LGBT Student Scholarship Campaign Hits $100,000 Milestone

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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.

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.

 

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

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

May 2016 Newsletter

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

2016/2017 Scholarship Recipients Announced

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.

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.

 

December 2015 Newsletter

Message From the Chair- Jack Bergen ‘77
It’s amazing to believe another year has gone by and so much has happened in the world around us and within our community.  I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on how things have changed over the past year and the progress that has been made.  Before I do that, on behalf of the officers and board of GALA ND/SMC, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and to ask you to consider GALA in your Year-End Giving in support of the LGBT Student Scholarship Fund.
 

Recognition– GALA held our bi-annual Thomas Dooley Award in April honoring Patrick Burke ’06 for his work as the Co-Founder of You Can Play creating awareness and support for LGBT athletes.  This was especially relevant to Notre Dame Varsity athletic teams whose members participated in creating a You Can Play Notre Dame video in 2014.  During that event, we also recognized Kevin Heffernan ND ’93 a former GALA officer, with the GALA Alumni Award for his dedication and help over the years to Notre Dame LGBT students and alumni and we recognized Nancy (SMC ’64) and Hank Mascotte, Founding members of PFLAG-Michiana Chapter with the GALA Service Award for their efforts in support of gay youth in the South Bend community.

 
Regional Game Watches & Campus Tailgater– GALA sponsored a number of regional game watches across the US (including Boston, LA and NYC) for members and held our annual pre-game tailgater for members, students, faculty and friends from the South Bend Community for the Georgia Tech game in September.
 
LGBT Student Scholarship– For the first time ever, GALA awarded two $2,500 scholarships to qualified LGBT ND/SMC students.  Each student submitted a written application and committed to performing community service.  Congrats to AdrienneSMC ’17 and Bri SMC ’16 on being the first students to receive this scholarship.  Adrienne described her reaction to being awarded the scholarship, “I freaked out.  For two weeks I couldn’t stop smiling.  I ran down and told my friend Becky and she was so happy for me.  I texted my Mom…I won this scholarship.  I was really thankful.”  When recently asked to describe how things are on campus for LGBT students she said, “People are becoming more educated.  For me personally, I’ve found those little pockets of acceptance, and the pockets are kind of growing especially with the legalization of gay marriage over the summer.  People are talking about it more and it’s kind of an everyday topic in classes, so it’s becoming normal, something every day to talk about.”
 
Scholarship Fundraising– Similar to the LGBT Student Scholarship, for the very first time GALA undertook a Fundraising Campaign starting in September.  The original goal of raising $10,000 in 2015 was greatly exceeded as almost $20,000 has been raised.  The majority of this was accomplished through the generosity of members and friends attending the Premier Event in NYC hosted by Phil Donahue ’57 in November.  One of the highlights of the evening was viewing a collection of four current LGBT students sharing their experiences ND/SMC LGBT Student Video.  Given the success of this event, expect to see additional events in other cities in 2016, and a continued drive to eventually fund the scholarship through an endowment ensuring continuity in future years.
 
New Membership Options– Starting in September, Membership Levels available for individuals to join and support the group was expanded to include enhanced giving levels.  Each of the enhanced levels provides for an automatic contribution to the student scholarship fund.  In just 3 months, a number of members have signed up for this option contributing an additional $1,000+ annually to the fund.  These new options are available members who have an existing “contributing” membership as well as for non-contributing members.
 
Student Support– GALA continued our tradition of supporting the LGBT student community at ND & SMC through a number of different ways.  First, GALA provided funding for the annual student spring dance held this year at the Beiger Mansion.  Second, GALA sponsored a student to attend Camp Pride LGBT Leadership Week.  This year, the first transgender student attended from the ND/SMC community.  Third, through the generous donations made by GALA members, we were able to help PrismND come in # 47 (out of several hundred) in funds collected during the second annual Notre Dame Day in April.

Official Recognition With The NDAA– GALA submitted our request for official recognition to the Notre Dame Alumni Association in the spring of 2014.  Since then, an open on-going dialogue has continued.  We are hopeful that the time has come for LGBT alumni of Notre Dame to be welcomed into the overall alumni community.

Membership Outreach/Communication– Given the geographically dispersed nature of our membership, it is important to use all means available to communicate effectively with members.  In 2015, the number of individuals connecting via GALA’s Facebook Group went up almost 20% to just about 500.

On Campus & Across the Nation– On the national front, we witnessed same-sex marriage become the law of the land in June.  It took only 13 years to go from one state (Massachusetts) to all fifty.  At Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, spousal benefits for same-sex married couples were made available after the Supreme Court ruling in October ‘14 affecting Indiana.    

Spirit of Inclusivity– Much has been seen in 2015 on greater visibility for transgender individuals across the US, the “coming out” of Caitlyn Jenner being the biggest example.  Over the summer, GALA started the process of developing a roadmap to become more inclusive for the bi and transgender members within our group.  Once we gather member feedback, our goal is to complete that process and initiate specific actions next year.  

Looking toward 2016, we have many challenges ahead of us.   I’d like to ask all members and friends to consider helping out in any way you can.  This could be through becoming a contributing member, making a donation to the scholarship fund, sponsoring a regional social or fundraising event, reaching out to fellow classmates who may have lost touch with GALA, or by using your skills and talents to assist with the many activities it takes to engage our members and/or to help current students
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In conclusion, I want to especially thank my fellow officers Brandon, Justine, Jerry and Mallory for their hard work and positive attitude they bring to all of their efforts.  Many of the accomplishments above were the result of their determination.  Also, I want to thank all of our members for your support and participation in 2015, and I hope that 2016 will bring even better results for our community.

Jack Bergen ’77
GALA ND/SMC Chair

LGBT Student Scholarship Giving                                     GALA ND/SMC Membership

GALA ND/SMC Holds First Ever Fundraising Event in NYC

On November 12, 2015 GALA held a fundraising event in NYC for the LGBT student scholarship fund.  The event was attended by over 80 alums and friends and raised over $17,000.  Everyone who attended was so engaged in the evening and thrilled to participate in helping out the scholarship fund.

In addition to Phil Donahue ’57 (who hosted the event) giving an impassioned speech, a video was shown of four current Notre Dame/St Mary’s LGBT students.  One of the students was the recipient of the first scholarship.  All of the students showed remarkable poise and confidence as they told their stories.

For more info and pictures, go to: NYC Scholarship Fundraising Event

The fundraiser also received very positive attention on campus.  The event was featured on the front page of the student newspaper The Observer with the heading:  GALA ND/SMC Hosts Fundraiser for LGBQ Scholarships.    

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