Spring Newsletter

Message From The Chair
Jack Bergen ‘77

Spring has finally come, and for those of us in Boston with record snowfall it hasn’t come soon enough.  Since our last newsletter much as happened.  On the good side, hearings were recently held by the Supreme Court for marriage equality. We all hope for a positive decision by the end of June.  Our own Greg Bourke ’82 and his husband are the key defendants for the state of Kentucky’s case.  Also good was the performance of both the men’s and women’s ND basketball teams in the NCAA tournament. Congratulations to them on making it into the “elite 8” and in the finals respectively.  On the bad side, there have been several unfortunate incidents in major US cities of violence against black men by police.  And on the “just plain ugly” side has been the passing, and then a quick change, on the Religious Freedom Bill in Indiana.  Thanks to all who voiced your concern and support for the LGBT community in both South Bend and across all of the state.

Against all this GALA held our bi-annual Dooley Award Dinner and Ceremony recognizing Patrick Burke, ND ’06 for his great work with the You Can Play project.  During the event, we had ~ 60 people, including almost a dozen SMC and ND students attend.  It was so rewarding to celebrate with fellow alums and others the great work of Patrick and other award winners.  Also, it was fantastic to announce the first annual GALA Student Scholarships at the dinner.  During that weekend, GALA also sponsored a panel featuring students from both Notre Dame and St Mary’s sharing their experiences on campus.  Even though there continues to be challenges, it is so encouraging to hear about students being able to be out with friends and classmates.

Most recently a lot to you participated in the ND Day celebration.  Through your donations and voting for PrismND, they landed at #51 (out of ~800 groups) and received over $5,000 from the $1M challenge fund.  Great job!!

We hope to see many of you on campus at the upcoming alumni reunion event (June 6th) and for the football tailgater (September19th).

Upcoming Events

Reunion 2015

GALA-ND/SMC will once again be sponsoring two panel discussions during Reunion weekend entitled, “The Gay and Lesbian Experience at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s: Past and Present.”

Come and join us as we hear from students and alumni about their experiences of being LGBT on campus. We will have a panel discussion on Saturday, June 6th from 1:30-2:30 in DeBartolo Hall, Room 126. We will also have a similar panel discussion on Saint Mary’s campus from 3:30-4:30 in Spes Unica Hall, Room TBD. Please check Facebook and the GALA website in the days leading up to the event for the latest details.

Football Tailgater ND/Georgia Tech on September 19th

Once again GALA will sponsor our annual football tailgater on campus.  This year, the tailgater will be held prior to the game against Georgia Tech on Saturday September 19th.  For those that attended last year, you’ll remember how cold and miserable the weather was.  Unless lightening strikes us, it has to be much better!!  Come and join fellow alums, students, faculty and friends for some beer, brauts and fun conversation.

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On Campus Updates

New LGBT Group at Notre Dame

A new LGBT group recently started on campus.  OUTatND, made up of primarily undergraduate and graduate students but also including faculty, alumni and others kicked off their campaign on Tuesday April 28th.  The organization is independent of the University and is focused on promoting equality, visibility and solidarity for the LGBTQ community at Notre Dame.  The group is not looking to replace the existing university-recognized student organization PrismND, but to provide additional visibility for areas outside of Prism’s capabilities.  More information can be found at www.outatnd.org

Spring Follies

Once again GALA sponsored the annual student dance “Spring Follies”.  As in previous years, Ron Montandon and Dennis Slade, long-time GALA friends hosted the event at the Beiger Mansion. There was so much interest, the students had to rent 2 buses to transport all the attendees to the ball.  Of course, the dance was followed by an “after party” well into the evening (remember when you used to go to those).

ND Day April 26-27

Notre Dame held it’s 2nd annual Notre Dame Day to raise awareness and money for various school related groups.  $1 million was available to all groups to be split up based on the # of “votes” during the 24 hour period. Thanks to the generosity of GALA members and other donors, PrismND, the LGBT student group, came in # 51 (out of 800+ groups) and was allocated over $5,000 of the $1M.  Great job to all that participated!

New Scholarship Winners

The GALA Officers and Board are proud to announce the recipients of the first LGBTQ Student Scholarship. Students, Bri O’Brien and Adrienne Whisman were recognized at this year’s Dooley Awards Dinner as the 2015 Scholarship recipients. Bri O’Brien is a junior at Saint Mary’s College majoring in Social Work and Adrienne Whisman is a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College who is studying History and Humanistic Studies.  Each student will receive $2,500 toward their tuition upon successful completion of a community service project. Both Bri and Adrienne have exemplary academic backgrounds as well as proven leadership skills. We are delighted that Bri and Adrienne applied, and we are looking forward to supporting them this coming year with their service projects.

