joyce Grants-in-Aid members met with head football coach Brian Kelly and then took a private tour of the new Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday. Saturday’s activities included watching the pregame warm-ups from the sidelines and a tour of the football locker room. During the first television timeout, Dr. Rice joined the Joyce Grants-in-Aid members for and on-field recognition and thanked them for generously providing scholarship dollars for Irish student-athletes.
As members of the Joyce Grants-in-Aid program, benefactors are considered the Athletic Director’s “inner circle”, providing necessary scholarship resources to advance the mission and performance of Notre Dame Athletics. A Joyce Grants-in-Aid is an annual $40,000 expendable gift to the University that funds a student- athlete’s tuition, room and board for one year – shaping their life at Notre Dame and beyond. This elite benefaction program continues the vision and legacy of the late University Executive Vice President, Fr. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C.