2016 Newsletters

December 2016 Newsletter

Message From The Chair – Jack Bergen ‘77

word-image2016 is almost behind us. What a year!!  Who could have predicted the many major changes, events and accomplishments over the last year across the US and within our community.  Taking a step back and reflecting on these is a great way to see the progress we have made and the opportunities that still lie ahead.  Our organization is blessed with a new officer team of Holly, Angie, Michael, Mallory (besides me) as well as a dedicated group of alumni, faculty, and student board members from both schools. Through the two fundraising events and the numerous alumni socials, I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you both in person and via social media.  I’m so looking forward to continuing with these events and more in 2017.  In the meantime, let’s take a look at 2016.   Before I do that, we all want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and to ask you to consider GALA ND/SMC in your Year-End Giving.

Alumni Engagement Events – As is an annual tradition, GALA held our football tailgater adjacent to the stadium in September. We had a number of alums and a strong contingent of students join us this year.  We also held several regional game-watches in Los Angeles and New York City and an evening alumni social in Chicago.  In addition, many alums who attended the annual Reunion Weekend in early June were treated to excellent panels of fellow alums sharing stories across the generations and of the environment for current LGBT students.  The 2017 Reunion is scheduled for June 1-3, 2017.

New York City – During 2016, alumni & friends in NYC had one of the most active years ever. Around a half a dozen events took place including several social and cultural ones.  (They even have their own dedicated webpage) The year was topped off recently by a fabulous Christmas party.  To continue this work in 2017, a newly formed NYC Region “Core Group” has been established to schedule, plan and deliver a series of alumni events across many different interests.  This group will be kicking off in January ’17.

Student Support – GALA continued to support the LGBT student communities at ND & SMC during 2016. Through our financial assistance, the Spring Follies was held once again at the Beiger Mansion.  In addition, GALA sponsored a Notre Dame student to attend Camp Pride LGBT Leadership Week. For the first time, we sponsored SAGA’s (the LGBT student group at Saint Mary’s) Allies on The Avenue event to promote solidarity within the LGBTQ community.

LGBT Student Scholarship – For the second year, GALA awarded scholarships to two very well-deserving students. Recipients included Samuel Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ’17. Sam is a double major at Notre Dame in Computer Science and Graphic Design.  He has been active in PrismND, the Asian American Association and is currently serving as the co-chair of the student Diversity Council. Maranda is a Nursing student at Saint Mary’s with a minor in Biology.  She has been Vice President of SAGA and is the president of the SMC Dance Marathon which supports the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. If you came to one of the Scholarship Benefits this year, you heard Sam express his appreciation for the award.  For his community service project, he is organizing a LGBT student celebration scheduled for April ’17.

Recognition – 2016 is an “off-year” for the Thomas Dooley Award. The nomination committee has been reviewing the nominations recently submitted by members and an announcement is expected in January for the 2017 Award Recipients.  The award dinner and ceremony is being targeted for the weekend of April 28/29, 2017.

LGBT Student Scholarship Benefits – An important part of our community’s work is to help up-and-coming LGBT students have a successful experience at ND or SMC. A relatively new way we are accomplishing this (started in 2015) is through ensuring that the LGBT Scholarship will continue well into the future.  Due to many member’s generous contributions, the fund has now exceeded the 25% mark of the $250,000 five-year goal.   A large part of these donations came as a result of two fundraising events, one in Los Angeles hosted by Cody Lassen ’09 MBA and one in New York City hosted by Phil Donahue ’57. In 2017, we need to continue working toward the long-term goal and anticipate similar events to take place in multiple cities across the US.  To help, donate here.

Membership Options– Starting in 2015, Membership Levels available for individuals to join and support the group was expanded to include enhanced giving levels.  Each of the enhanced levels provides for an automatic contribution to the Student Scholarship Fund.  In the past year, ~ 10% of dues-paying members have opted for these levels contributing ~$1,500 annually to the fund.  These options are available to members who have an existing “contributing” membership as well as for non-contributing members.

