Nov. 21, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
This football season, the Monogram Club will continue to produce the “Monogram Club Musings,” a regular online article following each home football game. The publication will fill Monogram winners in on Club events throughout the season, provide information on alumni and prominent figures that return to campus for the game, and highlight Monogram Club presentations and activities that occur during the weekend.
If you can’t make it to campus, but would like to update the Monogram Club on what you’ve been up to, please send an email to email@example.com and “The Muse” will include it in an upcoming edition.
This past weekend, the Monogram Club wrapped up the 2011 football season with a busy slate of events, including the dedications of the Compton Family Ice Arena and the Charles and Marie Doherty softball batting cages. The Club also presented an honorary Monogram to a deserving member of the Notre Dame athletics family and hosted more than 150 former student-athletes, managers and trainers on the field of Notre Dame Stadium to take part in the annual pre-game football tunnel.
Keep reading to find out more!
Boston College Game Notes
– Pre-game festivities featured a flyover by two T-45 “Goshawks” from Training Squadron Seven, based at Naval Air Station in Meridian, Miss. Pilots flying the aircraft included two Notre Dame graduates – Lieutenant Dylan Schoo (’04) and First Lieutenant D.J. McGill (’09).
– Public address announcer Mike Collins – an honorary Monogram recipient – introduced the 39 senior Irish student-athletes making their final appearance in Notre Dame Stadium prior to the game.
– The remainder of the Notre Dame football squad ran onto the field through a tunnel formed by close to 150 members of the Monogram Club. Annually, dues-paying Monogram winners form the tunnel at the last home game of the season as a benefit of Club membership.
– Saturday’s final safety announcement of the season from 2010 honorary Monogram recipient Sgt. Tim McCarthy: “Instead of trying to get ahead of everyone, simply use the one you already have!”
Sightings Around Campus
– No, Lollapalooza did not relocate from Chicago to South Bend this year, but with the number of rock stars in Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, it certainly felt that way. The Notre Dame Marching Band performed Chicago hits “Saturday In The Park,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” and “25 or 6 to 4” with the classic rock band during a rousing halftime performance, while Jon Bon Jovi made a fourth-quarter appearance to conduct the band in its version of his hit, “Livin’ On A Prayer.“ If you’re wondering about any Monogram connections to the performances, Chicago’s manager, Peter Schivarelli (’71), earned two Monograms as a member of the Irish football team from 1969-70.
– Former Irish standout and current Denver Broncos quarterback Brady Quinn (’07) watched the game from the sideline alongside his girlfriend, United States Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone. After defeating the Jets, 17-13, on Thursday night, Quinn celebrated under the Golden Dome this weekend with his Broncos teammate, offensive tackle Ryan Harris (’07).
– Former Irish kick return whiz Raghib “Rocket” Ismail (’94) joined Tony Rice (’90) – quarterback of the 1988 national championship team – in the north dome of the Joyce Center Saturday morning in a special autograph session for fans. The gridiron legends were great sports and even placed calls to the family members of fans – certainly a thrill for all who stopped by (and for those on the other end of the phone line)!
– The Muse spotted All-America defensive back Jeff Burris (’94) in the press box chatting with fellow All-American and former teammate Reggie Brooks (’93). Burris played 10 seasons in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills (1994-97), Indianapolis Colts (1998-01) and Cincinnati Bengals (2002-03).
– New Jersey governor Chris Christie (photo courtesy of Politico.com) made an appearance on the pre-game sideline. It’s rumored that he decided not to run for the Republican presidential nomination so he could make the trip to South Bend for the BC game, but the Muse cannot confirm the accuracy of said statement. Regardless, the visit must’ve provided a welcome break from some of the Garden State’s most visible residents.
Compton Family Ice Arena Dedication Events
A new chapter in the proud history of the Notre Dame hockey program unfolded this past weekend as the spectacular, $50 million Compton Family Ice Arena (CFIA) was dedicated with a series of commemorative events on campus.
