2022 LGBTQ+ Leadership Award Weekend

On April 8 -10, 2022, GALA ND/SMC and ARC ND hosted a weekend celebration on ND’s campus 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 Journey”.

The weekend included a welcome reception, alumni panel and the weekend signature event: Thomas Dooley & LGBTQ+ Leadership Award Ceremony. Alums came from around the country to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Honored at the award ceremony were Marlo Thomas, Fr Joe Corpora ’76 C.S.C., Meghan Buell & Greg Bourke ’82.

For more information, and many images of the weekend, go to: 2022 LGBTQ+ Leadership Award Weekend.

Registration is Now Open for LGBTQ+ Awards Weekend

Registration is now open for the weekend 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 Journey” April 8 – 10, 2022.

To register for all events including the Friday evening Alumni/Student Networking event, Saturday afternoon Alumni Panel, Saturday Night Dinner/Award Ceremony, go to:  LGBTQ+ Weekend Celebration

LGBTQ+ Student Scholarship Under University Management

The LGBTQ+ Student Scholarship originally established under GALA, and funded by our members, has been migrated to the University to take advantage of their professional investment resources.  The beneficiaries of this scholarship will continue to be qualifying LGBTQ+ students at Notre Dame.

If you would like to contribute to the scholarship, please make a donation here.  This link goes to the ND development website enabling you to make a direct to the scholarship (scroll down to enter in the donation amount).

Note:  Donations made to this university managed fund will be eligible for football ticket lottery purposes.

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


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 Journey” April 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.  We encourage all everyone who has participated in this journey over the past 30+ years, as well as more recent alums, to join your fellow LGBTQ alums & friends for this fun and memorable celebration.

Weekend Events

Friday April 8th

  • Alumni/Student Networking Event – 7:00pm

Saturday April 9th

  • Academic Panel: “ND LGBTQ+ Alumni – Honoring Our Community’s Journey” – 12:00pm
  • Awards Dinner/Ceremony – 6:30pm
  • Alumni Social – 10:30pm

Sunday April 10th

  • Mass – 10:00am
  • Brunch – 11:30am

REGISTER HERE:  2022 LGBTQ Alumni Weekend

Tom Dooley & Other Award Recipients Announced

GALA ND/SMC & ARC ND are proud to announce the 2022 LGBTQ Leadership Award recipients.

  • Thomas A. Dooley Award – Marlo Thomas
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – Greg Bourke ‘82
  • Larry Condren Distinguished Service Award – Meghan Buell
  • Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in Support of the ND LGBTQ+ Campus Community – Rev. Joe Corpora ’76, C.S.C.

The awards event will be part of an overall weekend of activities Friday April 8th – Sunday April 10th.  For more information on each award recipient, go to: 2022 LGBTQ Awards.

Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas LGBTQ Student Scholarship

As GALA prepares to transition to a university approved alumni affinity group, ARC ND (Alumni Rainbow Community), one of the key aspects of the transition is the disposition of the member-funded LGBTQ scholarship.  One of our group’s proudest accomplishments has been the consistent financial assistance that we have been able to offer students with the Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas LGBTQ Student Scholarship.  With your help, we have raised an amazing sum of $250,000!

In the next month, we intend to transition a significant portion of these funds to an endowment run by the university.   

What will change?

  • Fund management: Currently, the GALA leadership team manages the fund.   In the future, it will be managed by the university in the same manner as other university endowments.  
  • Fund growth: The GALA leadership team has taken a zero risk investment strategy with the scholarship funds. In the future, the scholarship fund will be invested to grow in the same manner as the university endowment. Over time, we expect the size of the scholarships as well as the number of scholarships to expand.       

What will stay the same?  

  • Recipients: Past winners have been ND and SMC undergraduates who are active in the LGBT+ community.   Future winners will be ND undergraduates who are active in the LGBT+ community.          
  • Who determines the recipients:  Past winners have been chosen by GALA leaders.   Future winners will be chosen by ARC ND leaders.

Comments, Questions, Concerns, Suggestions 

If you would like to speak with a GALA leader about this significant step, please contact Paul at ptxburke@yahoo.com, and he will connect you with a GALA leader.  We will like all feedback by December 8th

What’s Next?

It has taken 25+ years to build GALA, and we are being diligent in our approach to unwind. In the new year, expect to see an update on membership votes that are needed to sunset the organization.

The GALA leadership team is so proud of what we have accomplished together.  Throughout this process, we have prioritized transparency and inclusivity.  As we have had updates, we have been providing them.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out at any time.