Official Recognition With The NDAA– As reported last year, GALA submitted our request for official recognition to the Notre Dame Alumni Association in the spring of 2014. The last update in September ’16 was that our request was being considered along with evaluating all alumni affinity groups.   Many of you have communicated your desire for recognition to the ND development staff as they contact you.  Please continue to reinforce this important message.  In the meantime, we remain thankful for our participation in the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend and are optimistic that LGBT alumni of Notre Dame will be welcomed into the overall alumni community.

Major Events On Campus & Across the Nation – In 2016, there were a number of events that impacted our community. Certainty, the shooting in Orlando reminded us all of the pockets of hatred that still exist even after so many years of progress.  Also on the national level was the outcome of the presidential election.  It seems as though 30 years of moving toward greater inclusion and equal rights may be eroded away over the next four years.  We all need to work together and support each other even more during these times.  For our part, GALA sponsored a Pilgrimage of Mercy to celebrate LGBT Catholics and call upon Catholic leaders to embrace the Pope’s vision of outreach and compassion. On campus, the good news is that within the LGBT communities things continue to get better.  Under the auspices of the Gender Relations Center at ND, programing for LGBT students grows each year. Also, with the recent change of administration at Saint Mary’s, a renewed emphasis on inclusion and reinvigorated LGBT student support group SAGA, there is hope for a better environment there.

As I wind down our Year in Review, this is where I ask you for help.  Become engaged in whatever method you feel comfortable:  post in GALA’s Facebook Group, attend an event, update your profile, become a dues-paying member, help current LGBT students. This is your community!!  The more you are involved the better it will be!

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your support and participation in 2016. Working with the officers and board, as well the engagement of each of you, we will continue to deliver effective programming and activities across many fronts.

Jack Bergen ’77

GALA ND/SMC Chair

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November 2016 Newsletter

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR JACK BERGEN ‘77
word-imageHello again from Boston where we have been enjoying a beautiful fall full of pumpkin carving, game watches and leaf raking (UGH). The past three months have also been busy attending a number of GALA events and meeting so many existing and new members of our alumni community.

In September, I attended our annual football tailgater on campus under a surprisingly warm and sunny sky. It was great to see so many students join us. In early October, I spent the weekend in New York City for the 2nd Annual Alumni Fall Weekend.
What a great turnout for all the events by the local alums (and even some in town for the ND/Syracuse game).

Finally, I took a little bit of a detour and joined other LGBT alumni leaders for a trip to Cuba (hence the new pic of me in a circa ’57 BelAir). What an amazing experience (esp. if you like rum!).

Please see the section below on the 2017 Thomas Dooley Awards. We can use your help to find deserving nominees and hope you will join us at the award ceremony and dinner scheduled for April ’17. We are also planning a special student/alumni reception the same weekend. Stay tuned for details!

Post Script: As this newsletter goes to press, many of us have gone through an emotional roller coaster following the presidential elections. For myself, the emotions I have felt have been caused by two factors. First, if you were like me, you were very “invested” in your candidate. Second, no one expected the outcome, so we are left with feelings of grief, sorrow, anger and in some cases fear. Many statements were made during the campaign against many groups. Let’s hope that most of this language was election-year rhetoric and calmer minds will prevail once the new administration is in place.


NYC ALUMNI SOCIAL AT BOXERS (HK) – WEDNESDAY JULY 27, 2016
On Wednesday July 27th, a “summer” alumni social was held at Boxers in Hell’s Kitchen. Everyone enjoyed the seasonal summer weather up on the rooftop bar. A fun time was had by all.

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FALL TAILGATER – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2016 – ND/DUKE GAME
Once again GALA ND/SMC’s held our annual football tailgater on campus, this year for the ND/Duke game on September 24th. It turned out to be a beautiful warm, sunny fall day for everyone to hang before the game. Over 30 students, alums and South Bend friends stopped by.

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SECOND ANNUAL NYC ALUMNI FALL WEEKEND OCTOBER, 2016
GALA ND/SMC held our 2nd Annual NYC Alumni Fall Weekend in early October, 2016. Over the course of the weekend, alumni and friends were treated to a variety of events ranging from a small dinner at a quiet Italian Bistro, a fun game-watch in Hell’s Kitchen, a LGBT Pilgrimage of Mercy and the weekend’s signature event the Student Scholarship Benefit.

