Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
August 2016
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Dear , 

It's hard to believe that we are already into the month of August and that school starts in just one short week. The alumni office has been busy working with alum to schedule many class reunions this fall. Be sure to click on the reunion link in this email. If you do not see a reunion on the list for your class and would like to get something going, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to help you!

The 2016 Notre Dame Fund concluded on June 30, raising over $500,000 for two straight years! We cannot thank you enough for your continued support of Notre Dame.

As we prepare the Fall 2016 issue of IRISH magazine, we welcome all alumni to share their updates for inclusion in Class Notes. Your classmates will enjoy hearing from you! Email any updates before August 16 to  or click here to update through our website.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Beth Campbell
Director of Alumni Relations

September 20- Alumni Board Meeting 1389 Giddings Road, Pontiac 6 p.m. ALL WELCOME

October 1- Oktoberfest, Alumni seating available. Please contact Beth Campbell if you are interested in attending

October 7- Homecoming 

5 p.m. Pregame tailgate at the Fr. Colin House located at 1389 Giddings Road, Pontiac
7 p.m. Football game vs. Bloomfield Hills High School at William Kozyra Alumni Field 

October 8- Homecoming Alumni 5K Fun run/walk 9 a.m. at the Lower Division 

The definition many dictionaries give for "an art" is "skill in performance acquired by experience, study, or observation," and another is "a system of rules or methods of performing particular actions." The aesthetic aspect of "art" is only one component of many definitions. In fact, science and math are sometimes called the true "beautiful arts" by those who know them well.

And one such person who knows them well is Notre Dame alum Andreana Rosnik ('09), who currently is making great "art" out of a burgeoning future in theoretical chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley. Rosnik just finished the second year of a Ph.D. program in physical chemistry at Cal-Berkeley, and she says that her interests in the "arts" of math and science began in high school.

"At Notre Dame, my love for science was rekindled in Mrs. Mulrenin's chemistry class, which truly was the catalyst for me to consider a career in chemistry," Rosnik said. "My classes in chemistry, biology and mathematics only kept me yearning for more quantitative approaches to understanding the world around us, and my teachers pushed me to work hard and really dig into the material."

To read more of Rosnik's story, click here.

A new book by Notre Dame alum Mark Binelli ('88), released May 3 and published by Henry Holt and Co./Metropolitan Books, most certainly clears up that question and more. In his book, "Screamin' Jay Hawkins' All-Time Greatest Hits," Binelli focuses on the life of an eccentric music man if there ever was one. 

Hawkins, whose real name was Jalacy Hawkins, died in 2000, but not before setting his mark as one of R&B's most wildly operatic and powerful singers. He had only one bonafide hit, "I Put a Spell on You," which along with his own unique recording of it, was covered by a number of others, including Simone, CCR and Notorious B.I.G.

To read more on Binelli's story, click here. 

One of the city of Detroit's strongest and most vibrant communities is the Grandmont Rosedale area, which is bordered roughly by McNichols, Southfield, Schoolcraft and Evergreen on the city's northwest side. One of the reasons the area remains a bright spot in Detroit is that its neighborhood "association" takes a very active role in its advocacy.

In fact, the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation has garnered a more than its fair share of awards recognizing such advocacy and success. In the last three years, GRDC has won the following awards from the Detroit Community Development Awards association: the 2015 Extraordinary Economic Development Award; the 2014 Community Developer of the Year award; and the 2013 Outstanding Community Safety Program award. GRDC also was recently named a finalist for the Best Managed Non-profit Award given annually by Crain's Detroit Business magazine. 
The Grandmont Rosedale area is located in northwest Detroit.

According to 1978 Notre Dame alum Tom Goddeeris, who is the executive director of GRDC and has lived in the area since 1990, the awards and the continued success of the neighborhood has not come about without a lot of hard work.

To read more on Goddeeris's story, click here.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) announced this week that Joe Vicari, a Notre Dame alum from the Class of 1975 and owner of Andiamo Restaurant Group, has been named its 2016 National Man of the Year. 

Vicari participated as a national nominee for the organization's largest annual fundraiser, the Man & Woman of the Year competition. Today, organizers at LLS announced that Vicari's participation encouraged more than $177,000 in donations. The money raised supports efforts - locally and nationally - to fund blood-cancer therapies. 

"I want to thank all who generously donated to support this effort," said Vicari. "While it is an honor to earn this title, it means even more to know that all donations to this effort will help us toward a world free of blood cancers." 

Vicari participated in the Man & Woman of the Year program in honor of his close friend, James Giftos, who passed away in 2011 after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer related to leukemia. Giftos founded National Coney Island and was an esteemed figure in Detroit business. 

To read more of Vicari's story, click here.

Notre Dame alum Mark Cendrowski ('77) directs the mammoth hit TV comedy The Big Bang Theory. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and each year he gets back to Ann Arbor from L.A. to conduct various workshops for students in U-M's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. 

