Aug. 15, 2006

The 2006-07 school year will mark the 35th anniversary of women’s athletics at the University of Notre Dame. The Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Notre Dame Monogram Club, will mark the occasion with a year-long celebration that will culminate April 27-29, 2007 with the “Weekend of Champions” celebration that will bring together former female Irish student-athletes back to the University.

After 130 years as an all-male institution, Notre Dame first admitted female students in the fall of 1972. While varsity competition commenced in both fencing and tennis (the first varsity sports at the University), with the start of the 1976-77 school year, women participated in club sports beginning in ’72.

A logo was designed to commemorate the 35th-anniversary celebration. Patches displaying the logo will be worn on all uniforms of female student-athletes and the logo will be featured on media guides, banners, arena signage, street pole signs around campus and in the parking lots. In addition, Lou Pierce of Big Idea in South Bend is currently producing a video that will chronicle the history of women’s athletics at Notre Dame.

Throughout the year, Notre Dame’s website,, will feature a “Catching Up With” on former student-athletes that will include as many as two installments weekly. A three-page series depicting the history of women’s athletics at the University will also appear in the seven football gameday programs that will be sold on home football weekends.

The first five female monogram winners will be honored at the first home football game versus Penn State on Sept. 9 and will present the American flag prior to the game. The five attending the game will be Mary Behler (tennis), Jane Lammers (fencing), Chris Marciniak, Catherine Sazdanoff (fencing) and Kathy Valdiserri (fencing).

The “Weekend of Champions,” slated for the end of April will mark the return of former female student-athletes to Notre Dame for the celebration. The weekend celebration will include an all-inclusive dinner on Friday evening, a golf outing and luncheon on Saturday afternoon followed by informal team specific events and a mass and brunch on Sunday morning. A keynote speaker is slated to address the attendees, and at the time, the video will be shown.

Those interested in attending the April event can apply on-line or call Meg Henican at 574-631-2909 for details. Everyone also is encouraged to check back to athletics department’s website for details on the “Weekend of Champions” as well as other special events planned throughout the year.