Monogram Club Annual Review 2019-20

A Letter from the Monogram Club President

This past year is one we will never forget. While it has been extremely challenging, it has also allowed us to come together like we never have before. This annual review provides an opportunity to look back at the many ways the Monogram Club family stayed connected before and after our lives were disrupted in the spring.

I enjoyed revisiting the events from last fall, especially those on home football weekends, and look forward to having gatherings like that again soon. A personal highlight occurred last October when I began my term as president of the Monogram Club. I am proud to serve as president of such a storied and tradition-rich organization that has been part of Our Lady’s University for over 100 years.

The success and longevity of the Monogram Club is a result of the passion and dedication displayed by membership throughout the years. The resources and engagement opportunities that the Monogram Club is able to offer are made possible through the generosity of our members. That is why I encourage you to make your annual contribution to the Rockne Athletics Fund. Not only do these gifts support the Monogram Club, they are especially important because they directly impact Fighting Irish teams and student-athletes during these unprecedented times.

Thank you for your support of Notre Dame Athletics and the Monogram Club!

Don Casey ('82, '83, swimming)

Make Your Annual Gift

Annual contributions to the Rockne Athletics Fund have a major impact on current, former and future generations of Notre Dame Athletics. They also allow the Monogram Club to provide resources and programming to its members. Additionally, Monogram Club members can continue their support of the Brennan-Boland-Riehle Scholarship Fund and Heaton Fund. Learn more about the Rockne Athletics Fund.

Irish Impact Level – $75

Young/Senior Alumni Level – $150

For Monogram winners who graduated from the University prior to 1972 or within the last 10 years (2011-20). Includes football ticket lottery access.

Classic Level – $300

For Monogram winners who graduated from the University between 1972 and 2010. Includes football ticket lottery access.

In 2020, Rockne Athletics Fund members provided $6.1 million in student-athlete financial aid to help build champions in competition, in the classroom and in the community.


Home Football Weekends

College Football Hall of Fame members Bob Crable ('82) and Thom Gatewood ('72) at the Schivarelli Football Players' Lounge reception.
Monogram Club members were invited to Ask Jack inside the Jordan Hall of Science. Guests heard insights from University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick ('76, honorary) and special guests.
The Monogram Club's pre-game tailgates were popular events for members and their families.
The Monogram Club took its pre-game tailgate to O'Brien's inside the Compton Family Ice Arena prior to the Bowling Green game.
Tim Brown ('88, football) and Byron Spruell ('87, '89, football) getting ready to take in another Fighting Irish win!
Terri Vitale ('94, '95, tennis) presented the American flag prior to the Virginia game. Vitale's term as Monogram Club president ended in October 2019.

Annual Reception Weekend

The Monogram Club hosted its 2019 Annual Reception Weekend October 11-12.

In conjunction with its board of directors meeting, the Monogram Club hosted a networking lunch with student-athletes.
Monogram Club members were invited to the Annual Reception, which was held in the Schivarelli Football Players' Lounge/north tunnel concourse at Notre Dame Stadium.
Assistant athletic trainer Rachel Denison (third from left) hosted a facilities tour for student athletic trainer alumni.
Members and staff volunteered at Cultivate Culinary in South Bend.
Monogram Club members were recognized on the field prior to the win over USC.

Irish in Atlanta

The Monogram Club hosted a happy hour in downtown Atlanta the evening before Notre Dame faced Georgia in Athens. A special thank you to former Fighting Irish great Allen Rossum (‘98, football) for providing the rooftop location, which made for a spectacular setting. Earlier in the week, football alumni attended the "Return the Favor" event at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.


The Monogram Club partnered with the volleyball program for a reunion, which was held September 27-29, that brought back several eras of Monogram winners. The Fighting Irish delivered a sweep of North Carolina and NC State to cap off the special weekend!
The 70th anniversary of Notre Dame Football’s 1949 national championship campaign was celebrated during Virginia weekend. Two members of the squad, Walt Grothaus (‘50) and Jack Landry (‘51), were on hand for various events throughout the weekend. Grothaus (right) and Landry (left) were honored during the win over the Cavaliers.