In a video interview produced by Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and conducted during one of his Ann Arbor visits, Cendrowski talks about his time in high school and college, and the long road he traveled to get to his dream job in Hollywood. 
In addition to The Big Bang Theory, Cendrowski has worked on a number of other series, including episodes of Yes, Dear, Still Standing, According to Jim, and Rules of Engagement.

To read more of Cendrowski's story, click here. 

When Ron Prowse stepped up to the podium at Detroit's Gaelic League in Corktown  to do a reading from James Joyce's book, Ulysses, this 1969 Notre Dame alum delivered big time and with an Irish accent as authentic as Leopold Bloom himself.

It was the League's 29th annual Bloomsday celebration, where local Joyce devotees joined millions worldwide on June 16 to recall Joyce's Ulysses, the story of Leopold Bloom's 1904 day (and night) long journey through Dublin, Ireland. 

Prowse, who is associate professor and music director at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, is a regular at the League's annual Joyce-fest and his participation is a result of a long love affair with books, especially Irish literature. He said it was while a student at the University of Michigan when a professor first made a great connection for him between music and literature.

To read more of Prowse's story, click here.

After finishing her second year at the University of Michigan in 2007, Notre Dame alum Kaitlin (Dye) Dickinson figured she was heading for a long and satisfying career as a medical doctor. In fact, she always referred to her academic track back then as "pre-med."

However, after two extremely rewarding undergraduate research experiences, she started to think more seriously about going to graduate school rather than med school.
"Instead of applying to medical school as planned, I decided to pursue a Master of Science degree at Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center," said Dickinson, a 2005 graduate of Notre Dame Prep. "This particular program's curriculum consisted of classes that were similar to those offered in medical school, but they also had a major research component, which required me to join a lab full time during the second year of the program."

To read more of Dickinson's story, click here.

Notre Dame alum and recording artist Danny Santos stopped by the Notre Dame Alumni Association office on August 10, 2016, and performed four songs for a small group gathered in the main room of the Fr. Colin House, which is located on the school's campus.
Santos' performance is another in the alumni association's recorded "Colin House Concerts Series," in which Notre Dame students and alumni are invited to play in an intimate setting on the school's Pontiac campus. Video of his performance is available below. 
Now living full time in Los Angeles, Santos, a 2011 graduate of Notre Dame, has been working on his debut album, which is scheduled for release early next year.
The album is titled "The Prophet" and was recorded in a studio called Bedrock LA in Echo Park, Los Angeles, from July 18-23. Santos said he's got one more track to record and some tweaks to what's already "in the can" before the album is finalized.

To listen to Santos's performance, click here.
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy received notification from the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) that its most recent progress report submitted to the accreditation organization was accepted, which confirms that NDPMA continues as a member in good standing and with full accreditation. 

In notifying Notre Dame of its successful completion of this phase of the accreditation process, ISACS president Claudia M. Daggett said, "ISACS values your commitment to the association and stands ready to be of help throughout the entire process."
ISACS is a membership organization of more than 230 independent schools from 13 states in the U.S. Midwest region. Notre Dame has been ISACS-accredited since the school began in 1994-95 and shares such accreditation with Cranbrook, Country Day, Grosse Pointe Academy and The Roeper School.

"The ISACS accreditation process is a key component for the continuous improvement of our school," said Andy Guest, interim president of Notre Dame. "It is a seven-year, self-repeating process that includes third-party peer evaluations from other high-quality independents schools throughout the Midwest. This particular step in the process validates the fact that we are following the major recommendations from our last accreditation visit and moving our institution forward according to our plans. 

"Also, I want to especially thank NDPMA's faculty and staff not only for this, but for their unwavering support in making Notre Dame the school of choice in Oakland County," Guest added.


In a video interview, Notre Dame's head football coach, Pat Fox, now in his third year with the Irish, talks about his team and expectations for the upcoming 2016 season.

The Fighting Irish begin the season Friday, August 26, 7 p.m., at Redford Thurston High School. The full season schedule is available  here.


More than 70 members of Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's band and choir programs are home now from their trip to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where they participated in a special music festival celebrating the bravery of America's men and women in the United States Armed Forces.

The group was part of the "Salute to Valor Music Festival," held July 4 on the Battleship Missouri Memorial on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The event helped commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor.

To read more, click

New Notre Dame campus minister, Fr. Ron Nikodem, s.m., is looking forward to his upcoming tenure at the school. And while completely dedicated to his responsibilities at Notre Dame and at other stops during his Marist ministry, this Cleveland, Ohio, native manages to fit in what could only be described as a "rabid" fandom for all things Cleveland sports.

Fr. Jim Strasz, s.m., who teaches religion in Notre Dame's upper division and serves as director of the school's Marist Way initiative, with tongue firmly in cheek told others at a recent luncheon for school head Fr. Leon Olszamowski, s.m., that he thinks "Fr. Ron is at the restaurant only because he thought it was a luncheon honoring (Cleveland Cavalier basketball player) LeBron James."