ND announces new LGBTQ+ Alumni Group


For the past 18 months, members of the GALA-ND/SMC leadership team have met with the Notre Dame Alumni Association as part of an LGBTQ+ task force.  Through consistent communication and heartfelt discussions, the group charted a path to form an officially recognized LGBTQ+ alumni affinity group which will be called the Alumni Rainbow Community of Notre Dame (ARC ND). Today, the creation of ARC ND is being announced.   The group will start recruiting members this fall and build a leadership structure for an official launch in January 2022.  Under this new name and structure, ARC ND will continue the GALA-ND/SMC mission, which has served as a place for LGBTQ+ graduates, allies, and friends to celebrate community, support students, and build bridges since its inception. GALA-ND/SMC Board of Trustees member Jack Bergen notes “The efforts of the current GALA leadership and the LGBTQ+ task force are the culmination of decades worth of work in building relationships with the university.  With the creation of ARC ND, LGBTQ+ alumni will be even bettered positioned to support and collaborate with all the LGBTQ+ members of the Notre Dame community.

Paul Burke, current GALA-ND/SMC chair, shares, “I want to thank the Notre Dame Alumni Association for making this historic decision.  I also want to thank every GALA-ND/SMC leader and member who built this organization and helped it thrive.  Whether you increased awareness of LGBTQ+ issues on campus or locally, raised money to support students in need, or joined the community in solidarity of the mission, you have paved the way that resulted in today’s exciting announcement.   While this community has positively impacted many, we have a new organization to build, ARC ND.   The GALA-ND/SMC officers and board are excited to support ARC ND and to join the NDAA family.   Together, we know that we will build an inclusive community that makes everyone proud.”   

“For more than two decades, GALA-ND/SMC has played a valuable role in building community and helping LGBTQ+ alumni and friends connect with one another and the University,” said Dolly Duffy, executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. “Our team is grateful for the work and counsel of the GALA-ND/SMC leadership and task force over the past year and a half. Our candid conversations and constructive dialogue have led us to today’s announcement and we look forward to working together to continue to build ARC ND and to cultivate an inclusive and supportive community for our LGBTQ+ alumni and all members of the ND family.”

In the coming months, GALA-ND/SMC leadership will propose a transition plan to sunset GALA-ND/SMC and ensure the success of ARC ND.  Membership feedback will continue to be elicited as this plan is finalized over the next few months.  As a reminder, our constitution states that only dues paying members vote.   If you are interested in participating in the upcoming vote, please confirm that you are a dues paying member.

We are sure that you have questions.  Find answers to some FAQs 

Have questions that haven’t been answered? Email questions to membership@galandsmc.org

For more information about ARC ND, please visit arc.undgroup.org

We hope that you are having a great pride month and are excited about today’s announcement.

It is a great day to be Irish,

the GALA-ND/SMC officers and board


2016-2017 Student Scholarship Application is Now Open!

GALA ND/SMC is proud to announce that we are once again accepting applications for our annual LGBTQ SCHOLARSHIP for Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s Students.  As with last year, students must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate sudent at the University of Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s College for the 2016-2017 academic year, identify within the LGBTQ Community and meet several other qualifications.

For full information and an application go to LGBTQ Student Scholarship.


Fundraising Kick Off!

ND/SMC LGBTQ Alum Fundraising Kick Off!
This year, we have set a goal to raise $10,000. Reaching this goal will allow us to continue to fund the new LGBTQ Student Scholarship as well as provide continued funding to sponsor and host events that benefit LGBTQ Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alum of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College for various events throughout the year. In doing this, we also hope to form a stronger community for LGBTQ Alum and Allies and create networking and social opportunities for years to come!
Interested in helping us meet the fundraising goal???
Here are a few ways YOU can get involved:
1. Donate online at:
2. Attend a Fundraising and Networking Event in your local area:
September 19th, 2015  —- Attend the Annual GALA Tailgating at the ND vs Georgia Tech Game!
November 12th, 2015 —- New York City Fundraising Event at the Home of Phil Donahue, ND ’57
To register for this event please go to: NYC Scholarship Fundraising Event
3. Become a GALA Member: 
Starting in September ’15, GALA has expanded the options for members who wish to contribute at higher levels.  Now, members may sign up for $35, $100, $250 and $500.  The “enhanced” levels have a built in donation to the student scholarship fund and provide for several special perks to you.  To become a contributing member and/or to increase your contribution go to GALA Membership Levels
4. Volunteer to host a local event, donate a raffle item to help raise funds, or be creative and tell us how you would like to raise funds to support the campaign. Send us an email with how you would like to help!


So, you probably noticed that we finally redesigned our Website. The old one was getting a little long in the tooth and it seemed like it was past time for a visual refresh. In addition to being more modern, this layout is much more news oriented than what we have done before. This is part of our commitment to keeping our members updated on important news and information.

I am going to try to anticipate a few of the more common questions:

Where did the membership directory go?

It’s still there and it still works the same way that is always has.  You can find a link to it under the Membership menu at the top of the page.

How do I renew my membership?

Login to your membership profile (again, a link can be found under the Membership menu at the top of the page) and click on the “Renew” button under the Membership Details section at the top of your profile.

How do I make a donation?

You can make a gift online by visiting the online giving page.  For those who have given in the past, the mechanism is unchanged.  If you haven’t given before, take it for a test drive!  All donations are tax deductible.

♥ Lance (Vice-Chair for Membership)