Fighting Irish at the Super Bowl

The Monogram Club and Athletics Advancement hosted the fourth annual Fighting Irish at the Super Bowl event January 31 – February 1 in Miami, Florida, site of Super Bowl LIV. Over 200 attendees, including Notre Dame football alumni, athletics administrators and guests of athletics, attended the two-day event. The first night featured a reception at Florida International University, while a brunch was held the following day aboard the Norwegian Escape. During brunch, Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick ('76, honorary) led a panel discussion that featured former Fighting Irish gridiron greats Jaylon Smith ('19), Jeff Faine ('03) and Mike McCoy ('70).


Cara (Garvey) Coleman (’95, swimming) was named the 2019 recipient of the Edward “Moose” Krause Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the Monogram Club. Coleman is a dedicated advocate for families and the vital role they play in the health care needs of children with disabilities. She has vast knowledge of this topic because of the experiences she and her family went through with her daughter Justice Hope. Justice was born in 2006 with agenesis corpus callosum and other medical issues, which prevented her from walking or talking and required extensive in-home medical care. Justice passed away in the spring of 2017 at the age of 11. During those 11 years, Coleman saw firsthand the essential care-giving responsibilities that is needed from families with disabled children. It was the challenge and extent of those responsibilities that caused Coleman to step back from practicing law and find different uses for her skills in advocacy for Justice’s individual level care and in systems level work. Not only did Coleman and her husband, Jason, develop their own repertoire of skills as direct caregivers for the medical needs of Justice, but she also developed new passions and voices as a health care professional.

Tim Welsh Receives Jesse Harper Award

The Monogram Club bestowed the Jesse Harper Award upon longtime Notre Dame swimming & diving head coach Tim Welsh (honorary) in the fall of 2019 during a reunion celebrating the 60th anniversary of the program. Former Monogram Club president Haley Scott DeMaria (’95, swimming) presented the award to her former coach during the reunion’s formal dinner inside Club Naimoli.

Jimmy Dunne Bestowed with Honorary Monogram

Jimmy Dunne ('78) received an honorary Monogram for his many contributions to Notre Dame Athletics. The surprise presentation took place Virginia weekend inside the Irish Athletics Center during a special dinner for the lead donors of the new indoor facility for football and soccer. Fittingly, Ron Powlus (’97, football) presented Dunne with his jacket for his efforts as “quarterback” of the donors who made the facility a reality.


A celebration was held September 13-14 for Ruth Riley Hunter (’01, ‘16) for her induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The festivities included a reception hosted by the Monogram Club and women's basketball program inside the new Rolfs Athletics Hall, and a recognition during the Notre Dame-New Mexico football game. (Ruth Riley Hunter pictured with Jack Swarbrick and Muffet McGraw)
Fighting Irish football great Raghib “Rocket” Ismail (‘94) was honored during Virginia Tech weekend (November 1-2) for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. The Monogram Club co-hosted an event for Ismail and his guests, which included family members and former teammates, prior to Notre Dame’s win over the Hokies. (Ismail pictured with Jack Swarbrick and representatives of the College Football Hall of Fame)
Former Notre Dame basketball stars Natalie Achonwa ('14) and Kelly Tripucka ('81) were inducted into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor during the 2019-20 season. The Monogram Club partnered with the men's and women's basketball programs to host the surrounding events, which included post-game receptions for family, friends and former teammates.


Fall Monogram Jacket Ceremony

Over 150 Notre Dame student-athletes and student support staff members were presented with their Monogram jackets at the fall 2019 Monogram Jacket Ceremony, which was held inside Downes Club at Corbett Family Hall. The ceremony honored first-time Monogram recipients from Notre Dame’s winter and spring sports along with student managers from those teams and the football program. Former Notre Dame men’s basketball standout, and current ACC Network analyst and studio anchor, Jordan Cornette (‘05) was the featured alumni speaker, while Hannah Dorney ('22, lacrosse) gave the student-athlete reflection.

Ring of Names 2010s Addition

Monogram winners from the class of 2010 through the class of 2019 were added to the Ring of Names inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The new panels are located above the entrance to the Monogram Room in Heritage Hall.


In conjunction with the Ring of Names update, the Monogram Club launched a social media series highlighting Monogram winners from the 2010s.

