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.
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!!
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!
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. (Exact Location TBD) 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 Holly James at email@example.com or Ram Ballesteros at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 30 alums and friends celebrated NYC Pride Monday night June 19th at the Duplex Cabaret. We were taken on a journey through New York via stories shared by Charles Hale and painted vividly by the musical talents of David Raleigh and their incredibly talented band. For more pics go to: NYC Social Events.
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
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)
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.
GALA ND/SMC is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017/2018 LGBT Student Scholarships. This year’s recipients are Morgan Haney SMC ’18 and Sushi Le SMC ’20. Congratulations to both winners!
For more information on each recipient, go to LGBT Student Scholarship.
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.
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!
As a better way of staying connected to activities on campus, a new page has been added to the website called Campus Connections. This 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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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
- LGBT Student Scholarship Benefits
- Membership Options
- Official Recognition With The NDAA
- Major Events On Campus & Across the Nation
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.
The November 2016 Newsletter was published on November 13th and contains a number of interesting pieces. To view the full publication go to: November 2016 Newsletter.
- 2017 Dooley Award Nominations
- Alumni Socials in NYC and On Campus
- Second Annual NYC Alumni Fall Weekend Including Stories & Pictures From the LGBT Pilgrimage of Mercy & Student Scholarship Benefit
- Camp Pride Experience as Shared by Student Elsie Ngomi ND ‘18
- New Ways Ministry Blog Highlighting Jack Bergen’s Plea for Acceptance of LGBT Catholics as Reported in the Observer