Alumni Reunion Weekend at ND & SMC – June 1-4, 2017

                          

GALA will once again be hosting panels over the Alumni Reunion Weekend at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.  Come and lend your voices to the discussions.  Both panels will take place on Saturday June 3rd, ND panel at 1:30pm and SMC panel at 3:30pm.  Locations will be added closer to the weekend.

For more information on the themes of two panels, go to GALA Events.

Welcome New Vice Chair for Membership Ram Ballesteros, ND ’09

In March 2017, Ram Ballesteros, ND ’09 volunteered as the new Vice Chair for Membership.  In this role, Ram is responsible for managing the processes to maintain current members, recruit new ones, conduct member communications, and process new membership applications.  He’ll also undertake a revamping and modernization of our back-end membership systems in hopes of improving the overall member user experience.  He will work to make membership interactions and engagement as easy and seamless as possible so that we can all focus on our group’s mission (and have some fun doing it)! 

Ram is also active in the community via the Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame (HAND), the NY Alumni Association, and Out in Tech.  He lives in Brooklyn with his partner of nine years, also an alumni, who he met while a student at Notre Dame.  Feel free to reach out to him anytime!

Campus Connections

As a better way of staying connected to activities on campus, a new page has been added to the website called Campus ConnectionsThis page will have direct links to the daily edition of The Observer and a “Domer Cam” showing the current weather on campus. It also has links to the Notre Dame & Saint Mary’s LGBT student websites (PrismND & SAGA).

GALA ND/SMC March 2017 Newsletter

The March 2017 Newsletter was published on March 5, 2017.  The newsletter included a number of current-interest topics as well as upcoming events.  To view the full publication go to: March 2017 Newsletter.

  • Thomas Dooley Award Weekend – April 28th – 30th, 2017
  • Opposition to Mike Pence as Commencement Speaker
  • Alumni Reunion Weekend at ND and SMC – June 1st – 4th, 2017
  • GALA Officers Openings
  • GALA ND/SMC Club of New York City
  • Fall Tailgater – Saturday September 30, 2017 –  (ND vs. Miami of Ohio)
  • 2017 Membership Drive
  • Notre Dame Day – April 23rd & 24th, 2017

LGBT Alumni Voice Disapproval to Mike Pence as 2017 Commencement Speaker

Following the announcement that the University extended an invitation to Mike Pence as the 2017 commencement speaker, our LGBT alumni community expressed strong opposition to the decision.  Many of you spoke up with your disapproval citing his long history of disrespect toward LGBT individuals.

As a show of unity, GALA ND/SMC sent a letter to ND president Fr. John Jenkins communicating our deepness sadness over this action.  To see the full letter, go to:  GALA ND/SMC Reaction to Mike Pence Named 2017 Commencement Speaker.

Welcome GALA ND/SMC Club of New York City

In January of 2017, the first regional chapter of the national Gay & Lesbian Alumni Association for Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s was created.  This group is called the GALA ND/SMC Club of New York City.  Their mission is to bring together the NYC metro area LGBT alums and friends from Notre Dame & St Mary’s in fellowship and to provide a forum for social events, community service, professional networking, and student support. 

The NYC Club is lead by a team of alumni volunteers whose goal is to provide programming that is fun, interesting and promotes camaraderie in their community. 

The NYC Club even has its own webpage.  It will be the “go to” spot containing all the activities and events hosted by the club.  Check it out at:  NYC GALA ND/SMC Club of NYC.

2017 Thomas Dooley Award Weekend Celebration – April 28-30, 2017

Dooley Award Ceremony – Dinner Registration Is Now Closed – Join us for other weekend events!

GALA-ND/SMC, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, is proud to announce the winner of the 2017 Thomas A. Dooley Award.  This year’s award recipient is Kristen Matha SMC ’03.

“It is our pleasure to recognize Kristen with this award” says GALA Chair Jack Bergen. “The work she has undertaken at both the NCAA and at her alma mater Saint Mary’s College to strive for greater inclusion and diversity exemplifies the true spirit our organization’s key values and of the courage displayed by Dr. Dooley, for whom the award is named.” 

Also being honored during the event with the Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement is Joseph Pequigney ND ’44 for his pioneering work in LGBTQ studies. 

Full information on the award recipients can be found at: 2017 Dooley Awards.

The Dooley Award presentation dinner will be held Saturday evening April 29th starting at 6:30pm at the Eck Visitor Center on Notre Dame’s campus (next to the ND Bookstore).   There will be a premium beer & wine open-bar reception from 6:30pm to 7:30pm followed by dinner and the award ceremony.  Registration is now closed.

The Dooley Award ceremony will be held during a Weekend Celebration April 28/29, 2017 in South Bend.  There will be a Welcome Event Friday evening April 28th, a Panel Discussion on Saturday April 29th, an After-Party following the Award Ceremony Saturday evening and a Morning Prayer Service at the Grotto on Sunday April 30th.

For the complete schedule of the weekend activities, go to:  LGBT Leadership Celebration Weekend.

 

2017/2018 LGBT Student Scholarship Applications Now Open

For the third year in a row, GALA ND/SMC is proud to make available two scholarships to qualified LGBT students at Notre Dame & Saint Mary’s for the 2017/2018 academic year. The application window is open between January 24, 2017 and will continue through March 21, 2017.  Recipients will be announced this spring.

Thanks to everyone who has generously contributed allowing us, as an alumni group, to offer these scholarships to such deserving students.

Alums & Friends…..for more information on prior recipients or to contribute, go to:  LGBT Scholarships 

Students….to find out about eligibility requirements and to apply, go to:  LGBT Student Scholarship Application.

GALA ND/SMC December 2016 Newsletter

The December 2016 Newsletter was published on December 19, 2016.  The focus of the newsletter was a “Year In Review” highlighting the many events, changes and accomplishments over the prior 12 months affecting our community.  The key topics are shown below.  To view the full publication go to: December 2016 Newsletter.

  • Alumni Engagement Events
  • New York City
  • Student Support
  • LGBT Student Scholarship
  • Recognition
  • LGBT Student Scholarship Benefits
  • Membership Options
  • Official Recognition With The NDAA
  • Major Events On Campus & Across the Nation

GALA ND/SMC Celebrates #GivingTuesday

2016-gt-logo-wdate1DONATE HERE

After two days for getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday –#GivingTuesday is a day for giving back.  #GivingTuesday is a movement, built by people around the world, to celebrate giving of all kinds.  This year it falls on November 29, 2016.

Join fellow alums and friends on #GivingTuesday by making a contribution to GALA ND/SMC.  For more information and how to donate, go to GALA ND/SMC #GivingTuesday.

 

NYC Christmas Party – Thursday December 15, 2016

gay-apparel-picThe holiday season has arrived!  Celebrate with other alums and friends at GALA’s NYC Christmas Party on Thursday December 15th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  The party is hosted by Kevin Romero ’03 and his husband Philip Maziarz in a beautiful lounge at their building.  Drinks and light appetizers will be served while being entertained by festive Christmas music.  A few “surprise” Christmas gifts will be available for raffle.  Attendees are asked for a $25 contribution, and all net proceeds will be donated to the LGBT Student Scholarship Fund.  To register, go to:  GALA Christmas Party Registration (prior registration is encouraged but not necessary).  The event will take place at 50 Riverside Blvd between 61st & 62nd (not Riverside Drive) just a 10 minute walk from Lincoln Center.

2016 New York City Alumni Fall Weekend

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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 Hells Kitchen to the two signature events.  For a recap of the weekend including pictures, go to NYC Events, LGBT Pilgrimage of Mercy and 2016 NYC Student Scholarship Benefit.

Second Annual New York City Alumni Fall Weekend – September 30 to October 2, 2016

View over Central Park and the Upper West Side skyline, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USAGALA ND/SMC is happy to sponsor our Second Annual New York City Alumni Fall Weekend from September 30 to October 2, 2016.  This year there will be a number of planned events for GALA members and friends to enjoy, as well as other activities happening around the city for the ND/Syracuse football weekend.

Featured events will be the LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit on Sunday afternoon October 2nd at Phil Donahue’s apartment as well as a Pilgrimage of Mercy earlier on Sunday morning at 11:00am.