The Pilgrimage of Mercy provided an opportunity for LGBT Catholics to celebrate their role in the Catholic faith, and to call upon the Catholic church, and especially Notre Dame, to more fully embrace the Pope’s vision of greater acceptance for all Catholics during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

At the Student Scholarship Benefit, over 80 people gathered at Phil Donahue ’57 and his wife Marlo Thomas’s home to raise money for the LGBT Student Scholarship Fund. Due to their generosity, the goal of $25,000 was far exceeded.

For a full recap of the weekend, including press coverage of the Pilgrimage, go to NYC Events, LGBT Pilgrimage of Mercy and 2016 NYC Student Scholarship Benefit.

PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY

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STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP BENEFIT

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THOMAS DOOLEY AWARD NOMINATIONS – PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!

dooley-and-childrenEvery two years, GALA ND/SMC honors one of the university’s most deserving alums Tom Dooley through an award in his name. The Thomas A. Dooley Award honors individuals who, through their faith-based background, have demonstrated personal courage, compassion and commitment to advance the human and civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

We are currently seeking nominations from our members for the 2017 Award, which will be announced at a dinner and award ceremony in April 2017. If you know of someone who you believe meets the criteria, go to 2017 Thomas Dooley Nomination and complete the nomination form. Please submit all nominations by Sunday November 30th, 2016. If you have questions, or to submit the nomination, reach out to Jack Bergen GALA ND/SMC Chair at jack.bergen@yahoo.com.


CAMP PRIDE STUDENT EXPERIENCE – ELSIE NGOMI ND ‘18
elsie-picAs part of GALA ND/SMC’s ongoing commitment to support Notre Dame and St Mary’s LGBT students, every summer GALA sponsors a student to attend Camp Pride, the nation’s premiere LGBTQ Leadership Academy for undergraduate LGBTQ and ally students. This year’s student was Elsie Ngomi, a ND sophomore from Arlington Texas. Elsie recently shared her experience in a letter, “I can tell you, I have never been in such an atmosphere before in my life, and I can say it has been the best atmosphere I have ever been in in my entire life. So welcoming. So accepting. So
refreshing to be allowed to be myself and fostering that for all entering the space no matter your preferences or identities.”

Elsie concluded her thoughts with “Thank you to all of GALA-ND/SMC for sponsoring me to attend camp this year. I know there would have been no other way I would have been able to have the great and uplifting experience I did while I was there, without you guys. This will definitely not be the last time you hear from me or of me. It’s time to get to work, to help make ND an accepting and great place for all and I hope to work with more of you on this along the way.” For the full text of Elsie’s letter, go to: Camp Pride.


GALA ND/SMC BOARD MEMBERSHIP
GALA ND/SMC is still looking for individuals to be on our board. If you know of anyone who you think would do a great job and can fulfill the time commitment, please go Board of Trustee Nomination Process & Form for more information. You can even nominate yourself!! If you have questions, reach out to Jack Bergen Chair at jack.bergen@yahoo.com.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Gay Alumnus: Acceptance Must Prevail at Notre Dame and in the Catholic Church
FROM: NEW WAYS MINISTRY’S BONDING 2.0 BLOG goldendome


MEMBERSHIP DUES
What are dues and why do we need them?
Dues are $35 dollars a year and assist with on-campus and regional social events, fund, the Campus Pride scholarship for an ND/SMC student, supporting the annual alumni reunion event–all of which build real relationships not only between alumni but impact the lives of current LGBT students on campus.
All of the events that you see in our newsletters happen because of dues, and we’d like to encourage you as a member to participate and contribute.
To renew your membership just go to GALA’s website and select the “Membership” tab. Credit cards are encouraged! If you’d rather mail your payment, please send it to:
Mallory Price
1461 E. 56th Street, Unit 3W
Chicago, IL 60637

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July 2016 Newsletter

Message from the Chair Jack Bergen ‘77

Welcome to the “dog days” of summer.   Many of us are experiencing summer heat waves, droughts and unbearable traffic to our favorite weekend get-a-way.  On the other hand, now is to time to enjoy colorful summer-time cocktails on a sandy beach or a rooftop deck.  My favorite spot is the Sand Bar in West Dennis Ma on Cape Cod overlooking a beautiful marsh adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.