On Friday morning, University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. (’76, ’78), blessed the new facility before a group of more than 50 benefactors, University officials and staff members who helped make the Compton Family Ice Arena a reality.
“This is simply a ‘wow’ building,” Fr. Jenkins said. “There are many beautiful buildings on campus, but this facility is just exceptional.”
Lead benefactors Kevin and Gayla Compton, along with their children, Cameron, Elena and Matthew helped Fr. Jenkins bless the building and each family member took a turn with the aspersory (holy water bucket) and aspergillum (sprinkler).
The arena’s pub – O’Brien’s – was made possible with a gift from Frank and Mary Beth O’Brien. The pub is named in honor of their son, hockey Monogram winner Frank Edward O’Brien, III (’88). Mary Beth and members of the O’Brien family attended the blessing and helped to officially dedicate the facility.
After the blessing, benefactors attended the Notre Dame football luncheon before taking comprehensive tours of the CFIA in the afternoon. From there, the group – along with a number of hockey Monogram winners and friends of the program – took part in a dedication Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, led by Fr. Jenkins.
Hockey Monogram winners then gathered in the Monogram Room for a pre-game reception, before heading over to the CFIA to watch the fourth-ranked Irish earn a thrilling overtime victory against No. 3 Boston College, 3-2.
The Muse caught up with a few of the former Irish icers and picked their brains about the new facility and their favorite memories from their time at Notre Dame.
Matt Hanzel (’89), one of only 45 Irish players to post 100 career points, had the pleasure of playing for head coaches Lefty Smith and Ric Schafer during his time at Notre Dame. He saw action in 126 career games and served as a co-captain during his senior season.
“A lot of these generations represented here tonight have contributed to the program in different ways,” Hanzel said. “My generation played at a time where there were big question marks about where Notre Dame hockey would go, and I think a lot of us from the 1980s are very proud to have contributed in a way that kept the program going and hopefully catapulted it into the future. We’re thrilled for these kids – they deserve this wonderful new facility.”
Scott Cameron (’81) spoke with the Muse about the tight knit group of players that made up the Notre Dame hockey class of 1981. Along with Cameron, the quartet included Kevin Humphreys, Jeff Brownschidle and current University of Minnesota head coach Don Lucia.
Cameron cherished his time as a member of the Fighting Irish and converted to Catholicism after graduation because of what Notre Dame meant in his life.
“The new arena is fantastic,” Cameron said. “It’s been a dream of this program for 30 years and a lot of people worked hard to make it happen. The current team is doing great – these players have created a gold standard hockey program and the future certainly looks bright.”
Many of the Monogram winners in attendance sang the praises of legendary Irish hockey coach Lefty Smith, who mentored a number of the student-athletes during his time at the helm of the program from 1968-87. Mark Kronholm (’71) has a special connection with Smith, as Lefty served as his seventh grade gym teacher when the coach was still working in St. Paul, Minn. Smith took over the Notre Dame program when Kronholm was a sophomore on the Irish hockey team and the two have been close ever since.
“Lefty changed my life in a variety of ways, but here at Notre Dame, he brought together such a terrific group of guys that have become friends for life,” Kronholm said. “They’ve been a part of my life, they’re a reference point in my life, and I’ll always be grateful for that.”
Smith received praise throughout the evening and couldn’t help but tear up as the room raised their glasses to honor Smith for his contributions to Notre Dame, led by the program’s all-time leading goal scorer, Greg Meredith (’80).
An emotional Deanna Gumpf accepts her honorary Monogram alongside Monogram Club executive director Beth Hunter
Coach Gumpf Presented With Honorary Monogram
The dedication of the Charles and Marie Doherty Batting Cages – featuring a special honorary Monogram presentation to head coach Deanna Gumpf – highlighted a landmark Saturday morning for the Notre Dame softball program on the grounds of Melissa Cook Stadium.
