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Roger Valdiserri Jesse Harper Award reception & REcognition • January 16, 2018

The Jesse Harper Award recognizes Monogram Club members who have demonstrated a committed involvement with the Notre Dame Athletics Department and University throughout their lives. Valdiserri, an honorary Monogram Club member, was presented the award in front of family and friends at a reception held inside South Club at Notre Dame Stadium.

Valdiserri's impact at Notre Dame is immeasurable and that was evident by the number of people who attended the reception, including former Indiana governor Joe Kernan ('68, baseball).

All five of Valdiserri's children were in attendance, including daughters Susan ('84, fencing) and Kathy ('78, fencing), and son, Tom ('81, fencing).

Notre Dame President Emeritus Rev. Edward 'Monk' Malloy, C.S.C. ('63, '67, '69, basketball) with Valdiserri. Malloy provided the invocation at the reception.

Valdiserri took time to greet every guest and commented that he felt like he was at his own wedding.

Thom Gatewood ('72, football) was one of many former Notre Dame student-athletes in attendance. During his career, Valdiserri promoted student-athletes, including Gatewood, who garnered countless national honors.

Even though he retired over 20 years ago, Valdiserri still is extremely close with current members of the athletics department and University community.

Valdiserri had a chance to catch up with Chad Riley ('04, soccer), Notre Dame's new men's soccer head.

Former Notre Dame men's basketball head coach Digger Phelps (honorary) with Valdiserri. Valdiserri was court side for many monumental moments during Phelps' coaching career.

Fellow Notre Dame legend Chuck Lennon ('61, '62, baseball) was on hand to celebrate Valdiserri.

Valdiserri had a chance to share memories and laughs with many friends that he's made during his 60-plus years connected to the University.
Numerous individuals, including Rick Chryst ('83, baseball) (above) and Eddie White (below), were mentored by Valdiserri during their time working in the Notre Dame sports information office.
Notre Dame President Emeritus Rev. Edward 'Monk' Malloy, C.S.C. ('63, '67, '69, basketball), Monogram Club executive director Brant Ust ('00, baseball) and Club president Terri Vitale ('94, '95, tennis) discussed why Valdiserri is an extremely worthy recipient of the Jesse Harper Award.

John Heisler (honorary), who worked for Valdiserri for many years in the sports information office, delivered a tremendous speech that touched on Valdiserri's impact not only at Notre Dame but on a national level.

"Roger, on behalf of your family—Rick, Kathy, Kenny, Tommy and Susan--and everyone else who is here tonight to celebrate with you . . . . congratulations. And on behalf of everyone you’ve touched here at the University . . . . a sincere thank you. Notre Dame is a far better place because of you." - John Heisler, Notre Dame Senior Associate Athletics Director
Along with many thoughtful and touching sentiments, jokes were on tap when Valdiserri took to the microphone. He also talked about his close friendship with the late Jim Gibbons ('53, baseball & basketball), who was the inaugural recipient of the Jesse Harper Award in 2016.

Multiple generations of the Valdiserri family were part of the festivities.

Valdiserri was recognized – and received a standing ovation – during halftime of that evening's Notre Dame-Louisville men's basketball game.

All photos courtesy of Mike Bennett/Lighthouse Imaging

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