By now a lot of Pride events have passed and everyone is trying to heal from the too many incidents of violence across the US. Somehow we need to get past our own personal prejudices and find a common purpose to embrace.

As shown below, GALA members have been very active coming together for events over the past few months. I was especially pleased to attend the LA Scholarship Benefit and meet such a strong group of supporters from that area.  We have summer socials planned for both NYC and Chicago and the annual fall tailgater in September.  In addition, GALA will be holding our Second Annual Scholarship Benefit in NYC on Sunday October 2nd, the same weekend as the ND/Syracuse game being played just over the Hudson River at MetLife Stadium in NJ.  No better time to visit NYC and attend both events! Hope to see at one of the many upcoming activities.

2016/2018 Officers

As of May 24th, a new slate of Officers has been in place as a result of voting by dues-paying member earlier in May. For full information on their background go to: GALA Officers 2016-2018. Feel free to reach out to them at any time.  The officers are here to serve the group’s members.

  • Chair: Jack Bergen ND ’77
  • Vice Chair for Programs: Holly James SMC ’02
  • Vice Chair for Membership: Angie Kueck ND ’95
  • Treasurer: Mallory Price SMC ’10
  • Secretary: Vacant

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Secretary position remains open.  Please consider helping out if you have the time (position description here). Being an officer of GALA-ND/SMC is an opportunity to directly support the LGBT alumni and students of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College and to place your mark on this organization.  If interested, send an email to jack.bergen@yahoo.com.

NYC Alumni Social at Boxers (HK) – Wednesday July 27, 2016 – 5:30pm

Boxers logoGiven the success of the first LGBT social, the NYC Event committee is pleased to announce their second alumni social, this time at Boxers in Hell’s Kitchen on Wednesday evening July 27th starting at 5:30pm.  GALA will have a reserved space on the first floor to meet.  In addition, everyone should feel free to drift up to the rooftop bar as the evening goes on. “2 for 1” happy hour will be in effect through 9:00pm, and a specially negotiated rate of $10 discounted top shelf drinks is available to our group.  RSVP is desired, but not necessary.  To register, go to: NYC Summer Alumni Social or respond through the Facebook Event.

Chicago Alumni Social – August, 2016 Location TBD 

boystown picPlanning is underway for a LGBT Alumni Social in Chicago before the end of the summer.  A venue in Boystown is being targeted as a preferred location. Stayed tuned for more details on GALA’s Facebook Page or under GALA Events.  For more information, contact Chicago resident/GALA officer Mallory Price, Treasurer at malloryprice@uchicago.edu.

 

 

Fall Tailgater – Saturday September 24th, 2016 – ND/Duke Game

1280504_395554810570004_498070513_nJoin fellow alums, friends, students and members of the LGBT South Bend community for GALA ND/SMC’s annual football tailgater on campus for the ND/Duke game.  We will be having football munchies, beer, soda and other assorted treats.  The exact tailgating location will be TBD closer to the game.  For more info contact Holly James, Vice Chair Programs at: hoj056@utulsa.edu.

 

 

 

Second Annual LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit in New York City Sunday October 2, 2016

View over Central Park and the Upper West Side skyline, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USAGALA is about to launch our Second Annual LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit in New York City. This year, the event will be held on Sunday October 2nd following the ND/Syracuse football game the day before at MetLife Stadium in NJ.  If you are coming to NYC for that game, plan on staying for this exciting event.  Final details are being worked out and the website with all the info will be available in early August. Let’s just say the venue will once again include a fabulous outside veranda overlooking Central Park.  In addition, there will be a “Pilgrimage” earlier in the day to celebrate the LGBT Catholic faithful and to call for improved support of the LGBT community by Notre Dame & the Catholic church.

