Dec. 30, 2015

By John Heisler

Matthew Hadad, a senior biological sciences major at the University of Notre Dame, wasn’t quite sure what to expect when he headed home to Dublin, Ohio, for the holidays.

That’s because the Notre Dame-Ohio State football matchup in the 2016 BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl has created a bit of a dilemma in his neighborhood.

Hadad has worked in the Mason Lab at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus over the past four years whenever he has been home.

“My boss, Dr. Kevin Mason, is the biggest Ohio State fan I have ever met,” says Hadad. “His office is soaked in scarlet and grey, and every summer he got me some Ohio State-themed gift before I left for school.

“So last summer, I got him a Notre Dame glass for his office, which he reluctantly placed on his shelf next to his Urban Meyer-signed football. I am curious to learn the fate of this glass when I return to the lab this week.”

Hadad is one of 11 Notre Dame recipients of a Glenna R. Joyce Scholarship which since 1961 have been presented to top achieving high school seniors with financial need who reside in seven contiguous counties in the Columbus, Ohio, region (students from 115 central Ohio high schools are eligible). There are a dozen current Joyce Scholars attending Ohio State. The scholarships provide tuition, fees, room and board and transportation for four years-with the winners able to choose either Notre Dame or Ohio State.

Since Notre Dame and Ohio State have met only five times previously on the football field (and only once since 1996, also in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2005 regular season), this year’s Fiesta Bowl clash provides for some delicious hometown conversation for the Joyce Scholar recipients, especially those who attend Notre Dame.

“Most people have asked who I will be rooting for, which I am doing my best to keep a secret,” says Hadad, who says he will be watching the game at home on television. “My boss back home and I have had some interesting discussions.”

Hadad attended St. Charles Preparatory in downtown Columbus, along with Joyce Scholar recipient Thomas Phillips, who opted to attend Ohio State.

Claire Alexander, a sophomore Notre Dame Joyce Scholar and neuroscience and behavior major (she has a high school classmate, Ha Nguyen, who is a Joyce Scholar at Ohio State), says she won’t be going to the game, either.

“But my Columbus friends and family and I have had some funny conversations,” Alexander says. “As a Columbus native, I can’t help but feel that pull for my home team, but I can’t fight that loyalty to old Notre Dame–so I’m in the position where I’ll end up rooting for whoever is least represented in the crowd I’m with.

“I do love how much my ‘dual citizenship’ has become evident since we found out the bowl matchup because I’ve been shaped by both places so much, and I’ve been able to show my loyalty to both. The game will be more exciting than anything else.”

Yet another Joyce Scholar at Notre Dame, Kyle Planck, will be in Arizona for the holidays, playing bass drum (and with the drum line) for the Band of the Fighting Irish.

The other current Notre Dame Joyce Scholars are Austin Taliaferro, Clare Kossler, Evan Feeney, Tyler Metcalf, Hudson Ozello, Maureen Schweninger, Jacob Bohman and Stephen Landy.

Among other recent Notre Dame Joyce Scholars are Alex Coccia, a former Irish fencer and 2014 graduate who received a Rhodes Scholarship. His father Peter, a 1972 Notre Dame graduate, also was a Joyce Scholar.

Originally from Greenfield, Ohio, Glenna Stengel was a seamstress before her marriage to William “Will” Joyce. Her husband came to Columbus in 1910 from Shawnee, Ohio, and started the Wyandotte Pop Company and the Milbrook Distillery. Joyce later started the Joyce Products Company and Beverage Management Inc. One of the company’s products was a carbonated lemon soda that later became the popular soft drink 7-Up.

After William Joyce’s death in 1933, Glenna Joyce moved from the Ohio State area to Upper Arlington, Ohio, where she was a member of St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church. Glenna Joyce was vice president and a major shareholder of Joyce Products Company when she died in 1960. The Joyces had no children and had no formal ties to either institution.

“We don’t know why she chose Ohio State and Notre Dame or why she stipulated that there be an equal number of scholarships given each year,” admitted the late John Sauter (himself a Joyce Scholar recipient at Ohio State), former senior vice president of the Personal Trust Division of National City Bank, which holds the Joyce Trust.

Initially, one Joyce Scholar was selected for each institution annually. The number of scholarships awarded each year began to grow as the assets funding much of the trust increased in value. The Joyce Trust has benefitted 748 students over more than a half-century.

When Notre Dame and Ohio State met in football on their respective campuses in 1995 and 1996, each school played host to a major pregame event to recognize current and former Joyce Scholars from both institutions.

John Heisler, senior associate athletics director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 1978. A South Bend, Indiana, native, he is a 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame.

Heisler produces a weekly football commentary piece for titled “Sunday Brunch,” along with a Thursday football preview piece. He is editor of the award-winning “Strong of Heart” series.

Here is a selection of other features published recently by Heisler:

DeShone Kizer: North of Confident, South of Cocky

— Top 10 Things Learned About the Irish So Far in 2015:

— Brey’s Crew Receives Rings, Prepared to Raise Banner-and Moves On:

— Jim McLaughlin: New Irish Volleyball Boss Is All About the Numbers:

— Men’s Soccer Establishes Itself with Exclamation:

— Australia Rugby Visit Turns into Great Sharing of Sports Performance Practices:

— Bud Schmitt Doesn’t Need a Map to Find Notre Dame Stadium:

— Sunday Brunch: Irish Leave RISP, Still Win Game No. 10:

— Remembering Bob Kemp: Notre Dame Lacrosse Family Honors Devoted Father:

— Community Service a Record-Setting Event for Irish Athletics in 2014-15: