ND LGBTQ+ Alumni – Past, Present & Future: A Celebration of Our Community’s Journey

Event Registration is Open for All Events Below

GALA ND/SMC and ARC ND are pleased to host a weekend of celebration honoring the legacy of LGBTQ+ alums and the transition to a new chapter: “ND LGBTQ+ Alumni – Past, Present & Future – A Celebration of Our Community’s JourneyApril 8 – 10, 2022.

This weekend celebration will include the bi-annual Dooley Award ceremony (and other leadership awards) as well as several opportunities to engage with fellow alums, students and allies.

Note As of mid-March, masking guidelines have been lifted for all visitors to the University.  This is subject to change at any time.  

Friday April 8th

Weekend Welcome Event: Alumni/Student “Spring Follies” (7:00pm – 9:30pm at Legends)

On Friday evening, an alumni/student social will be held giving people visiting for the weekend the opportunity to network with those on campus.  We have named this event “Spring Follies” in honor of the long-standing tradition of GALA supporting a LGBTQ student dance each spring.  Everyone in our LGBTQ+ Alumni & Friends family is welcome to attend this free event.   Registration is requested here (but not required).  Beverages & light refreshments will be served.

Saturday April 9th

Academic Panel (Noon-2:00pm): “ND LGBTQ+ Alumni – Honoring Our Community’s Journey”

Join fellow alums are we look back at the decades of the LGBTQ+ community at Notre Dame, where we are now, and what the future brings.  Panelists include alumni, faculty/staff & students.  The panel will be held at McKenna Hall (across from the Morris Inn) rooms 205-207.  A complimentary light lunch will be served prior to the panel discussion.  Registration is requested here (but not required).


Book Signing (11:45pm-12:45pm)

Prior to the panel discussion, Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Greg Bourke ’82 will be signing copies of his new book “Gay, Catholic, and American: My Legal Battle for Marriage Equality and Inclusion“.  Copies will be available for purchase.


Open House (3:00pm-4:30pm): Tree House

Distinguished Service Award recipient Meghan Buell welcomes everyone to visit the newly opened “Tree House” in downtown South Bend (217 North Main Street). Opening on March 31st, the space will be a regional gathering space for trans and gender diverse folks.

Thomas Dooley & LGBTQ+ Leadership Award Ceremony (6:30pm-10:00pm)

Register Here for the Dinner/Award Ceremony 

The main event for the weekend will be Thomas A. Dooley and LGBTQ+ Leadership Award ceremony.  This event will feature a cocktail reception, dinner and the conferring of awards. This year’s awards include:

Thomas A. Dooley Award

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. 2022 Recipient – Marlo Thomas, an American actress, producer, author, and social activist. She is best known for starring on the sitcom That Girl (1966–1971) and her children’s franchise Free to Be… You and Me. She has received three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Peabody Award for her work in television, has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.  Thomas serves as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was founded by her father Danny Thomas in 1962. She created the Thanks & Giving campaign in 2004 to support the hospital. In 2014, Marlo was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can receive, by President Barack Obama.  Marlo has been a longtime advocate for the LGBTQ community and received the Excellence in Media Award at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2000.

Distinguished Alumni Award

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. 2022 Recipient – Greg Bourke ’82, one of the named plaintiffs (with his husband Michael De Leon) in the landmark US Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.  Greg, and his husband, Michael De Leon ’01, have been partnered for over 39 years, and were legally married in 2004 in Ontario, Canada. Because of their fight for equality, they were named 2015 Persons of the Year by the National Catholic Reporter.  Greg recently published his profoundly moving memoir Gay, Catholic, and American: My Legal Battle for Marriage Equality and Inclusion” about growing up gay and overcoming discrimination in the battle for same-sex marriage in the US.

Larry Condren Distinguished Service Award 

This award is given to individuals who have demonstrated service to others consistent with the mission and spirit of our organization. 2022 Recipient – Meghan Buell, Founder and Board President of Transgender Resource, Education & Enrichment ServicesTREES, Inc., an organization with the mission of transgender education and resource building, focusing on small town and rural communities.  She is a leader in the transgender community locally, regionally, and nationally. Meghan regularly presents at conferences and on college campuses on topics related to the transgender community including, healthcare, community services and workplace inclusion (including at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s for over 10 years). In addition to leading her organization, Meghan works as a public-school teacher in the South Bend Public Schools.  Meghan is an out and proud transgender woman. 

Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in Support of the Notre Dame LGBTQ+ Campus Community

New this year, this award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a strong commitment to help LGBTQ students and others within the ND community.  2022 Recipient – Rev. Joe Corpora ’76, C.S.C., Assistant Director of Pastoral Care Outreach in Campus Ministry; Director, University-School Partnerships, Alliance for Catholic School Education (ACE); Priest-in-Residence, Dillon Hall. In Campus Ministry, he works with students of color, economically poor students, first generation students and LGBTQ students. In ACE, Father Joe works closely with Bishops and Pastors and Superintendents to make Catholic schools available, accessible, and affordable to Latino children and families. He lives in Dillon Hall. In 2016, Pope Francis appointed Father Joe to serve the Church as a Missionary of Mercy. Fr. Joe was selected for his years of service assisting marginalized students, and the help he provides so many with the difficult journey of balancing their faith and orientation.

Alumni Social (10:30pm – ??) – O’Rourke’s Public House

After the awards ceremony, join fellow alums for an evening of sharing old memories and making new ones at O’Rourke’s Public House (Eddy St Commons).


Sunday April 10th

Weekend Farwell Event – Welcome ARC ND: As our community transitions from GALA ND/SMC to ARC ND, join us Sunday morning in a celebratory mass at the basilica (10:00am) followed by brunch for those who wish to continue the fun! (~11:30am – O’Rourke’s).  Pre-registration is requested here but not required.


  • The host hotel for the weekend will be the Embassy Suites at Eddy St Commons.  A block of 10 king-size rooms, at a discounted group rate of $174/night (including breakfast & parking), has been put aside for our group until March 9th.  Go here to reserve your rooms under this block.  Note – To allow for flexibility, these rooms come with 72 hr. cancellation option at no additional cost.
  • Additional rooms have been set aside at the Morris Inn at a discounted rate of $189/night (either king or queen bed) up to March 14th.  Go here to reserve your rooms under this block.  Note – To allow for flexibility, these rooms come with 48 hr. cancellation option at no additional cost.

Sponsor Opportunities – If you would like to help out with weekend expenses, sponsorship opportunities exist for the Student/Alumni Networking Event, Panel Discussion, and Award Dinner (tickets for students).  If interested, contact Jack Bergen at jack.bergen@yahoo.com.

Weekend Contact – If you have any questions, please contact John Flanagan ’93, planning committee chair, at johnjflan@gmail.com.