Second Annual NYC LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit – October 2, 2016

pic of philGALA ND/SMC, the LGBT alumni group for the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, is pleased to announce the Second Annual NYC LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit to take place on Sunday October 2, 2016 at 4:00pm.  The benefit will take place once again at Phil Donahue ’57 and his wife Marlo Thomas’ beautiful apartment overlooking Central Park.

The money raised will go directly to the LGBT Student Scholarship Fund. The fund, which was created in the spring of 2015, is to assist qualified LGBT undergraduate students of Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame.  To-date, two $2,500 scholarships have been awarded in both 2015 and 2016 to deserving LGBT students at both schools.  To read about this year’s recipients, go to:  2016/2017 LGBT Scholarship Recipients.  The ultimate goal is to create an endowment of $250,000 ensuring the continuity of the scholarships for years to come.

For the Second Annual NYC Scholarship Benefit, join fellow alumni and friends for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and camaraderie to raise money for the student scholarship.  There will be several guest speakers featured sharing stories about their own journey and why supporting the current students is so important.

In addition, GALA ND/SMC, together with local NYC LGBT Catholic groups, will be sponsoring a “Pilgrimage of Mercy” to celebrate and recognize LGBT faithful Catholics in the United States and to encourage Notre Dame, and the Catholic church in general, to demonstrate greater support for the LGBT Catholic community.  The walk will begin at 11:00am and is open to alumni, friends and the general public.  For more information and free registration, go to:  NYC Pilgrimage of Mercy. (Note: Registration for the Walk is separate from the Scholarship Benefit)

greg pic

The special “Alumni” Guest Speaker at the scholarship benefit be will be Greg Bourke ’82 MA.  For years, Greg has been a personal advocate for LGBT rights for both youth and adult leaders in the Boy Scouts.  In addition, Greg and his husband Michael were recognized as the National Catholic Reporter’s “2015 Persons of the Year” for their role as one of the couples who brought suit and won the Supreme Court Marriage Equality decision in June 2015.


Sam Cho pic_1

The “Student” Guest Speaker will be Sam Cho ND ’18, one of two recipients of the 2016/2017 LGBT Student Scholarship.  Sam is amazingly talented and extremely dedicated toward improving conditions for LGBT students on campus.  Hear in his own words how the scholarship has helped him achieve their goals.


Get More Information and Register Now

View over Central Park and the Upper West Side skyline, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

The benefit will take place on Sunday, October 2nd 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Phil’s beautiful penthouse overlooking Central Park.  A selection of beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served and a Silent Auction will be held during the cocktail reception.

Various levels of registration will be available with special preference given to ND & SMC alums.  Discounted donation levels are offered for GALA dues-paying members and for students & recent ND/SMC grads.  Registration is expected to fill quickly, and must be completed by Friday September 23, 2016.

phil-donahue-ftrPre-Event VIP Reception –   Phil Donahue ’57 will be both our host for the afternoon and our special VIP Reception guest speaker.  Phil is an American media personality, writer, and film producer best known as the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show. The television program, also known as Donahue, was the first talk show format that included audience participation. The show had a 29-year run on national television in America that began in Dayton Ohio and ended in New York City in 1996.  During his broadcasting career Phil was awarded 20 Emmy Awards.  Phil has been a GALA ND/SMC board member since its inception in 2013 and has been a long-time supporter of LGBT causes.  At the VIP Reception, be part of a conversation with Phil about the current state of LGBT issues with the Catholic church, specifically at Notre Dame, and what can be done as alumni to create more change.  The VIP Reception will take place from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Donation for this VIP Reception is $500 and is available for a limited number of people.

For more information, including registration, go to: Register Now HERE.  (All attendees must be registered ahead of time and space is limited)

We hope you will join fellow alumni and friends for this event.                            

NYC Host Committee

  • Edward Augustine, Esq. ’87
  • Tanya Barrios ’11
  • Jack Bergen ’77 (GALA Chair)
  • Mary Ellen Bianco ’72
  • Robert Caines ’81
  • Liam Dacey ’04
  • Ron D’Angelo ‘86
  • John Flanagan ‘93
  • Ken Kearny ’99
  • Martin van Koolbergen ‘94
  • Brian O’Connor ‘01 & Pavlo Chernyshenko
  • Kevin Romero ‘03
  • Matt Skinner ‘06
  • Kyle Sommer, JD ‘09
  • David Pais ‘72
  • Kevin White ‘82

Sponsorships – GALA is seeking sponsorships for this event at various levels.  For sponsorship information, go to NYC Scholarship Benefit Sponsorships.

Silent Auction – GALA is also looking for partners who wish to help by donating items for the silent auction.  For information go to NYC Silent Auction Opportunities.