If you are interested in supporting the scholarship fund or if you have any questions about this fund, please feel free to contact us.

Honoring Alumni

In Memory of Kevin Heffernan ND ‘93

Unfortunately, one of our own, Kevin Heffernan ND ’93 passed away in mid April.  Kevin was very actively involved in the club, and recently was recognized for his dedication with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Thomas Dooley Celebration.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his husband David Biele and to his family.

GALA 2015 Football Tailgater – September 19th (ND vs. Georgia Tech)

 

2014 Football Tailgater

2014 Football Tailgater

 

GALA will be hosting our annual football tailgater on September 19th for the Notre Dame – Georgia Tech game.  For those who attended last year, you’ll remember how cold and miserable the weather was.  Unless lightening strikes us, it has to be much better!!  Come and join fellow alums, students, faculty and friends for some beer, brauts and fun conversation.

 

GALA 2015 Student Scholarship

Mallory Price, GALA Vice Chair for Membership announcing the 2015 student scholarship awards to Bri O'Brien and Adrienne Whisman

Mallory Price, GALA Vice Chair for Membership announcing the 2015 student scholarship awards to Bri O’Brien and Adrienne Whisman

 

During the 2015 Thomas Dooley Award Dinner, the first annual GALA student scholarships were awarded.  This year, the $2,500 scholarships went to Adrienne Whisman SMC ‘17 and Bri O’Brien SMC ‘16.  Congratulations to both!!

2015 Thomas Dooley Award Event

On April 10th, GALA held the 2015 Thomas Dooley Award Dinner and Ceremony.  This year’s Dooley award recipient was Patrick Burke ND ’06, co-founder and previous executive director of The You Can Play Project , and the current Director of Player Safety for the National Hockey League.

Jack Bergen, GALA Chair, presents check to Patrick Burke co-founder of You Can Play

Jack Bergen, GALA Chair, presents check to Patrick Burke co-founder of You Can Play

Patrick Burke, 2015 Dooley award winner and Bryan Ricketts, GALA board member

Patrick Burke, 2015 Dooley award winner and Bryan Ricketts, GALA Board member

Patrick Burke 2015 Dooley Award Winner, Liam Dacey and Jack Bergen, GALA Chair

Patrick Burke 2015 Dooley Award Winner, Liam Dacey and Jack Bergen, GALA Chair

Also being honored at the award event were:

Jack Bergen, GALA Chair, presents awards to Hank and Nancy Mascotte

Jack Bergen, GALA Chair, presents GALA Service Awards to Hank and Nancy Mascotte

Nancy and Hank Mascotte accepting the GALA Service Award

Nancy and Hank Mascotte accepting the GALA Service Award

  • GALA Alumni Award:  Kevin Heffernan ND ‘93, previous GALA officer for his dedication and help over the years to Notre Dame LGBT students and alumni.
Kevin Heffernan, 2015 GALA Distinguished Alumni Award winner

Kevin Heffernan, 2015 GALA Distinguished Alumni Award winner

Tom Hubbard, GALA Board member presents PrismND Officers with poster from 1972 "Out of the Closet" Dance

Tom Hubbard, GALA Board member presents PrismND Officers with poster from 1972 “Out of the Closet” Dance

Liam Dacey giving tribute to Fr Ted

Liam Dacey giving tribute to Fr Ted

GALA ND/SMC Response to Indiana “Religious Freedom” Bill

GALA ND/SMC is deeply saddened by the recent “religious freedom” bill passed by the Indiana legislature and signed into law by Governor Pence.  This bill, in effect, allows individual business owners to “refuse service” to LGBT individuals based upon their religious beliefs.

GALA has an event scheduled in South Bend on April 10th, the Thomas Dooley Award Dinner.  This event has been in the planning for many months.  Similar to other organizations conducting activities in Indiana, we have carefully evaluated the options available to us, including potentially moving the event.

We are pleased to tell you that the Dooley Award Dinner will take place as scheduled.  Unlike others, who have a presence in many locations, GALA has it’s roots in the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community.  These two campuses are our “home”.  Not only did we go to school here, we started our journey into adulthood here, we grew as individuals with the help of classmates, teachers, coaches and staff.  We developed bonds to this special place that have existed for many years and will continue for many more.

In the end, we may strongly disagree with this new law, but we are equally committed and resolved to support the ND/SMC and South Bend LGBT community by continuing to host our event as planned.  While others may show their disagreement by choosing to leave the state, our “home” is firmly planted at Notre Dame and St Mary’s, and we choose to stay in solidarity and demonstrate our support in light of the decision.  In the spirit of Fr. Hesburgh, we honor his memory by standing up for what is right!

