Oct. 8, 2004

By Pete LaFleur

The annual Monogram Club awards winner – held in early June during Reunion Weekend – including the following announcements and awards:


Former Notre Dame football player Jim Morse (’57) was presented with the annual Edward “Moose” Krause Award, which recognizes active Monogram Club members for exemplary service. Morse has been a major benefactor to Notre Dame throughout his postgraduate life and presented the gift that served to underwrite the James and Leah Rae Morse Center for Academic Services (which opened in 2001). The building – located on the previous site of the Notre Dame Bookstore – encompasses both the First Year of Studies and Academic Services for Student-Athletes. Morse – a private investor in his native Muskegon, Mich. – has shown interest in hotels, radio stations, jet aircraft and factory outlet malls. He has served on the advisory council for Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters since 1981 and also serves on the Athletic Alumni Development Committee. Morse was the ABC radio voice of Notre Dame football from 1964-67 and his other previous gifts to Notre Dame have included several scholarship funds and an endowed fellowship for MBA students.


Four new directors joined the Monogram Club board in June while former Irish soccer player Jill Matesic – who served one year from ’03-’04, filling a void on the board when Marc Kelly was named second vice-president – will remain on the board along with the new members, each serving from ’04-’07. The new board members include Michael Eiben (wrestling, ’66), Michael Frantz (football, ’73), Kristine Kramer Richards (cross country/track and field, ’95) and Chris Smith (football, ’85).

Eiben was a four-year member of the Notre Dame wrestling team and returned for a fifth year of studies before graduating in 1966 with his degree in architecture. Also a member of the Naval ROTC and a fleet captain with the sailing club, Eiben went on to serve as a Naval officer in Vietnam from 1966-68 before embarking on a successful career in architecture that has included the past 23 years as president and chief architect of his own firm, Michael R. Eiben, AIA.

Frantz was a defensive end with the Notre Dame football program in the early 1970s and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science. He earned his law degree from Georgetown in 1976 and now has his own firm of Frantz Ward LLP in Cleveland. His practice focuses on litigation, labor and employment law, construction and higher education.

Richards (the former Kristi Kramer) was a top distance specialist with the Notre Dame cross country and track teams before graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a degree in history. She went on to receive her law degree from Notre Dame in 1998 and served from 1996-98 as the student representative for Notre Dame’s faculty board on athletics. She currently is an in-house legal counsel with Glenwood Capital Investments, LLC, a Chicago-based alternative investment firm and a member of The Man Group, plc.

Smith was a key member of the Notre Dame backfield and graduated in 1985 with a degree in American studies before playing two seasons with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. He has served 14 years in sales and customer service management as a proven leader in telesales and customer relations, currently serving as CEO and president of Divine Cleaning LLC, a commercial cleaning contractor in the Kansas City area.

Matesic was three-year starter with the Irish soccer team and graduated summa cum laude in December of ’94, finishing her accounting degree requirements in seven semesters. She received her MBA from the Harvard Business School in 2000 and is in her fourth year as an investment professional in the private wealth management group at Goldman Sachs in Chicago.


Three honorary monograms were presented at the 2004 Monogram Club dinner, with the recipients including: the Notre Dame athletic department’s longtime video technician Tim Collins; former Notre Dame assistant coach and benefactor of the Irish fencing program Ed DeVivo; and South Bend area home builder and longtime supporter of Notre Dame athletics Jack Hickey.


Here is just a sampling of former Notre Dame monogram winners who have been in the news in 2004. (Please note that these news items are taken from www.und.com and the Monogram Club’s newsletter, Inside Irish; if you have similar news items to pass on to the Monogram Club, please do so by contacting Pete LaFleur at 574-631-7516 or lafleur.4@nd.edu.):

Shannon Boxx (’99), Monica Gonzalez (’01), Ruth Riley (’01), Kate Sobrero-Markgraf (’98) and Jan Viviani (’03) – Boxx and Sobrero were two of the top players on the U.S. women’s soccer team that won the 2004 Olympic gold medal while Riley was a member of the victorious U.S. women’s basketball team; Gonzalez captained the Mexican women’s soccer team to an historic appearance at the ’04 Olympic Games while Viviani competed with the U.S. fencing contingent in the men’s epee team event.

Reggie Brooks (’93), Bobby Brown (’00) and Mirko Jurkovic (’92) – the trio of former Irish football players were selected to join the broadcast team for a pair of radio shows produced by Notre Dame Sports Properties (NDSP); Jurkovic and Brooks now provide analysis during the Official Notre Dame Football Postgame Radio Show (a 90-minute broadcast on South Bend’s U93, immediately following Westwood One’s coverage of every Irish football game) while Brown is a co-host on the weekly Official Notre Dame Football Coaches’ Show (live on U93, Mondays at 7:00).

David Givens (’02) – the Notre Dame football product had five receptions (one for a touchdown) in Super Bowl XXXVIII, as a member of the victorious New England Patriots (32-29 over the Carolina Panthers).

Matt Kerls (’04) – the former Notre Dame student manager was named an assistant equipment manager at his alma mater.

Tameisha King (’03), Ryan Shay (’02) and Luke Watson (’03) – the former Notre Dame track standouts, who compiled 20 All-America finishes between them, competed at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif., with King placing 6th in the long jump prelims (21′. 0.5”) while Shay placed 10th overall in the 10,000 meters (28:49) and Watson finished 14th in the 5,000 (13:53).

Alissa Moser (’02) – the former Irish women’s lacrosse standout has rejoined the program as an assistant coach.

Carrie Nixon (’02) – the former Irish swimming All-American and 18-time BIG EAST champ has returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach with the Notre Dame women’s swimming team.

Alan Page (’67) – the former All-America defensive lineman received the NCAA’s prestigious Theodore Roosevelt Award (recognizing a distinguished citizen of national reputation and outstanding accomplishment) and also served as the speaker at Notre Dame’s 2004 commencement; currently a Minnesota Supreme court judge, Page joined baseball/football player Angus McDonald (in ’31) and baseball alum Joe Kernan (in ’98) are the only former Notre Dame student-athletes to speak at their alma mater’s graduation.

Dave Poulin (’82) – the former Notre Dame hockey star became the 18th member of the Philadelphia Flyers Hall of Fame (he totaled 161 goals and 223 assists in 467 career regular-season games spanning a 13-year career with Philadelphia, Boston and Washington).

Knute Rockne (’14) – the Kansas Turnpike Authority honored the legendary football coach with a new memorial at the Matfield Green Service Area (milepost 97), not far from where Rockne died in a 1931 airplane crash; the memorial includes large photographic panels describing aspects of Rockne’s life, a life-sized cutout of Rockne and audio clips from his famous speeches.

Nicholas Sparks (’88) – former Irish track standout who received Notre Dame’s Rev. Robert F. Griffin, C.S.C, Award, in honor of the famous author’s literary achievements that include “Message in a Bottle” and “A Walk to Remember,” among others; he and his wife Cathy – who reside on New Bern, N.C., with their five children – also have donated $1.5 million to Notre Dame’s master of fine arts program in creative writing.

Pat Steenberge (’72) – the former Irish quarterback again directed a highly successful Notre Dame Football Fantasy Camp, with proceeds helping to benefit the Monogram Club’s Brennan-Boland-Riehle Scholarship Fund.

Tom Timmermans (’04) – the former Notre Dame basketball center signed a professional contract to play for the Cantabria Lobos, a professional team in Torrelavega, Spain (200 miles north of Madrid). The Lobos play in Spain’s 18-team LEB Division I.