Winter 2018 Newsletter

The Winter 2018 Newsletter was published on March 8, 2018.  The newsletter includes a number of current-interest topics as well as upcoming events.  To view the full publication, go to: Winter 2018 Newsletter.

  • Officer Elections
  • Alumni Feedback & Response
  • Activities on Campus
    • LGBTQ Resource Fair
    • ND Transgender Awareness Panel
    • ND Graduate Student Union Panel
  • Upcoming Events
    • Alumni Social in DC
    • Alumni Reunion Weekend
  • Past Events
    • NYC Christmas Party
    • NYC Midnight Run Community Service Event
  • Membership Renews
  • ND Day- PrismND

GALA ND/SMC DC Area LGBT Alumni Social – Sunday March 11, 2018 – 3:00pm

GALA will be holding an Alumni Social on Sunday March 11th to bring together DC Area Alums & Friends.  This will be a casual get-together of light appetizers and drinks.  The event is hosted by Bob Davidson ’76 at his beautiful home in Chevy Chase MD.  Come and join other alums to catch up and talk about future events and activities in the area.

The event will start at 3:00pm and run until 6:00pm.  Bob’s home is located at 4308 Stanford St, Chevy Chase MD, 20815There is plenty of on-street parking and is a short walk from the local Metro stop (Bethesda Station) using the Red Line. 

Our host will be providing the main food and beverages, and invites guests to bring an appetizer or light dessert “pot-luck” style if they desire.  For more info and to register, go to GALA DC Alumni Social or email Bob directly at

2018 – 2020 Officer Elections – Call for Nominations By February 20, 2018

Every two years GALA ND/SMC conducts elections for all officer positions.  In 2018, elections will be taking place during March and we are looking for individuals to fill these roles.  This is a great opportunity to take a leadership role in driving engagement for the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s LGBT alumni & friends community.  In addition, you get to play a key role in helping to strengthen our relationships with many key partner organizations both on campus and around the country.

Election Timeframe (Tentative)

  • Call for Nominations – January 25th – February 20th
  • Ballot out for Voting – March 1st – March 20th
  • Elections Results Announced – March 31st

WE CAN USE YOUR HELP!!  The successfully elected individual is asked to make a two-year commitment, participate on monthly officer calls and attend major events for their position.  The formal position descriptions can be found at:  GALA ConstitutionRegardless of the specific roles, all officers are encouraged to get involved in whatever way they feel they can make a difference.  The positions available are as follows:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair Program
  • Vice-Chair Membership
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary

In addition to these elected positions, our group also has several other volunteer opportunities:

  • Fundraising Coordinator – Identify and execute on potential fundraising opportunities such as grants, corporate sponsorships and on-going donation activities.
  • Scholarship Fund Financial Investment Advisor – Now that the scholarship fund is over $100,000, the group is looking to create an “investment committee” to establish an investment strategy to ensure long-term viability.  We are looking for a volunteer certified investment advisor to lead this committee.  (Note- All funds will be held in Fidelity)
  • Regional Alumni Leaders – As we look to expand our regional chapters, we need alums “on the ground” who can put together a small group to start engaging local alums with social and other events.

For more information, and to nominate either yourself or another alum by February 20th, go to: 2018-2012 Officer Elections.

2018/2019 LGBT Student Scholarship Applications Now Open

For the fourth 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 2018/2019 academic year. The application window is open between December 15, 2017 and will continue through March 1, 2018.  Recipients will be announced in April ’18.

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.

Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award Honors Phil Donahue ’57

Irish American Writers and Artists Inc. (IAW&A) honored ND grad and GALA ND/SMC board member talk-show pioneer, writer, and film producer Phil Donahue ’57 with the 2017 annual Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award on Monday, October 16, 2017. 

Many Irish celebrities were on hand to honor Phil including Brian Dennehy, Alan Alda and Rosie O’Donnell.  A group of ND alums kicked off the award ceremony with a glorious rendition of the ND alma mater, a fitting tribute to Phil.


ND Magazine – Letter to the Editor on Tom Dooley Award Weekend

In the Autumn 2017 edition of the Notre Magazine, Liam Dacey ’04, GALA ND/SMC Board member, wrote a “letter to the editor” on the 2017 Tom Dooley Award Weekend.  In the letter, Liam talks about the significance of the award in recognizing Kristen Matha and her contribution to the LGBT community.  To read the full piece, go to:  ND Magazine Letter To The Editor-Autumn 2017.

LGBT Student Scholarship Campaign Hits $100,000 Milestone

On September 24th, GALA ND/SMC held our Third Annual NYC LGBT Scholarship Fundraiser. The event was hosted once again by Phil Donahue ’57 and his wife Marlo Thomas’ in their beautiful apartment overlooking Central Park.