To read more about Fr. Ron, click here.
For more Notre Dame news,  click here.

Potatoes arrived in the pre-U.S. colonies in 1621 when the governor of Bermuda, Nathaniel Butler, sent two large cedar chests full of potatoes and other vegetables to governor Francis Wyatt of Virginia at Jamestown. The first permanent potato patches in North America were established in 1719, most likely near Londonderry, New Hampshire, by Scots-Irish immigrants. From there, the crop spread across the country, including due north to what is now the state of Maine, which has been growing potatoes for more than 200 years. In recent years, Maine potato growers have produced between 1.5 to 2 billion pounds of potatoes annually. Included in that total are the 17 million pounds of potatoes grown by the family of longtime Notre Dame faculty member (now retired) Ken Parent, who said that there have been eight generations of Parents involved in the potato business.
"My father was the sixth generation," he said. "My three brothers were the seventh, and now, my nephew, who currently is managing the farm, is the eighth."

To read more on Parent's story, click here.
Sue McGinnis spent more than 15 years working in the automotive industry, suffering through all of its many ups and downs. After the Great Recession hit both the industry and the state of Michigan really hard, she finally decided that enough was enough. 

Years before, while in grad school, this Wayne State University grad thought she might end up teaching somewhere. So with her auto job at a crossroad, she figured it was well-nigh time to head down that teaching road once again. So McGinnis went back to school, earned a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in secondary education from Oakland University, and began a new life in the classroom.

"It was a big decision to leave a career and make such a complete change mid-life," said McGinnis. "But my family was super-supportive and I knew it was the right decision because, it seemed, everything just fell into place."

To read more on McGinnis's story, click here.

For a list of upcoming class reunions   

Considering planning a reunion for your class? The alumni office can help you get started. Call (248) 373-2171, ext. 3, or email for details. 

We pray for those who have died:
Charles "Jaws" Jaworski- '64 (NDHS) 8-15-16

Rosalie Bieniek- Grandmother of Nicholas '06 (NDP) 5-26-16
Thomas Nesbitt- '59 (SF) 8-2-16
Joe Haas- Father of John '84 (NDHS) and Eric '81 (NDHS) 8-1-16
Sally Spohn- Mother of David, '75 (NDHS) 8-1-16
Kathleen Blanck- Mother of Lauren '13 (NDP) and Hanna '18 (NDP) 7-30-16
Mary Pearl Cichowlas- Mother of Robert '79 (NDHS), Michael '80 (NDHS) and John '84 (NDHS) 7-29-16
Rose Fragnoli- Mother of Joseph '71 (NDHS) 7-27-16
Donald Peter D'Orazio- Grandfather of Palmer '12 (NDP) 7-24-16
Marvin Darga- Father of Deacon Dan '75 (NDHS) and Michael '81 (NDHS) 7-21-16
Thomas Trompics- Father of Tom '83 (NDHS) 7-16-16
Michael Karle- '71 (NDHS) 7-16-16
Kristy Malter- '13 (NDP) Sister of Tim '10 (NDP) 7-14-16

Rosemary Magerman- '42 (NDHS), Mother of Roger '67 (SM) 7-12-16
Timothy John Willick- Father of Shawn '96 (NDP) and Amanda '99 (NDP) 7-11-16
Charles Verslype- '60 (NDHS) 7-10-16
Jane Rau- Sister of W. Paul Rau, '69 (NDHS) 7-3-16
Doreen Vermiglio- Retired NDHS faculty/staff, mother of Kenneth '71 (NDHS), John '87 (NDHS), mother in law of Joseph Connolly '71 (NDHS) 7-4-16
James McInerney- Grandfather of Marin, '13 (NDP) 7-2-16
Mildred "Helen" Bullock- '54 (SF) 6-25-16
Richard Humphreys- '50 (SF) 6-24-16
Eugenia "Jennie" Pagnucco- Grandmother of David '12 (NDP), Maria '14 (NDP), Julia '16 (NDP) and Celia '19 (NDP) 6-21-16
John Alfes- Husband of Mary Alfes '53 (SM) 6-19-16
Mary Larson- '37 (SF), mother of Jane '64 (SF), Marilyn '65 (SF), Karen, '66 (SF), John Herbert '70 (PC), Don '72 (PC) Mary Jo, '73 (PC); Marcia, '73 (PC); Jean, '75 (PC); Bob '78 (PC) 6-18-16
Ronald Priebe- '49 (SF) 6-9-16
Ronald Titus- '75 (NDHS), brother of Tim, '77 (ND), Ken, '78 (ND) and Dan, '80 (ND) 6-7-16
Prayer List: click here
Email your prayers and petitions to
NDP = Notre Dame Prep; NDHS = Notre Dame High School; OC = Oakland Catholic; PC = Pontiac Catholic; SM = St. Michael; SF = St. Frederick.