June 13, 2005
By Pete LaFleur
The date of June 2, 2005, will stand as an historic moment in the history of the Notre Dame Monogram Club, the prestigious letterwinners organization that has existed in various forms at Notre Dame for 90 years. Julie Pierson Doyle (’85) – a former Notre Dame volleyball player and 12-year member of the Monogram Club board – formally was introduced at the organization’s annual June dinner as the first female president in the history of the Notre Dame Monogram Club.
Doyle provided the opening address to the Joyce Center dinner gathering, mixing some lighthearted and serious comments while reflecting fondly on her 12 years of service to the Monogram Club. Excerpts of her comments are included below, as is a complete list of the 64 individuals who have served as president of the Notre Dame Monogram Club. Also look for additional comments from Doyle – in the traditional “Letter from the President” format – in the upcoming edition of the Inside Irish newsletter and at www.ndmonogramclub.com.
(Note: see the und.com Monogram Club page – also at www.ndmonogramclub.com – for complete coverage of the 2005 Monogram Club June meeting events and awards.)
The 63 previous president’s of the Monogram Club (16 of them multi-sport athletes) have included: 44 football players, 12 competitors in men’s track-and-field, 11 men’s basketball players, five baseball players, three former student managers and one golfer.
Doyle first served three years on the board from ’93-’96 and then was the Monogram Club’s secretary for five years before entering the president rotation in 2001 (with two years as both second and first vice-president). Her primary committee duties during her initial term on the board included helping to coordinate various student welfare initiatives, including the summer service sponsorships and other life skills-based programs.
She and husband Peter, a 1984 Notre Dame graduate and currently a CPA with Davidson & Doyle, LLP, reside in Lynchburg, Va., with their children Kevin (15, as of Dec., 2004), Sarah (12) and Maggie (6). The family lived in Washington, D.C., until 1993, when they moved to Peter’s hometown of Lynchburg. Julie worked professionally until 2000, with her current focus being a full-time mother and a wide-reaching volunteer in the community.
Julie Pierson was a member of the Notre Dame volleyball program during the early 1980s.
A 1985 graduate of Notre Dame with a degree in mechanical engineering, Doyle received her Masters in business administration from George Washington University in 1992. She spent 10 years (’89-’99) as an education account executive with Honeywell, Inc., covering the Virginia education market that included K-12 public school districts, private schools and colleges. She developed and implemented programs for education institutions focused on upgrading facility infrastructures while reducing energy and operational costs. Prior to joining Honeywell, Doyle served four years (1985-89) as a sales engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
Doyle was appointed to the Lynchburg City School Board in July of 2000 and is serving a second three-year term on the board, which oversees the 9000 student school district. She currently serves as chair of the Lynchburg School Board and has been involved with numerous aspects of that organization during the past few years. She previously served on the board of Kids’ Haven: A Center for Grieving Children, and remains an active volunteer at her children’s schools and at the Daily Bread soup kitchen.
Originally from Portland, Ore., Doyle played on the Notre Dame volleyball team in 1981 and ’82, the second and third seasons of the program’s history. The mechanical engineering major also was involved in numerous Center for Social Concerns activities during her undergraduate days, including Urban Plunge and various tutoring programs.
The middle child of William (ND ’50) and Jeanne Pierson’s family of five girls, the former Julie Pierson was born April 20, 1963, in Los Angeles and grew up in Portland, Ore., where she played for the powerhouse St. Mary’s Academy volleyball team that finished third in the state tournament. Her sisters Anne-Marie (’81) and Patti (’94) also are Notre Dame graduates.
Julie and Peter – whose father also is a Notre Dame graduate while his cousin is current Dillon Hall rector Paul Doyle – were married in 1986, in Portland.
Julie Doyle helped present several awards during the 2005 Monogram Club dinner, including a special recognition to former Monogram Club executive director Bill Scholl.
Excerpts of comments from Monogram Club president Julie Doyle (June, 2005)
“Over 12 years ago, I received a phone call out of the blue from a friend of a friend, Mary Beth Sobolewski. Mary Beth was serving on the Monogram Club board at the time and was tasked with getting more females on the board. Up until that phone call, the only real involvement I had with the Monogram Club was to pay my dues each year so I could get my football tickets. Serving a three-year term on the board sounded like a lot of fun … so I agreed to have my name added to the list of potential nominees. I never could have imagined during that initial phone call that some day I would end up as president of the organization, but I couldn’t be more proud to represent this club and you.
“When I think back to that first board meeting I attended in June of 1993, I remember walking across this Sports Heritage Hall wondering what I had gotten myself into. The first two people I met as I made my way to the Monogram Room were Ray Sobota, who was president of the club at the time, and Jim Rolfs who was a director. Ray Sobota is just one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet and Jim Rolfs – as those of you that know him will attest – bears a striking resemblance to Tom Selleck.
“So at that point I am thinking, yeah I could hang with these guys for a little while. Now after 12 years of service on the board I have spent three times as long as a board member as I did as a student here and I am still enjoying every minute I get to hang with all of you.
“My first board meeting was a blur but I do remember that the most difficult thing we did was to count who wanted prime rib versus who wanted orange roughie at the University Club dinner that evening. Much to Father Riehle’s frustration, in a room full of Notre Dame graduates, it took three tries for the orange roughie tally and the prime rib tally to equal the total number of diners.
“The second day was just as much fun and I was assigned my first official duty of the Monogram Club, which was to sit on the hole-in-one hole at the golf outing. … a car (was) on the green and anyone that was lucky enough to make a hole-in-one would win the car. My job I guess was to make sure that no one cheated.