Due to the generosity of everyone attending, the Scholarship Campaign has now hit the $100,000 milestone of the targeted $250,000 endowment goal.  Thanks to everyone who has donated throughout the program including members who have contributed through the “Enhanced Membership” levels. 

To donate, go to:  LGBT Scholarship Campaign or upgrade your membership level here.

Letter from the GALA ND/SMC Officers and Board – July 4, 2017

Re: Response from the Notre Dame Alumni Association on the Inclusion of LGBT Alumni Affinity Group

In April 2014, GALA ND/SMC, on behalf of all Notre Dame LGBT alumni and friends, requested official recognition from the Notre Dame Alumni Association (NDAA) in a letter to Dolly Duffy, its Executive Director. As a part of official recognition, we requested the same rights, privileges and support provided all other ND Alumni Diversity Groups representing Black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific and Native American alumni.  This request was recently denied by the NDAA. 

GALA Officers and Board send a letter to all Notre Dame LGBT Alumni, Friends and Allies informing them of this decision and next steps.  To see the full letter, go to Letter from the GALA ND/SMC Officers and Board – July 4, 2017.

Third Annual NYC LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit – September 24, 2017

GALA ND/SMC is pleased to announce the Third Annual NYC LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit on Sunday September 24, 2017.  The benefit will take place once again at Phil Donahue ’57 and his wife Marlo Thomas’ beautiful apartment overlooking Central Park.  Join fellow alumni and friends for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and camaraderie to raise money for the student scholarship.

Registration is now open.  Tickets are now available for both the main event and a special VIP Reception.  For more info and to register, go to:  2017 NYC Scholarship Benefit.

The benefit will be part of a full weekend of activities starting Friday evening September 22th through Sunday September 24th.  More info is available at 2017 NYC Alumni Fall Weekend.  Plan your trip to NYC now!!

GALA Board Student Rep Featured in ND Admissions Video

Kendrick Peterson, an out, proud student who is making a difference at ND. He is an officer in the LGBT student group PrismND and on the GALA ND/SMC board.  He was recently featured in an amazing video about his journey coming to Notre Dame.  This video was made by the ND Admissions office as part of a series highlighing current students, and will be made available during this fall’s recruiting season. Thanks Kendrick for helping to create change at ND!

Fall Tailgater – Saturday September 30, 2017 – Tailgate Starting at ~ Noon

Once again GALA ND/SMC’s will be holding our annual football tailgater on campus, this year for the ND/Miami of Ohio game on September 30th.  Kick-off is at 5:00pm, so the fun will begin around noon.  Stop by before the game to have some beverages and game-day munchies.  Last year over 30 students, alums and South Bend friends stopped by.  Questions? Contact Jack Bergen at


Alumni Reunion Weekend at ND and SMC – June 3, 2017

GALA hosted two panels over the Alumni Reunion Weekend, one at both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.  At Notre Dame, the theme of the panel was Inclusion & Diversity at Notre Dame – Join The Conversation.  It included members of the Black, Hispanic and LGBT Alumni communities.  At Saint Mary’s, the panel covered The Intersection of Saint Mary’s Core Values and LGBT Life Today and featured alumnae covering a range of decades.  For more pictures, go to GALA Events.



GALA ND/SMC Dooley Award Weekend – April 29, 2017

Notre Dame Graduation 2017 – May 21, 2017

We Stand For Group

Congratulations to the We StaND For group for the impressive job standing up for human dignity, respect, and justice during the 2017 Notre Dame Commencement.  To continue this work, join Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s LGBT Alumni group today.

Join as a Member or join our Facebook Group today!  (The group is closed and all posts and “likes” are only seen by approved members)

Thomas Dooley Award Dinner Held April 29, 2017

On Saturday April 29th, GALA ND/SMC held our signature event, the Thomas Dooley Award Dinner & Ceremony, recognizing Kristen Matha SMC ’03 as this year’s recipient.  Attending the dinner were almost 100 alums, students, faculty and staff from both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, members of the South Bend Community as well as many of the Kristen’s friends from across the US and co-workers from the NCAA.

Kristen was introduced by Kara Kelly SMC ’96, Special Assistant to Saint Mary’s President Jan Cervelli and Kevin Lennon, NCAA Vice President for Division I Governance. 

GALA ND/SMC will bestow a $1,000 gift in Kristen’s honor to the Indiana Youth Group, an organization that supports LGBTQ youth in the Indianapolis community.

For more information on the evening, go to 2017 Dooley Award Weekend Celebration.


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.  The ND, the panel will be at 1:30pm in DeBartolo room # 126.  At SMC, the panel is at 3:30pm in Spes Unica Room # 145.

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).