Nov. 19, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame Monogram Club welcomed 115 student-athletes and student managers into the organization at its annual fall letter jacket ceremony on November 12 in Club Naimoli.
The letter jacket ceremony celebrates first-time Monogram winners and is held twice each year. The fall event recognizes student-athletes from Notre Dame’s winter and spring sports, and this year’s ceremony also honored student managers for the football and hockey programs.
Nearly 300 student-athletes, parents, coaches and athletic staff members gathered for the ceremony, which has become a unique Monogram Club tradition since it was established in 2008.
Executive Director Brant Ust (’00, baseball) emceed the event and featured speakers included Monogram Club President Haley Scott DeMaria (’95, swimming), University Vice President/Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick (’76) and women’s basketball alumna Ruth Riley (’01).
Whether it was presented by a head coach, picked up in the equipment room, or awarded at a ceremony, receiving a first varsity letter is a significant milestone in the life of any Notre Dame Monogram winner.
As Swarbrick explained however, the accomplishment of earning a Notre Dame Monogram is just the beginning, regardless of a student-athlete’s status or years of playing eligibility remaining.
“Everything you had to do to get here tonight needs to continue to be done, in order to honor that jacket and the Monogram as you move forward,” he said.
“I hope [the jacket] causes you not to feel so much a sense of satisfaction–although surely it should–as it does a catalyst to try even harder, to do even more to perfect your skills that have gotten you this far and to contribute even more to your community, to your University and to your team.”
Like the “Notre Dame Family” that is often described by students and alumni, Swarbrick noted how a special “Monogram Family” exists between the current and former student-athletes, cheerleaders, managers, trainers and video technicians that comprise the Notre Dame Monogram Club. With acceptance into that family comes great expectations.
“You now carry the tradition of everyone who has ever earned that letter,” Swarbrick said. “Some of those people won Heisman Trophies, some of them have become leaders of government or business, or surgeons or teachers. You are part of their family now. That’s a great honor. It will connect you to them forever, but it carries with it a special responsibility. Now every time you go out, you aren’t just a member of the University community, you’re a member of the Monogram family and you have an obligation to represent that family.”
Riley, one of the all-time greats to ever wear a Fighting Irish uniform, followed Swarbrick with a moving speech about how Notre Dame impacted her life and helped her develop a passion for using sports as a platform to give back.
She encouraged the newest members of the Monogram Club to continue to live by the ideals that attracted them to Notre Dame and to use the lessons they had learned during their time as students.
“You’re here tonight because you have demonstrated the same values that our University and more specifically, our athletics department, have been founded on,” she said. “But you’re also here tonight because you have been identified as ones who can–and will–carry that tradition forward. If it were not for you, the ‘Notre Dame tradition’ would no longer exist. It would simply be a history lesson, instead of a tangible present-day pillar of our University.”
The three-time All-American and Olympic gold medalist retired from the WNBA in June following a 13-year playing career that included two league championships. In her retirement from basketball, Riley continues to be involved with a number of organizations. She is an Ambassador for NBA/WNBA Cares and is currently a student in Notre Dame’s Executive MBA program.
After Riley’s remarks, Ust invited forward Tricia Bellia, Notre Dame Professor of Law and Chair of the Faculty Board on Athletics, to call each student-athlete and student manager to the stage. Bellia read the names of each recipient, and coaches and administrators gathered on stage for a photo with their newest Monogram winners.
Karley Wester, an outfielder on the Irish softball team, concluded the evening with a reflection on what it means to be a student-athlete at Notre Dame. Like Swarbrick, she noted the responsibility that comes with wearing the monogram and becoming a part of the Monogram Club.
“The student-athletes before us established this legacy of greatness on and off the field, and now we are the ones responsible to carry it on,” she said. “We will carry on the persistence to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We will carry on the drive to never settle for mediocrity. We will carry on the duty to uphold the character and spirit that embodies Notre Dame Athletics.”
As Notre Dame’s student-athletes and coaches continue to strive for excellence on the playing fields, in the classroom and in the community, the Monogram Club is proud to welcome the next generation of members to the family each year and looks forward to ushering in a new group in spring 2015.
2014 Fall Letter Jacket Recipients
(Visit sport pages on WatchND.tv to see each on-stage recognition)
|Baseball||Hockey||Women’s Swimming & Diving||Student Managers|
|Cavan Biggio||Vince Hinostroza||Molly Barry||Matthew Buche (hockey)|
|Joey Cresta||Chad Katunar||Anna Grainger||Shannon Carpenter (hockey)|
|Kyle Fiala||Andy Ryan||Danielle Margheret||Ryan Harvey (senior football manager)|
|Michael Hearne||Catherine Mulquin||Kathleen Landers (football)|
|Ryan Lidge||Men’s Lacrosse||Christine Stitcher||Kevin Leuck (football)|
|Jim Orwick||Trevor Brosco||Elizabeth Lombard (senior football manager)|
|Ryan Smoyer||Shane Doss||Men’s Tennis||Kari Quinlan (hockey)|
|Robert Youngdahl||Garrett Epple||Eddy Covalschi||Lindsay Renz (football)|
|Edwin Glazener||Josh Hagar||Robert Uhl (football)|
|Men’s Basketball||Conor Kelly||Eric Schnurrenberger||Ted Williams (senior football manager)|
|V.J. Beachem||Nick Koshansky|
|Demetrius Jackson||Eddy Lubowicki||Women’s Tennis|
|Eric Katenda||Sergio Perkovic||Mary Closs|
|Austin Torres||Michael Shephardson||Jane Fennelly|
|Steve Vasturia||Henry Williams||Alaina Roberts|
|Women’s Basketball||Women’s Lacrosse|
|Lindsay Allen||Heidi Annaheim||Men’s Track & Field|
|Kristina Nelson||Jennifer Blum||Carson Barnes|
|Taya Reimer||Alex Dalton||Jacob Dumford|
|Diamond Thompson||Liz Driscoll||Alex Groesch|
|Katherine Eilers||Nick Happe|
|Men’s Fencing||Cortney Fortunato||Nicholas Hauser|
|Gabriel Acuna||Grace Muller||Peter Kristiansen|
|Kristjan Archer||Elizabeth O’Sullivan||Chris Marco|
|Ian Dwyer||Casey Pearsall||Patrick O’Connell|
|Mikhail Heber||Michele Phillips||Chris Quinn|
|Hazem Khazbak||Rachel Sexton||Nathan Richartz|
|Arthur Le Meur||John Rutkowski|
|Conrad Sutter||Rowing||Anthony Shivers|
|Bailey Amenabar||Harvey Smith|
|Women’s Fencing||Kiran Ikram||Connor Stapleton|
|Allison Barry||Elizabeth Kelley||Andrew Stone|
|Catherine Lee||Hilary Shinnick|
|Grace Montemurro||Anna VanEgmond||Women’s Track & Field|
|Eva Niklinska||Taylor Driscoll|
|Mary Regan||Softball||Libby Schichtel|
|Victoria Sluka||Dana Bouquet||Allison Sullivan|
|Men’s Golf||Kimmy Sullivan|
|Andrew Carreon||Karley Wester|
|Patrick Grahek||Men’s Swimming & Diving|
|Matthew Rushton||Tom Anderson|
|Women’s Golf||Joe Coumos|
|Jordan Ferreira||Trent Jackson|
|Janie Fineis||James Lichtenstein|