The Monogram Club launched the Era Extended initiative series to deepen engagement with all of its members. A Monogram winner’s connection and commitment to the University of Notre Dame extends well beyond their time on campus, and Era Extended strives to deliver on the "four for forever" promise made to Fighting Irish student-athletes. The Monogram Club is driven by its members and Era Extended was developed based on feedback from the membership survey conducted in the winter. Along with introducing new initiatives, the Monogram Club will enhance certain existing programs, to ensure the series includes something for Monogram winners of all generations.

The Member-to-Member podcast, which is part of the Era Extended series, allows Monogram winners to share in-depth stories and personal experiences. Topics include: success in the business world, transitioning from a playing career, caring for the community, current events, stories from their Notre Dame days and much more.

New Member Onboarding

Another Era Extended offering is an onboarding program for recent graduates. The Monogram Club staff and board leadership team hosted a virtual onboarding session with its members from the class of 2020. The event provided the graduates with an opportunity to learn about the resources and support that is available to them as a Monogram winner.

In June, Notre Dame Athletics launched a platform for current and former student-athletes, coaches, staff members and others to share their stories and voices concerning social injustice. The StaND Together web site features action steps and powerful content from several Monogram winners, including a video from Reggie Brooks ('93, football), which you can watch below.

The first episode of the Member-to-Member podcast centered around social injustice. The episode featured Don Casey ('82, '83, swimming), Jes Christian ('14, track & field) and Reggie Brooks ('93, football).

In Memoriam

Monogram winners who passed away between October 13, 2019 and November 22, 2020.

George Atkinson III (football)

Lee Ayotte (’57, basketball)

Brad Bennett (’48, track & field)

Hal Benninghoff (honorary)

Brian Boulac (’63, ’65, football)

Jim Brogan (’59, fencing)

Fritz Bruening (’76, wrestling)

John Campagnone (’53, track & field)

Tom Carey (’55, football)

Bob Cianchetti (’49, baseball)

Bob Devine (’58, basketball)

Phil Dillenburger (’62, swimming & diving)

Steve Dreher (’64, ’70, fencing)

John Fannon (’56, basketball)

Joe Farrell (’64, football)

Joe Freebery (’69, football)

Armando Galardo (’54, football)

Jim Garrity (’59, swimming & diving)

John Geraghty (’64, football)

Fred Heroman (’64, cheer)

Beth Holtz (honorary)

Paul Hornung (‘57, football)

Jim Kane (’61, wrestling)

Don Kennedy (’54, tennis)

Joe Kernan (’68, baseball)

Bob Kessing (’49, manager)

Denny Kiliany ('69, football)

Bill Lesso (’53, fencing)

Hank Luepke (’57, basketball)

Don Lundergan (’45, ’51, track & field)

Colin MacDonald (’50, fencing)

John Mariani (’73, football)

Tim McCarthy (honorary)

Tom McHugh (’54, football)

John Meyer (’65, football)

Tim Michels (’81, lacrosse)

Thomas O’Brien (’93, lacrosse)

Tony Pacilio (’60, manager)

Robert Pelton, C.S.C. (’43, honorary)

Regis Philbin (’53, honorary)

Jim Porcari (’55, manager)

Bob Riley (’62, manager)

Joe Riley (’56, track & field)

Don Ross (’53, manager)

Ken Schuster (’49, football)

Dan Shannon (’55, football)

Jim Slattery (’50, manager)

Ed Sullivan (’42, football)

Dave Swoboda (’82, football)

Mark Tremblay (’54, baseball)

Bob Washington (’74, football)

Joe Yaeger (’56, baseball)

Monogram Club Board of Directors

Front row (left to right): Haley Scott DeMaria ('95, swimming), Marty Allen ('58, manager), Matt Weldy (executive director), Don Casey ('82, '83, swimming), Terri Vitale ('94, '95, tennis), Jennette Rauch ('05, athletic trainer), Takashi Yoshii ('10, tennis), Kevin O'Connor ('89, lacrosse); Back row (left to right): Marcie Wolbeck ('02, volleyball), Jes Christian ('14, track & field), Ryan Harris ('07, football), Derrick Mayes ('96, football), Ruth Riley Hunter ('01, '16, basketball), Jeff Faine ('03, football), Mike Frantz ('73, football)
Thank you for your support and dedication to Notre Dame Athletics and the Monogram Club!