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.
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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