2019 Thomas A. Dooley and LGBTQ Leadership Awards

Award Dinner Registration is Now Closed

Every two years, GALA-ND/SMC, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership in support of the LGBTQ community.  The awards will be presented at a ceremony and dinner on the Notre Dame campus on March 30, 2019 and be part of the overall LGBTQ Leadership Award Weekend

Tickets to the awards dinner are now available.  The event will start off with a cocktail reception from 6:30pm to 7:30pm followed by dinner and awards ceremony.  Discounted tickets are available to GALA dues-paying members, students, young alumni and faculty/staff.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg and John Sullivan will be in attendance at the dinner and accepting their awards.  Fr. James Martin will provide a special recorded address for the event.

To purchase tickets go to:  2019 LGBTQ Leadership Award Registration

Thomas A. Dooley Award

GALA ND/SMC is proud to announce the winner of the 2019 Thomas A. Dooley Award.  This year’s award recipient is The Rev. James Martin, S.J.

Father Martin was selected from a wide group of candidates for his life-long dedication of helping others and through his impassioned work in creating visibility and a platform for greater acceptance of LGBTQ Catholics by the Catholic Church.  Father Martin has called for a greater dialogue and understanding between the LGBTQ community and the institutional church.  His tireless work over the past 40 years has elevated the importance of this issue to a level previously unseen.  

As described by John Stowe, Bishop of Lexington, KY in Father Martin’s book Building a Bridge (How The Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity), “Building a Bridge….describes the ‘culture of encounter’ that Pope Francis frequently espouses.  In order to construct this bridge, those on each side must presume the goodness and worth of each other and be motivated by the common desire to meet each other on the way.  With a heart sympathetic to the suffering that LGBT people of faith have experienced and a love for the church, Father Martin describes how this encounter can be a fruitful and liberating journey for those on both sides.”

Father Martin will be accepting his award virtually from NYC.

The Rev. James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, author, editor at large at America, the national Catholic review, and a Consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication.  For a complete bio, go to:  Fr James Martin Bio.  He can be found on Facebook at Fr. James Martin S.J., Twitter @JamesMartinSJ and Instagram JamesMartinSJ.

Similar to Tom Dooley, Father Martin performed mission work in both the US and abroad.  He worked in an outreach program with street-gang members in Chicago housing projects, and at a community center where he helped unemployed men and women.  For his “regency” assignment, he worked for two years with the Jesuit Refugee Service/East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, where he helped East African refugees start small businesses and co-founded a refugee handicraft shop called The Mikono Centre.

He has published many articles and books and has received awards and honorary degrees from numerous colleges and universities. 

Besides his editorial, publishing and media work, Father Martin has been invited by Catholic dioceses and archdioceses to address gatherings of clergy and laity, has spoken at colleges and universities across the country.  Most recently, Cardinal Blasé Cupich invited him to speak at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago for Lent, and Archbishop Wilton Gregory invited him to speak his archdiocese on LGBT Catholics.  That same year, in 2018, he was invited by the Vatican to speak on the topic of LGBT Catholics at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland. 

On Sundays he assists at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.  He currently lives in the America House Jesuit community in New York City.

In recognition of his achievement, GALA will be making a $1,000 donation in Father Martin’s name to Eastern Point Retreat House, a Jesuit-based facility in Gloucester MA devoted to practicing the Spiritual Exercises as St. Ignatius designed them.

LGBTQ Leadership Awards

Larry Condren Distinguished Service Award – Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend

This award is given to individuals who have demonstrated service to others consistent with the mission and spirit of our organization.  Mayor Pete has a long record of service in both the military and public sectors.  He has made revitalization of South Bend his priority and has accomplished this through partnering with the university to improve lives of South Bend residents and ND/SMC students alike.  He has lived his life authentically as a gay man and the “out” mayor of the state’s fourth largest city.  His very success is helping break down barriers for the LGBTQ community.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the chief executive of the City of South Bend. He took office in 2012 at the age of twenty-nine, and is responsible for the city workforce of over 1,000 employees and an annual budget over $380 million. Buttigieg was born in South Bend and attended St. Joseph High School.

A Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford and has a degree in American History and Literature from Harvard College. He lives in a formerly vacant house he is restoring in the same neighborhood where he grew up, with his husband, Chasten Glezman, and their dog, Truman.  Mayor Pete has recently launched an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 presidential run.

For a complete biography on the Mayor’s background and accomplishments, go to:  Mayor Pete Bio.


Distinguished Alumni Award – John Sullivan, ND Law ’83

The distinguished alumni award is given to graduates of either Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s who have made significant contributions to the LGBTQ community through their professional or community service activities.  Through his life-long work across many different fields and multiple decades, John has shown his commitment toward helping others and giving back to those around him. 

John’s involvement rages from participating in the first GALA meeting with fellow Minnesotan Tom Zahn, working for marriage equality in the Minnesotans United for All Families initiative, serving on the HRC Board of Directors and as one of the continuing members on the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board. 

In addition to his corporate work, he also has served on the board of the Children’s Theatre Company, the James Sewell Ballet, the HRC Board, as a founding member and subsequent chair of the HRC Business Council and currently serves on the Matthew Shepard Foundation board.  He recently had the privilege to join Judy, Dennis and their son Logan for Matt’s interment at the National Cathedral in October ’18.

For a complete biography of John’s professional and community service activities, go to:  John Sullivan Bio.

2019 LGBTQ Award Weekend Celebration

In addition to the Awards Dinner and Ceremony, other activities will take place over the weekend.

  • Alumni/Student Networking Event – Friday March 29 – 8:00pm
  • Academic Panel – Saturday March 30 – 1:00pm
  • Alumni Social – Saturday March 30 – 10:30pm
  • Mass – Sunday March 31 – 10:00am

Dooley Award Background & History

Tom Dooley with AwardThe 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. The award is named for the gay, former Notre Dame student who achieved world fame in the 1950s for his humanitarian activities while serving in the Navy in Southeast Asia, and even greater fame when he continued his humanitarian work as an American “jungle doctor” in Laos subsequent to his undesirable discharge from the Navy.  Additional information about Dr. Dooley and his life can be found at:  Thomas Dooley.

Previous Award Winners Include:

  • Kristen Matha SMC ’03, Associate Director of Academic and Membership Affairs for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  
  • 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 Right Reverend Gene Robinson, retired Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
  • Phil Donahue, an Emmy Award-winning media personality, a long-time champion for LGBT causes and a graduate of Notre Dame (B.A., ’57)
  • Sister Mary Louise (M.L.) Gude CSC, past Chair of the Modern Language program at St Mary’s, past Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs at Notre Dame and past Chair of the Standing Committee on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs at Notre Dame (which eventually developed into the Core Council on LGBT affairs)
  • Sr. Jeannine Gramick, S.L., co-founder of the Baltimore and Washington, DC chapters of DIGNITY, a national organization for Catholic lesbian and gay people and the founder of New Ways Ministry, a social justice center working for the reconciliation of lesbian and gay people and the Church.