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.
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.
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
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.
GALA 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.
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
At 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 Scholarship. Special 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
Fellow LGBT Alums and Friends,
Where 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
The May 2016 Newsletter has just been published and contains a number of interesting pieces. To view the full publication go to: May 2016 Newsletter.
- New York City LGBT Alumni Social May 12, 2016
- Alumni Reunion Weekend June 2-5, 2016
- LGBT Student Scholarship Benefit in Malibu, CA June 26, 2015
- 2016/2017 LGBT Student Scholarship Winners
- 2016 Officer Elections
- GALA Student Board Member Connor Hayes Wins Award
GALA ND/SMC is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016/2017 LGBT Student Scholarships. This year’s recipients are Samuel Cho ND ’18 and Maranda Pennington SMC ’17. Congratulations to both winners! Sam is double majoring at Notre Dame in Computer Science and Graphic Design and Maranda is a Nursing student at Saint Mary’s with a minor in Biology. For more information go to: LGBT Student Scholarship.
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.