More than 100 members of the Irish softball family attended the special ceremony emceed by deputy athletics director Bill Scholl (’79). In addition to Gumpf and assistant coaches Kris Ganeff (’99) and Lizzy Lemire (’01), attendees included athletics director Jack Swarbrick (’76), vice president for University relations Lou Nanni (’84, ’88), Monogram Club executive director Beth Hunter and Club president Dick Nussbaum (’74, ’77).
Former All-Americans Jarrah Myers (’02) and Megan Ciolli (’05) joined Nicole deFau (’04), Heather Booth (’06), Sarah Smith (’08), Stephanie Mola (’09) and a host of other softball Monogram winners who returned to campus for the event.
Paul and Linda Demo, the parents of former softball student-athlete Melissa Cook, provided the funding for the state-of-the-art batting cage project and were on hand to bless the facility with athletics department chaplain Rev. Paul Doyle, C.S.C. (’65).
Cook, a 1994 Notre Dame graduate, was one of four people involved in a March 2002 construction accident at the John Hancock Building in Chicago that claimed their lives. The Demos contributed a considerable portion of the settlement from the accident to the Notre Dame athletics department to construct Melissa Cook Stadium in 2008 and have remained fervent supporters of the Notre Dame softball program over the past 10 years.
The batting cages are named after Linda Demo’s parents – Charles and Marie Doherty – who attended numerous Notre Dame softball games during Cook’s career with the Irish in 1991 and 1992.
“As student-athletes, this stadium has given us the opportunity to feel like a big-time program,” junior infielder Kathryn Lux (’13) said. “Those bricks and that steel helped change the expectations we had for ourselves. Look at the championships we’ve won and the records we’ve broken. Melissa Cook Stadium and what it represents has helped bring us closer together as a unit. That stadium is not a house – it’s our home.”
After the formal program of speakers concluded, Swarbrick welcomed Hunter and Nussbaum to the podium for a special ceremony.
“There’s some things the Monogram Club can do and some things it can’t do,” Nussbaum said. “One thing we can certainly do is honor a head coach, and the leadership and the love that Coach Gumpf has shown to her players and to her family is just extraordinary. With that in mind, we’re proud to welcome Deanna as the newest member of the Monogram Club.”
The honorary Monogram came as a complete surprise to the emotional Gumpf, who was presented with a scroll and a Monogram jacket by Hunter.
“Notre Dame is a very, very special place and I look out and see the girls and the alumni and I am so lucky to have you guys in my life,” Gumpf said. “I always say Notre Dame is such a special place because it makes everybody better who comes here, but it’s the people who walk out of here who make each other better.”
One of Gumpf’s former players, Kas Hoag (’02), closed the program by thanking the head coach for all she’s done for the program and its players, and acknowledged that wearing the Notre Dame Monogram is something she can now share with the players to whom she’s meant so much.
“For those of us who have been blessed to have Deanna Gumpf as our coach, we recognize the value she places on the importance of earning and wearing the Monogram of the University of Notre Dame,” Hoag said. “For that, there is no more appropriate honor we can bestow on her. In the awarding of this monogram, we recognize the inordinate commitment, dedication and sacrifices of our recipient who cherishes the very name of the University that adorns this jacket. Congratulations on an honor that you rightfully now share with the rest of us.”
Pre-Game Reception Alumni News & Notes
More than 525 Monogram winners and their guests stopped by the Club’s pregame reception on Saturday morning to enjoy plenty of good food and conversation. Monogram Club staff member and catering extraordinaire Donnetta McClellan picked out a delicious menu of soups to help the former student-athletes in attendance warm up from the cold November weather. Choices included potato, minestrone and Texas chili. Yum!
Here are some of the Monogram winners we caught up with during the afternoon:
Former field hockey player Carrie Figueredo (’81) enjoyed the Monogram Club festivities over the weekend. Figueredo currently lives in Lafayette, Calif. where she is a domestic engineer.
Tony Rettino (’86, lacrosse) is a hedge fund manager in Winnetka, Ill.
Brian Dosal (’04, fencing) joined us from Miami, Fla. where he works at a software company.
— ND —