Freshman quarterback Andrew Hendrix (right) celebrates receiving his first Monogram with University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. ('76, '78)

Monogram Club Holds 2012 Spring Letter Jacket Ceremony

April 5, 2012


Letter Jacket Ceremony Photo Gallery

The University of Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded letter jackets to 61 first-time Monogram winners at the organization’s annual spring letter jacket ceremony Wednesday night in the Joyce Center.

More than 150 individuals, including student-athletes, coaches, parents and administrators, gathered in Club Naimoli to celebrate an important Notre Dame tradition, started by the Monogram Club four years ago.

Although the organization has awarded letter jackets to varsity student-athletes since the Club’s inception in 1898, a formal ceremony was implemented in 2008 to properly honor student-athletes for the competitive accomplishments to which only 7,500 individuals in the history of Notre Dame can stake claim.

“Tonight is very special, as it marks an extraordinary milestone in the lives of these honorees,” Monogram Club executive director Beth Hunter said. “Through perseverance, dedication, and hard work, each of you has earned the right to become a part of the Monogram Club, which is certainly no small feat.”

After her remarks, Hunter introduced Notre Dame deputy athletics director Bill Scholl (’79), who compared the Notre Dame student-athlete community to an Olympic village, because of the elite level of accomplishment to which all 26 Irish varsity programs can stake claim. Individual student-athletes annually compete for national collegiate awards and teams set goals to win national championships, while numerous Irish student-athletes throughout the years have contended for gold medals at both the Olympic and world championship levels.

“You are surrounded by high achieving student-athletes,” Scholl said. “It’s not for the faint of heart. If you want to compete at the highest level, there is no place quite like Notre Dame.”

While the letter jacket symbolizes athletic accomplishments and academic success while at Notre Dame, it also serves as a reminder of the tenacity and effort it takes for student-athletes to achieve in the professional world once their time at the University has come to an end.

The importance of this memento was stressed by keynote speaker Allen Pinkett (’86), a two-time football All-American at Notre Dame and a seven-year veteran of the National Football League. Pinkett has served as the Notre Dame football radio color analyst for the past eight seasons.

“As a student-athlete, you have two jobs here at Notre Dame, and employers really appreciate that. Your accomplishment comes with great, great sacrifice,” Pinkett said. “Don’t minimize your Monogram. This is an elite group with great, great camaraderie.”

At the conclusion of Pinkett’s address to the student-athletes, Hunter welcomed faculty athletic representative Patricia Bellia to the podium, who invited the student-athletes up to the stage by sport. During the presentation of each group, coaches and administrators joined the athlete to celebrate the accomplishment, along with University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. (’76, ’78), vice president for student affairs Rev. Tom Doyle, C.S.C. (’89, ’96) and Monogram Club president Dick Nussbaum (’74 & ’77, baseball).

After the announcement of each team, senior footballdefensive lineman Brandon Newman addressed his fellow student-athletes and spoke about the power of the Notre Dame Monogram and what it symbolizes for recipients of the prestigious honor.

“Hard work and dedication to greatness is a concept ingrained in us that often goes unmentioned on a day-to-day basis, but it is exactly what being a part of the Monogram Club is all about,” Newman said. “This esteemed University is so highly respected on a global scale because of the members of the Monogram Club, past and present. We are the faces of the University of Notre Dame, and that is an honor that comes with the responsibility of maintaining athletic excellence.”

Fr. Jenkins closed the ceremony by reminding the Monogram recipients that the skills developed during a career in athletics remain important and meaningful once four years at Notre Dame are complete.

“When you look at that letter jacket, you think of your athletic accomplishments, but think of those other qualities you’ve learned during your time here – courage, dedication, sacrifice, team, friendship, and spirit,” Jenkins said. “Those qualities will endure long after your participation in sport ends, and that’s what you’ll take from Notre Dame.”

— ND —


Support Programs Hometown Football Hometown
Devin Blankinship Goshen, Ind. George Atkinson III Livermore, Calif.
cheerleader Kyle Brindza Canton, Mich.
Zachary Brown Banger, Pa. Jonathan Frantz Avon Lake, Ohio
cheerleader Mike Grieco Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Jimmy Catalino Lansdale, Pa. Andrew Hendrix Cincinnati, Ohio
student athletic trainer Chase Hounshell Kirtland, Ohio
Joe Chavarria Dallas, Texas Ben Koyack Oil City, Pa.
student athletic trainer Christian Lombard Inverness, Ill.
Caroline Corbett Bellaire, Texas Aaron Lynch Cape Coral, Fla.
student athletic trainer Dennis Mahoney Baltimore, Md.
Anthony Cunningham South Bend, Ind. Dan McCarthy Youngstown, Ohio
cheerleader Kendall Moore Cary, N.C.
Rob Dillard Munday, Texas Matthew Mulvey Delmar, Calif.
student athletic trainer Brandon Newman Louisville, Ky.
Madeleine Genereux Stillwater, Minn. Troy Niklas Fullerton, Calif.
cheerleader Louis Nix III Jacksonville, Fla.
Michael George Eden Prairie, Minn. Sean Oxley Avon Lake, Ohio
cheerleader Andrew Plaska Zeeland, Mich.
Kirsten Groody Vernon Hills, Ill. Stephon Tuitt Monroe, Ga.
student athletic trainer Deion Walker LaPorte, Ind.
Kelly Jenko Lake Forest, Ill.
cheerleader Men’s Soccer
Laura Krahe Erie, Pa. Nick Besler Overland Park, Kan.
student athletic trainer Leon Brown Mattapan, Mass.
Joseph Livingston Lindenhurst, N.Y. Ryan Finley Lumberton, N.J.
cheerleader Michael Knapp Arlington, Texas
Bethany LoCicero Brookfield, Ill. Luke Mishu Knoxville, Tenn.
student athletic trainer Bob Novak Homerglen, Ill.
Allyson Lopshire Schaumburg, Ill. Patrick Wall Sugarland, Texas
student athletic trainer Jennifer Kline (manager)
Nicholas Nowotarski Des Plaines, Ill.
cheerleader Women’s Soccer
MacKenzie Nunez Tallahassee, Fla. Lauren Bohaboy Mission Viejo, Calif.
student athletic trainer Taylor Schneider Southlake, Texas
Allison Rzepczynski Naperville, Ill. Sammy Scofield Geneva, Ill.
cheerleader Karin Simonian Westbury, N.Y.
Matt Severson Farmington, Minn. Sarah Voigt Middleburg, Fla.
student athletic trainer
Declan Sullivan (1990-2010) Long Grove, Ill. Volleyball
video technician Toni Alugbue Inglewood, Calif.
Albert Toscano Pico Rivera, Calif. Jeni Houser Louisville, Ky.
student athletic trainer Kathleen Severyn Naperville, Ill.
Meghan Walsh Inverness, Ill. Meg Vonderhaar Wheaton, Ill.
student athletic trainer
Men’s Cross Country
DJ Thornton Rahway, N.J.
Women’s Cross Country
Gabby Gonzales Florence, Ky.