We are also especially pleased by the immediate support shown by local business and civic leaders in South Bend, including Mayor Buttigieg.  They have been very vocal in their message that “all are welcome”.

We encourage anyone who shares our resolve to join us at the event.  It will be a celebration of the great work performed helping LGBT individuals feel more included and accepted both on the playing field and in all walks of life.

GALA ND/SMC Officers and Board

2015 Thomas Dooley Award Event

GALA-ND/SMC, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, is proud to announce the winner of the 2015 Thomas A. Dooley Award.  This year’s award recipient is Patrick Burke ND ’06, co-founder and previous executive director of The You Can Play Project, and the current Director of Player Safety for the National Hockey League.

The Dooley awards ceremony will be held adjacent to the Campus of St Mary’s College, Notre Dame IN, on Friday April 10, 2015.

For more information go to 2015 Dooley Event

GALA Football Tailgater – Stanford Game October 4th

Stanford Game October 4th- Once again GALA will be sponsoring a fabulous tailgater for a home football game. This year’s tailgater will take place for the Stanford Game October 4th. Mark your calendars and apply for tickets in the football lottery. Last year was unusually warm and the perfect opportunity to show off our colorful rainbow balloons and ND attire. Come and join us this year. There is always plenty of food and liquid refreshments!

Alumni Reunion Events

Notre Dame Alumni Reunion- Call for Panel Speakers and Attendees

Are you thinking about coming to the ND Alumni Reunion this year, or do you need a reason to attend? GALA ND/SMC will once again be sponsoring an open house entitled “The Gay & Lesbian Experience at Notre Dame: Past & Present.” Come join us and hear about recent advances being made on campus with the new student group PrismND.

The reunion weekend is May 29th to June 1st.  GALA’s event will take place on Saturday May 31st at 1:30 in DeBartolo Hall, Room 116.  This time and location is now confirmed.

We are currently seeking panelists who are interested in sharing their experiences of how life at Notre Dame was for them. Join a group of current students, alums and faculty to hear what LGBT life is like at Notre Dame now and how this may be different from years past.

For more information contact Jack Bergen, GALA Chair at:  chair@galandsmc.org
He will be hosting the event on campus and would love to meet as many of you as possible. See you there!!

Saint Mary’s Alumni Reunion

For the second year GALA will also be sponsoring a panel at Saint Mary’s Alumni Reunion weekend held the same weekend as ND’s. Please join fellow alumnae for a panel discussion called “The LGBT Experience at Saint Mary’s College: Past and Present”. It will be held on Saturday May 31st from 3:30 – 4:30 pm in Spes Unica Hall, Room 145.  This time and location is now confirmed.

Refreshed

So, you probably noticed that we finally redesigned our Website. The old one was getting a little long in the tooth and it seemed like it was past time for a visual refresh. In addition to being more modern, this layout is much more news oriented than what we have done before. This is part of our commitment to keeping our members updated on important news and information.

I am going to try to anticipate a few of the more common questions:

Where did the membership directory go?

It’s still there and it still works the same way that is always has.  You can find a link to it under the Membership menu at the top of the page.

How do I renew my membership?

Login to your membership profile (again, a link can be found under the Membership menu at the top of the page) and click on the “Renew” button under the Membership Details section at the top of your profile.

How do I make a donation?

You can make a gift online by visiting the online giving page.  For those who have given in the past, the mechanism is unchanged.  If you haven’t given before, take it for a test drive!  All donations are tax deductible.

♥ Lance (Vice-Chair for Membership)

Official Recognition Of GALA-ND/SMC

The officers and board of GALA-ND/SMC believe it is time to evaluate the group’s relationship with Notre Dame and the NDAA (ND Alumni Association).

Rationale For Seeking Official Recognition

The GALA ND/SMC Official Recognition document contains the background and rationale for pursuing official recognition including a Q & A section. All members are encouraged to be make themselves fully informed on this topic.

Membership Feedback Session

On November 17, 2013 a virtual meeting was conducted via WebEx to communicate GALA’s evaluation of official recognition with the Notre Dame Alumni Association (NDAA).  During this session the proposal was discussed and members provided their input.  Based upon member feedback there was overwhelming support in favor of pursuing this action.  The officers and board met in early December to determine next steps. Given the input from members, approval was given to move forward with the application. The target to draft the application and submit to the Alumni Association is the end of March, 2014. Once submitted, the timeframe is unknown for review and feedback. Prior to any final action on this matter a vote by the members will take place.

Membership Feedback Session Notes

If you were unable to participate in the webinar or have questions send your comments to: jack.bergen(at)yahoo.com.

Jack (Vice-Chair for Programs)