“The late, great Leo Branhorst was in his element that day, driving Lou Holtz around in the golf cart so that Lou could say hello to the golfers. When they pulled up to my spot, my excitement about meeting coach Holtz was quickly replaced by dismay when Leo introduced me as, `This is Julie. She’s knew on the board. She was a cheerleader.’ I politely corrected him, reminding him that I actually had been on the volleyball team.
“Later when he introduced me as a cheerleader again, I wasn’t quite so polite. From then on, Leo always rememebered what sport I played.
Julie Doyle has worked alongside some legendary figures in Notre Dame athletics history during her dozen years of service on the Monogram Club board.
“During my 12 years on the board, there have been countless memories. There has been one favorite Father Riehle story that I felt I must share with you tonight. A few years ago, we were having a discussion in a board meeting about Monogram Club apparel and someone suggested that we needed to add some women’s clothing to the line. Father Riehle has always been a stickler that only monogram winners are supposed to wear the monogram insignia. Without missing a beat, Father barked, “Why do we need to make any women’s clothing? Only monogram winners can wear the stuff.
“Several seconds passed and we all looked at him dumbfounded, including myself and several other female monogram club members in the room. A lightbulb finally went off and Father reluctantly conceded, `Oh, all right, I guess we could make a few things for the girls.’
“I’ll bet that Father never believed that he would live to see the day that a girl became the president of the Monogram Club ,but I for one am so glad that he is here tonight. Father, you are a legend, you have been the backbone of this club and we all love you.
“Serving as president of the Monogram Club for the next two years is an incredible honor. It has caused me to reflect on those who have gone before me. I don’t have two Super Bowl rings like Dave Duerson. I don’t have President Ford on my speed-dial like Mary Allen. And I was never knocked out cold on national television like Dan Shannon. What I do have in common with all of them and with all of you Monogram winners is that I have the distinct honor of wearing the interlocking ND as a student-athlete at Notre Dame and the experience stays with me forever.
“The Monogram Club helps to make sure that current and future student-athletes have the same lifechanging experiences – or, as out motto says, “Bridging the Gap Between Legend and Legacy.” Thank you all so much for being here tonight and enjoy the rest of the evening.”
Here are the individuals who have served as president of the Monogram Club:
1916 – Rev. Hugh O’Donnell (’16, football)
1916-17 – James Phelan (’17, football)
1917-18 – Francis Andrews (’18, football)
1918-20 – Edward “Slip” Madigan (’20, football)
1920-22 – Gus Desch (’23, football/track and field)
1922-24 – Harvey Brown (’24, football)
1924-25 – Elmer Layden (’25, football/track and field)
1925-26 – John Wallace (’26, football)
1926-27 – Charles Walsh (’27, football)
1927-28 – Fritz Wilson (’28)
1928-29 – August Grams (’29)
1929-30 – Clarence Donovan (’31, basketball)
1930-31 – Arthur McMahon (’31, football)
1931-32 – Nordy Hoffman (’33, football)
1932-33 – James Harris (’33, football)
1933-34 – Thomas Roach (’34, football)
1934-35 – Rocco Schiralli (’35, football)
1935-36 – Mike Layden (’36, football/track and field)
1936 – Jack Meehan (’20, basketball/track and field)
1936-37 – John Lataur (’37, football)
1937-38 – Paul Nowak (’38, basketball)
1938-39 – Ed Simonich (’39, football)
1939-40 – Steve Coughlin (’40, track and field)
1940-41 – William Schmitt (’10, football/track and field)
1941-44, ’59-’62 – Chuck Sweeney (’38, football)
1944-45 – Roger Kiley (’23, football/basketball/baseball)
1945-46 – Chet Wynne (’22, football/track and field)
1946-47 – Joe Brandy (’21, football/basketball)
1947-48 – Joe Boland (’27, football)
1948-49 – Fred Miller (’29, football)
1949-50 – Ray Roy (’42, track and field)
1950-51 – Bill Sheehan (’49, basketball/baseball)
1951-52 – Frank Miles (’22, football/baseball)
1952-53 – Mike Kolen (’33, football)
1953-54 – Joe Abbott (’30, track and field)
1954-55 – Jack Elder (’30, football/track and field)
1955-57 – Bill Earley (’43, football)
1957-58 – Paul Lillis (’42, football)
1958-59 – John Panelli (’49, football)
1962-63 – Larry “Moon” Mullins (’31, football)
1964-65 – Leo Barnhorst (’49, basketball)
1965-66 – Bernie Crimmins (’42, football/baseball)
1968-69 – John Murphy (’42)
1969-70 – Bob McBride (’44, football)
1971-72 – Leo Klier (’46, basketball)
1972-73 – Leon Hart (’50, football)
1973-75 – Bill Hassett (’47, basketball/baseball)
1975-76 – Ed Mieszowski (’46, football)
1977-79 – Mike Carr (’51, student manager)
1979-81 – Harvey Foster (’39, football)
1982 – Bill Fischer (’49, football)
1983-85 – Jim Lynch (’67, football/track and field)
1985-87 – Bob McGoldrick (’56, student manager)
1987-89 – Lancaster Smith (’50, football)
1989-91 – Marty O’Connor (’51, basketball)
1991-93 – Ray Sobota (’49, track and field)
1993-96 – Jack Stephens (’55, football/basketball)
1995-97 – Dan Shannon (’55, football)
1997-99 – Marty Allen (’58, student manager)
1999-2001 – Mike Heaton (’68, football/golf)
2001-03 – Jim Carroll (’65, football)
2003-05 – Dave Duerson (’83, football)
2005-07 – Julie Pierson Doyle (’85, volleyball)
Note: the recent presidential terms are for two years (from June to June)