LGBT Alumni Events Across the US

rainbow usaSince Holly has taken over as Vice Chair Programs, she is making it her mission to have events in as many cities across the US as possible. These events may be “stand alone” where ND & SMC grads meet but also “co-sponsored” events where ND & SMC alums meet up with LGBT alums from other schools for a joint activity.  She is currently working on a potential event in LA and has already reached out to other GALA groups in Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami and Seattle.  If you know of another LGBT alumni group/network that holds events in your city and would like to see us partner with them, give a shout out to Holly at hoj056@utulsa.edu.

 

Board Membership Nomination

GALA ND/SMC made a change to our constitution about 4 years ago adding a “Board of Trustees” to the group’s governance model. At that time, the original board started with 6 members including alumni, faculty and students from both schools.  Since then, there has been the usual turnover any volunteer board experiences.  The officers are now looking for input from our members on recommendations for additions to the board from both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.  See below for the time commitment and key responsibilities.  If you know of anyone who you think would do a great job and can fulfill the time commitment, please nominate them using this document:  GALA Board Nomination all nominations by Sunday August 7th.  If you have questions, reach out to Jack Bergen Chair at jack.bergen@yahoo.com.

Board members serve a minimum of 3 years and are expected to become and stay “dues-paying” members. They are asked to attend a minimum of 4 quarterly calls per year and support the organization by attending 1-2 major on-site events either on campus or at a regional fundraising event (at their own expense).  In addition, their real value is getting involved in issues or activities that they feel passionate about outside of the quarterly calls.  Here are the key board responsibilities.  For a full set see GALA ND/SMC Constitution:

  • The board acts as in advisory role for strategy
  • Stewarding the organization’s financial well-being
  • Leading fundraising and grant solicitation efforts. (Trustees are encouraged to make donations at a level which is meaningful for them)
  • Advises the officers on long- and short-term strategic goals, monitors progress towards these goals, reviews and approves changes to the annual operating budget of GALA-ND/SMC
  • Determines the recipients of the Tom Dooley Award, scholarships and any other recognitions that GALA-ND/SMC may establish.

 

New York City Alumni Events

Several alumni events were held over the past several months in NYC.  A LGBT Alumni social took Place at Rise on May 12th and several events took place before and after Pride in partnership with the Ivy League LGBT Alumni networkThe first event was a visit to the Metropolitan Museum on Friday June 24 featuring the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus.  The second Pride event was a “Mixer” at the Yale Club on Tuesday June 28th. Both were extremely fun and entertaining.

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Alumni Reunion Weekend at ND and SMC – June 2016 

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During the June Alumni Weekend, GALA once again sponsored a panel-style seminar featuring alums and others sharing stories of LGBT life on each campus.  The ND panel featured Matt Skinner ’06 and Greg Bourke ’82 MA while the St. Mary’s panel featured alums across many generations.  Thanks to everyone who participated on the panels and in the audiences.  Special recognition to the Belles who have over 50 people at their event!!

Los Angeles LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit – June, 2016

At the end of June 2016, a group of almost 50 Notre Dame and St. Mary’s alums and friends attending a fundraising event to benefit the GALA ND/SMC LGBT Student Scholarship.  Hosted by Cody Lassen ’09 MBA at his fabulous Malibu home, everyone enjoyed the beautiful pool-side setting surrounded by vineyards. Special guest speakers included ND SPB Bryan Ricketts ’18, Sam Chou ’18, the 2016/2017 LGBT Scholarship recipient and Lindsey Horvath ’04, former Mayor and current Councilmember for the city of West Hollywood.  All talked about the importance of supporting the current LGBT students through the scholarship fund.  For more about their messages and more images go to:  LA Scholarship Benefit.

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Member Stories

GALA members often ask what is happening with other members. Do you have an interesting story to share?  Just climb a mountain, get married, have kids, win the lottery, write a book, finally complete that bucket list item?  Any of those Facebook pics and quick blurbs worth telling the backstory?  Share your exciting adventure with others!!!!  To get your name in lights in our next edition, email your story into any officer.  Hey, it’s not ND Magazine, but it’s something!

