GALA ND/SMC hosted a LGBT Award Weekend Celebration to recognize and honor LGBT leaders in the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community. The celebration took place Friday April 28th through Sunday April 30th.
Friday April 28, 2017
Alumni/Student Networking Event – On Friday evening, April 28th, an alumni/student event was held giving everyone coming in for the weekend the opportunity to network with those on campus. Over 30 alums, students and friends joined together at Legends for a few drinks and to get acquainted.
Panel: Reconciling Religious Freedom with Civil Rights – A panel discussion took place on Saturday, April 29 in the Carey Auditorium in Hesburgh Library.
The Trump/Pence administration is promising to protect rights pertaining to religious freedom. But when do civil rights trump religious belief? And how do schools such as Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s create a supportive and balanced environment for their LGBT students and alumni while ensuring the rights of everyone in their communities?
The panel speakers were:
- Matthew Skinner ’06, Executive Director of LeGaL, the LGBT Bar Association of New York – Moderator
- Mary Celeste Kearney, Associate Professor of Film, Television, and Theater & Director of Gender Studies Program, Notre Dame
- Anthony Michael Kreis, Visiting Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Catherine Pittman, Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology, Saint Mary’s College
- Bryan Ricketts ND ’16, ’17, ND Student Body President 2015/2016
To listen to an audio recording of the panel’s presentation, go here.
Thomas Dooley Award Ceremony – The main event for the weekend was the Thomas A. Dooley Award ceremony. 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 and gay Americans.
Honored this year with the Thomas Dooley Award was Kristen Matha SMC ’03. Kristen was recognized for her many years of service to the LGBT community.
While at the NCAA, she led the national office LGBTQ-A employee resource group launch in 2014 and under her leadership the group had significant impact on the development of LGBTQ inclusive workplace policies. Kristen has also facilitated numerous LGBTQ inclusion trainings for NCAA staff, student-athletes and administrators. Kristen is an active Saint Mary’s College alumna and currently services on the College’s Alumnae Association Board of Directors. Additionally, Kristen has been able to support the College’s LGBTQ inclusion efforts through her work at the NCAA. For a full description of Kristen’s accomplishments, go to: 2017 Thomas Dooley Award Recipient.
Kristen was introduced by Kara Kelly SMC ’96, Special Assistant to Saint Mary’s President Jan Cervelli and Kevin Lennon, NCAA Vice President for Division I Governance.
GALA ND/SMC will bestow a $1,000 gift in Matha’s honor to the Indiana Youth Group, an organization that supports LGBTQ youth in the Indianapolis community.
Also recognized was Professor Joseph Pequigney ND ’44 with the GALA ND/SMC Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement. Joe was recognized for groundbreaking scholarship exploring same-sex love themes in Shakespeare, in particular for his influential interpretation of the Sonnets, Such is My Love, and in Dante’s Divine Comedy. For more on this award, go to: LGBT Leadership Award Honorees. Introducing Joe, and accepting the award in his absence, was his good friend Steve Rodgers, ND ’68.
LGBT Student Scholarships – During the evening’s activities, GALA also announced the recepients of the 2017/2018 LGBT Student Scholarships. This year’s recipients are Morgan Haney SMC ’18 and Sushi Le SMC ’20. Congratulations to both winners! For more information on each recipient, go to LGBT Student Scholarship.
Sunday April 30, 2017
To close out the weekend, everyone was invited to a short prayer service at the Grotto at 9:45am and then to attend the normally scheduled 10:00am mass at the Basilica of The Sacred Heart.