Come to one, two, or all of the events planned over the weekend!  For a complete calendar of events and more information, go to: Second Annual New York City Alumni Fall Weekend

DONATE HERE:  To help LGBT students by donating to the Student Scholarship Fund to go:  Make a Gift

Secretary Position Filled

Michael McCabe pic

Based on the elections results by dues-paying voting members, Michael McCabe ND ’72 has been elected to the position of secretary.  Michael will complete the remaining term for this role until the next officer elections in spring ’18.  Congratulations Michael!

July 2016 Newsletter

The July 2016 Newsletter has been published and contains a number of interesting pieces. To view the full publication go to: July 2016 Newsletter.

  • New Officers Elected in May, 2016
  • Upcoming Events
    • New York City LGBT Alumni Social at Boxers July 27, 2016
    • Chicago Alumni Social at Shaker’s on Clark, August 25, 2016 at 7pm
    • Fall Tailgater – Saturday September 24, 2016 – ND/Duke Game
    • Second Annual LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit in New York City Sunday October 2, 2016
  • LGBT Alumni Events Across the US
  • Board Membership Nomination
  • Call for Member Stories

LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit

lindsey talkAt the end of June 2016, a group of almost 50 Notre Dame and St. Mary’s alums and friends attending a fundraising event in Malibu to benefit the GALA ND/SMC LGBT Student ScholarshipSpecial guest speakers included ND SPB Bryan Ricketts ’18, current scholarship recipient Sam Chou ’18 and Hindsey Horvath ’04.  For pics of the event go to:  LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit – June 2016 – Malibu, CA

Remembering the Orlando Victims

Fellow LGBT Alums and Friends,

pulse picWhere do I start? Over the past several days we have all heard so much about the horrible and unnecessary killings targeting members of our LGBT community. As I write this, I am watching a replay of Anderson Copper’s heartwarming and emotional remembrance of the victims. 

First off, I know I speak for all of us when I say how sorry we are to the families of those killed and wounded. This was a terrible and tragic event that no parent, sibling, husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend should ever go through.

As I am sure each of you has felt, I have been in a daze since the shooting trying to make sense or reason of it all. I haven’t found any.  What I have found is our community, and many others who have compassion, coming together to share our grief and console each other.  So many of you have reached out via social media to be part of the healing process.  This will take time, much time to get over.

Being from Boston, this has brought back memories of the horrendous attack at the Boston Marathon three years ago. Just as with that, everyone from around the country rallied together to consul each other.

Like many of you, part of my healing process was to participate in a vigil in memory of the victims. The one I attended was at Boston City Hall on Monday evening, bringing together several thousand people allowing everyone to be in each other’s presence feeling the sadness, anger and grief.  It helped.

Where do we go from here? Let’s continue to lean on each other for support, say a prayer, light a candle and most important stay safe.  We will not hide, we will not go back in the closet.  Continue to celebrate our unique gifts that make us who we are and remember those who are no longer with us.

I hope and encourage that the University will also recognize the directed attack against the LGBT community and reach out with a message of compassion.

Jack Bergen ND ‘77

GALA ND/SMC Chair

Observer Features Article on LGBT Student Scholarships

On Tuesday May 24th, The Observer ran a story featuring the LGBT Student Scholarship recipients Sam Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ’17.  In the article, each talked about their community service project giving back to the LGBT community at the two schools.

As GALA Chair Jack Bergen stated about the importance of the scholarship, “Notre Dame’s Catholic identity creates a “unique environment” for LGBTQ students and alumni.  We’re not looking to change Notre Dame’s foundation in the faith that it relies upon, but we’d like to see them embrace LGBTQ individuals more, especially as it relates to being whole individuals and supporting them just as any other member of the Notre Dame community.”

Also, Bergen discussed the need for Notre Dame to recognize it’s LGBT alumni “It’s great that the University recognizes LGBTQ students and supports them within the undergraduate community…but once they graduate, they’ve lost that support from the University,” he said. “We’re looking to encourage them to continue to support the LGBTQ community.”

To read the full article, go to: GALA ND/SMC Awards LGBTQ Scholarships.