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May 2016 Newsletter

Message from the Chair Jack Bergen ‘77

Spring has finally arrived! I was on campus a few weeks ago and the tulips were just blooming and the students were out in full force on the quads.

GALA has three events coming up in the next several months in various parts of the US that I hope many of you will attend. We have an Alumni Social in New York City on May 12th, the annual Alumni Reunion Panels in South Bend on June 4th and the LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit in LA on June 26th.  For more information on each go to:  GALA Events.

Also, all dues-paying members will be asked shortly to participate in the bi-annual officer elections. Several opportunities remain open, email me if you want to know more.  If you are not a dues paying member, go to: Join GALA ND/SMC.  There are many membership levels ranging from $35 to $500.

Last but certainly not least, I want to congratulate this year’s recipients of the LGBT Student Scholarships Sam Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ‘17.  I had the opportunity to speak to them during the selection process and was so impressed by each.  They truly represent the values our group holds dear.

New York City Alumni Social – Thursday May 12th 

Rise picJoin fellow alums and friends for a few cocktails on May 12th at Rise Bar (859 9th ave) from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  Admission is free and “2 for 1” Happy Hour drink prices will be in effect.  There will be a surprise “ND” give-away for the first 10 people that attend!  To register go to: NYC LGBT Alumni Social.

 

Alumni Reunion Weekend at ND and SMC – June 2nd-5th 2016 

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Coming to campus for your reunion?  If so, join fellow alums and friends for GALA’s panel-style seminar featuring alums and others sharing stories of LGBT life on campus.  The ND seminar will take place on Saturday June 4th at 10:30AM and the Saint Mary’s event will be held in the afternoon.  Check each school’s reunion booklet for exact location.  If you are interested in participating on the panel, please contact Justine Ray at: justray@bgsu.edu.

Los Angeles LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit – Sunday June 26th

GALA will be holding our second LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit on June 26th.  The event will hosted by Cody Lassen ’09 MBA and take place at his beautiful home in Malibu.  Come to LA for the weekend and join fellow alums and friends for an afternoon of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and to raise money for this cause.

Special guests will include West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath, ’04 who directed The Vagina Monologues while a student and Bryan Ricketts ’16, openly out ND Student Body President and former President of PismND, the LGBT student group.

To register and for more information, go to: LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit.

GALA ND/SMC Announces Recipients for LGBT Student Scholarship

GALA ND/SMC is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016/2017 LGBT Student Scholarships.  This year’s recipients are Samuel Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ’17.  Congratulations to both winners!

Sam Cho pic_1Sam is double majoring at Notre Dame in Computer Science and Graphic Design.  He has been active in PrismND, the Asian American Association and will be co-chair of the student Diversity Council next year.  For his community service project, Sam would like to organize an event that celebrates the LGBTQ community and recognizes its importance in relation to Notre Dame’s campus similar to other diversity groups such as Latino and Asian American.  As Sam shared with the selection committee, “I would very much like to change Notre Dame for the better and really increase the visibility and awareness of the LGBTQ community on campus….”.

 

Maranda picMaranda is a Nursing student at Saint Mary’s with a minor in Biology.  She has been Vice President of SAGA and has held many positions for the SMC Dance Marathon which supports the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.  Next year, she looks forward to being the president of the Dance Marathon event.  For Maranda’s community service project, she feels that “sharing personally stories allows us to see the humanity and commonality in one another”.  To accomplish this, she would like to document the stories of LGBTQ SMC and ND students, and create a video and/or blog to be shared throughout both campuses.

2016 Officer Elections & Volunteer Roles

If’s officially election time for GALA-ND/SMC officer positions for 2016-2018. Each position is up for re-election and all dues-paying members are eligible to vote.  A separate email will soon be sent to all eligible members.  To become a dues paying member and be part of the voting process, go to: become a dues paying member.

Several “open” positions remain and we still need individuals to fill these roles. Please consider helping in one of those capacities (position descriptions here). Being an officer of GALA-ND/SMC is an opportunity to directly support the LGBT alumni and students of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College and to place your mark on this organization.

