Kernan ('68) received the Monogram Club's Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award this past April.

Joe Kernan ('68) Receives Distinguished Service Award At 2012 Annual Dinner

April 23, 2012


The Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded former Indiana governor Joe Kernan ’68 (baseball) with the 2012 Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s annual dinner Saturday night in the Joyce Center’s Sports Heritage Hall.

Kernan accepted his award before more than 300 dinner attendees, including a number of his former Notre Dame teammates, classmates, friends and family.

Monogram Club president Dick Nussbaum (’74, ’77, baseball) introduced Kernan and spoke about his close personal relationship with the former governor. Nussbaum first met Kernan in 1973 when he was a senior for the Irish baseball team, and later reconnected with him when Kernan served as mayor of South Bend and named Nussbaum his city attorney.

“I don’t have an older brother, but I’ve always considered Joe to fill that role for me,” Nussbaum said. “He’s been a mentor and a prime example of how you should live your life. Anything that I’ve become professionally has been a result of the opportunity he gave me and the lessons he taught me.”

Kernan has served the United States for the past six decades as both a naval officer and government official. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1969 upon graduating from Notre Dame and in May 1972, was shot down over North Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for nearly 11 months. For his service, Kernan received numerous awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Kernan was first elected to public office in 1987 when he became mayor of South Bend. He was appointed lieutenant governor of the Hoosier State by then-governor Frank O’Bannon in 1996, and took over as governor following O’Bannon’s death in 2003. As governor, he advocated services for military veterans and provided higher education opportunities for Indiana citizens while leading the state during a productive and successful term in office.

Following his term, Kernan returned to private life in 2005, where he and a group of investors saved the South Bend Silver Hawks from being moved from South Bend and was the managing member of the Silver Hawks from 2006-2011.

“This award is unexpected, but something that I will treasure forever,” Kernan said. “This family of Monogram winners that we’re all so blessed to be a part of reinforces how important we can be to each other and what a difference we can make by pooling our resources and becoming a part of something that’s bigger than we are.”

The presentation of the Moose Krause award highlighted an impressive evening of speakers and presentations, emceed by honorary Monogram recipient Bob Nagle.

The annual dinner kicked off with special conversation featuring Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick (’76) and football head coach Brian Kelly. The duo answered questions from the audience on a number of topics ranging from football recruiting to conference realignment.

Coach Kelly stressed how the unique aspects of Notre Dame play a key role in the football recruiting process.

“We talk about the distinctions (at Notre Dame). You’re shopping down a different aisle,” Coach Kelly said. “We talk about faith, about community, about living in the residence halls. We lay our cards on the table. We want to make sure you don’t come here under false pretenses.”

When asked about the future of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in football, Swarbrick mentioned that it’s been difficult for the committee involved in the process to reach a conclusion, but the result will greatly affect Notre Dame.

“The goal and priority is for us to remain independent (in football),” Swarbrick said. “What the postseason becomes is the lynchpin. There’s still one chapter to come as far as conference realignment and that will come after these BCS discussions. These are an important three and a half days (of meetings) this next week in Florida. (The result) will have a significant impact on us one way or another.”

Following the dinner portion of the evening, Nussbaum took to the stage to thank the outgoing members of the organization’s board of directors, including Ken MacAfee (’78, football), Terri Vitale (’94, ’95, tennis), Ryan Leahy (’95, football), Pat Garrity (’98, basketball) and Kate Sobrero Markgraf (’98, soccer).

Nussbaum proceeded to thank the Club’s membership for its support over the past year, and highlighted some of the Monogram Club’s key accomplishments. In addition regional receptions hosted by the Club in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Denver, Nussbaum stressed the importance of the Brennan-Boland-Riehle Scholarship Fund, which in 2011-12 granted more than $300,000 to 31 children of Monogram winners to attend Notre Dame.

After completing his remarks, Nussbaum introduced the five incoming directors of the Monogram Club board. The group of Dennis Lahey (’65, wrestling), Laura Dougherty Ely (’85, basketball), Michael Bathon (’86, fencing), Lance Legree (’01, football) and Jen Sharron Richardson (’01, softball) will serve three-year terms through 2015.

Women’s basketball student-athlete Fraderica Miller (’12) took to the stage after president Nussbaum and spoke passionately about her career at Notre Dame. Miller has helped the women’s basketball program reach the NCAA title game in each of the past two seasons.

“Being a Notre Dame athlete means so much to me. I walk around campus and I’m so full of joy that I’m here,” Miller said. “Playing for Notre Dame – you can’t put into words when you hear the fight song, and I get chills when I think about what I’ve been able to do at this place. It means so much to become a Monogram winner. Each and everyone of us represents this school and can now give back to what Notre Dame gave us.”


The Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the Notre Dame Monogram Club. It is bestowed upon an active Club member who has achieved notoriety in the following areas:

• Exemplary performance in local, state or national government

• Outstanding dedication to the spirit and ideals of Notre Dame

• Demonstrated responsibility to and concern for their respective communities

• Extraordinary commitment and involvement with youth

The Monogram Club’s officers and board of directors select the annual recipient.

The award is named in honor of Notre Dame athletics legend Edward “Moose” Krause (1913-92), a three-sport monogram winner in the early 1930s who earned All-America honors in football and basketball while also competing in track and field. He later served as an assistant football coach and assistant and head basketball coach at Notre Dame before becoming one of the nation’s most respected athletic directors, serving in that role at his alma mater from 1949-82.

Monogram Club Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award Recipients

1979 – Ray Meyer ’38 (basketball)
1980 – Clarence “Jake” Kline ’21 (baseball)
1981 – Edward “Moose” Krause ’34 (football, basketball)
1982 – Harvey Foster ’39 (football)
1983 – Jim Mello ’48 (football)
1984 – Ziggy Czarobski ’48 (football)
1985 – Rev. John Smyth ’57 (basketball)
1986 – Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. ’39 (honorary member)
1986 – Rev. Edmund P. “Ned” Joyce, C.S.C. ’37 (honorary member)
1987 – Dan Harshman ’68 (football)
1988 – John Jordan ’69 (honorary member)
1989 – Leo Barnhorst ’49 (basketball)
1989 – Bill Hassett ’47 (basketball, baseball)
1990 – Dave Duerson ’83 (football)
1991 – Zeke O’Connor `49 (football)
1992 – Joseph Signaigo ’48 (football)
1993 – Fritz Wilson ’28 (baseball)
1994 – Dr. Dennis Nigro ’69 (tennis)
1995 – Dick Rosenthal ’54 (basketball, baseball)
1996 – Chris Zorich ’91 (football)
1997 – George Kelly ’53 (honorary member)
1998 – Ara Parseghian (honorary member)
1999 – John Carney ’87 (football)
2000 – Mike Wadsworth ’66 (football)
2000 – Rev. William Beauchamp, C.S.C. ’75 (honorary member)
2001 – Rev. Jim Riehle, C.S.C. ’49 (honorary member)
2002 – Bill Hurd ’69 (track and field)
2003 – Pete Demmerle ’75 (football)
2004 – Jim Morse ’57 (football)
2005 – Rev. Edward A. “Monk” Malloy, C.S.C ’63, ’67 & ’69 (basketball)
2006 – Carol Lally Shields ’79 (basketball)
2007 – Jerome Bettis (football)
2008 – Lou Holtz (honorary member)
2009 – Mike DeCicco ’49 (fencing)
2010 – Dennis Stark ’47 (honorary member)
2011 – Chuck Lennon ’61, ’62 (baseball)
2012 – Joe Kernan ’68 (baseball)