In addition to these elected position, two non-elected volunteer roles are also available (Fundraising Committee Chair and Web Support Guru). Given the recent emphasis on expanded fundraising and improving our web presence, both of these roles are critical to helping the group achieve our goals.  Specific responsibilities can be found at GALA Volunteer Roles.

If interested in either the open officer or volunteer positions, send an email to jack.bergen@yahoo.com.

Notre Dame Day – April 24th and 25th

nd_day_logoThanks to everyone who donated and voted during Notre Dame Day. Due in large part to your generosity, PrismND ended up # 71 guaranteeing them $3,700 of the $1M pool. Great job!!

 

 

GALA Student Board Member Connor Hayes ’16 Selected for 2016 Yarrow Award

Connir picCongratulations to Connor Hayes ’16, GALA ND student board member, for being one of the two recipients of the 2016 Yarrow Award in Peace Studies.  The Yarrow Award is given annually to peace studies undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to service in peace and justice.  Connor was a political science and peace studies major.  After graduation, he will complete a year of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest in Portland, Oregon.  He hopes to attend law school and eventually pursue a career in public interest law.


Spring 2016 Newsletter

Message from the Chair Jack Bergen ‘77

bergenIt’s hard to imagine that it’s going on two years since I became Chair of GALA. In that time, I’ve met a lot of great fellow alums/friends of GALA and exchanged many emails with others.  Also during this time, I feel a lot closer to ND as a result of the common interest and enthusiasm expressed by many of you.

As shown below, officer elections are coming around once again.  I am hoping that this enthusiasm carries over into some of you considering and applying for any of the officer and volunteer positions.  Playing a more active role does require some time, but as anyone of the existing officers/board members will tell you, the rewards far outweigh the investment of time and energy.  Be part of the next generation of contributions that GALA can make to the LGBT community at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s!

Los Angeles LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit – Sunday June 26th

GALA will be holding our second LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit on June 26th.  The event will hosted by Cody Lassen ’09 MBA and take place at his beautiful home in Malibu.  Come to LA for the weekend and join fellow alums and friends for an afternoon of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and to raise money for this cause.

Special guests will include West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath, ’04 who directed The Vagina Monologues while a student and Bryan Ricketts ’16, openly out ND Student Body President and former President of PismND, the LGBT student group.

To register and for more information, go to: LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit.

Officer Elections & Volunteer Roles – GALA Needs Your Help!

GALA-ND/SMC will be holding elections for the 2016-2017 GALA Officers, and we want you to apply! There are five positions available (Chair, Vice Chair for Programs, Vice Chair for Membership, Secretary, and Treasurer) and descriptions of the duties of each can be found on the GALA website under GALA-ND/SMC Constitution.  Being an officer of GALA-ND/SMC is an opportunity to directly support the LGBT alumni and students of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College and to place your mark on this organization.

Elections will be held over the next few months, and new officers will begin their 2-year term in April 2016. If you are interested in becoming an officer of GALA, please submit a short biography and statement of intent to secretary@galandsmc.org by April 1st. Thank you!

In addition to these elected position, two non-elected volunteer roles are also available (Fundraising Committee Chair and Web Support Guru).  Given the recent emphasis on expanded fundraising and improving our web presence, both of these roles are critical to helping the group achieve our goals.  Specific responsibilities can be found at GALA Volunteer Roles. If interested, send an email to jack.bergen@yahoo.com.
Alumni Reunion Weekend at Both ND and SMC – June 2nd-5th 2016 

reunion logoreunion2016_logo_small

Come reminisce with old friends and make some new ones back in South Bend.  Once again, GALA will be hosting a panel-style seminar on each campus featuring alums and others sharing stories of LGBT life on campus.  If you are interested in participating on the panel please contact Justine Ray at: justray@bgsu.edu.

Notre Dame Day – April 24th and 25th

nd_day_logoOnce again Notre Dame will be holding a 24 hour celebration in April call Notre Dame Day. Last year, many GALA members helped contribute to PrismND, the official LGBTQ student organization, by everyone donating just $10!  Let’s try to outdo ourselves this year!  Keep an eye out for the communication from ND and look for our postings on Facebook for the link to contribute.