VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: February Birthdays!







February is around the corner so please wish our February babies a Happy B-day!

2/01 Leslie G.

2/13 Robin L.

2/17 Christina M.

2/17 Pete S.

2/18 Diane H.

2/18 Linda O.

2/21 Ashley B.

2/28 Sierra R.



Take some time to get to know John, Mary, Karen, Cynthia and Laura. Here are fun facts about our new ushers:

John B.

Hometown- Pittsburgh, PA

Occupation- Loan Officer

Hobbies- Golf, Swimming

Favorite Food- Pizza, Mexican

Favorite Live Performance- Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theatre in London

Favorite Artist- Neil Diamond

Lastly, I swam and played baseball at Notre Dame.


Mary B.

Hometown- Chicago & St. Louis

Occupation- Music Teacher/Pianist/Organist

Hobbies- Needlework, playing piano, reading, travel

Favorite Food- Pretty much all food!

Favorite Live Performance- Andrew Lloyd Webber theatre, Globe Theatre (London Shakespeare)

Favorite Artist- Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Beatles, Classical musicians

Lastly, I played the ND Basilica organ for my father-in-law’s funeral. Saw ND play Navy in Dublin.


Karen R.

Hometown- South Bend

Occupation- Administrative Assistant – Elkhart Community Schools/38 years

Hobbies- Golfing, attending sporting events, reading, learning how to quilt

Favorite Food-  Italian

Favorite Live Performance- Mamma Mia

Favorite Artist- Celine Dion


Cynthia S.

Hometown- Elkhart

Occupation- Retired from Elkhart General – Human Resources / Communications

Hobbies- Tennis, Reading, Cooking and Traveling

Favorite Food-  Ice cream, Popcorn and Pizza

Favorite Live Performance- Moody Blues, Jersey Boys and Phantom of the Opera

Favorite Artist- Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Bee Gees

Lastly, I have seven bird feeders and love sports.


Laura S.

Hometown- I was born in a New York hospital and lived there my whole life, until moving to South Bend in 2012 with my husband, Tom. Lived in Flushing, NY, Rockaway Beach, NY, and, lastly, Northport, NY.

Occupation- I was Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Pace University’s graduate school until I started my family, when I chose to be a stay-at-home Mom for many years. I retired in 2010 from my position as Administrative Assistant of a medical/dental/habilitative services clinic for people with disabilities where I worked for 23 years.

Hobbies- The hobby (a vocation really) I most enjoy is involving myself in live theatre in almost any capacity. I also enjoy cooking – not just for sustenance, choral singing and other creative pastimes.

Favorite Food- A really good Jewish deli pastrami on rye with deli mustard, crunchy half-sour pickle and a bottle of ice cold Heineken’s with a small bag of chips.

Favorite Live Performance- Paul Newman (with Geraldine Paige) on B’way in “Sweet Bird of Youth” in 1959. 2nd fave: Paul Newman as “The Stage Manager” in “Our Town” in Stratford, Connecticut in 2007. I was so fortunate to be able to see him from the start of his career until the time he retired from the theatre.

Favorite Artist- Luciano Pavarotti (close second: Andrea Bocelli)

Lastly, my very dear friend once sent me a birthday card whose sentiment truly touched me, and I hope it is and will always be true. It said: “To my friend, whose inner child is always ready to come out and play.”

CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Hot Chocolate Party Memories!






It was great seeing many of you at the Hot Chocolate Party on Monday. For those of you who weren’t able to attend: we had hot chocolate and other goodies, made the students and volunteers sit together and bond (Ha!), introduced our five new ushers, and also NDSF’s Artistic Director Grant Mudge let us know what’s in store for all things Shakespeare this year.


In August the Decio will house 14 performances of Othello! We look forward to it. In addition, the Touring Company will be performing The Merchant of Venice at venues all around the area. It should be a great (and hopefully warm) summer!



Here are some more pictures from the event:


CENTER HIGHLIGHT 2: 1/28 Video Conference with Mohamedou Ould Slahi


Our event on Sunday January 28th is shaping up to be pretty big. The live video conference with Mohamedou Ould Slahi is known across campus as: Torture and Forgiveness at Guantánamo Bay: A Conversation with Mohamedou Ould Slahi.


For a little bit about Mohamedou and this special event, here you go:

Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary, a first-hand account of his inhumane treatment as a prisoner at the Guantánamo Bay detention center, created a sensation when it was published in January 2015. Though heavily redacted by government censors, Slahi’s story of enduring humanity in the face of extreme hatred and suffering raised the level of discourse concerning our use of torture, approaches to addressing terrorism, and Muslim identity.

After more than 14 years of imprisonment, Slahi was released from Guantánamo Bay and is residing in his native Mauritania. The Center for Civil and Human Rights is now organizing a videoconference with Slahi on the occasion of the publication of the restored edition of his memoir, allowing the Notre Dame community to engage with him live. The event will also include expert discussants Larry Siems, the editor of Guantánamo Diary, and Juan Méndez, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and former CCHR Director. The event will be moderated by Christine Cervenak, Associate Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

The Sunday videoconference will be supplemented by related activities across campus

Torture and Forgiveness at Guantánamo Bay is a free, but ticketed event. Seating is limited and will be available beginning Monday, January 22 at 12:00 p.m. 

For more on this event please go to the website:


CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Learning Beyond the Classics in the Browning

Wednesdays this semester in the Browning, DPAC will cover important films of 1968 AND it will be offered as a (non-credit) class for the participants. The series will  feature talks with FTT professors and our own Cinema Director Ricky Herbst. Here is a little info on this:


The year 1968 stands as one of the most tumultuous in modern history. In the U.S., 1968 was marked by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, by the escalation of the war in Vietnam, by protests in the streets and at national political conventions, and by an election that carried Richard Nixon back into power. Globally, civic protests in Paris nearly brought down the government, and the push against Soviet power created the Prague Spring, which ushered in political liberalization.

Media were intertwined with these events as media in various forms shifted radically. Television news in the U.S. expanded to 30 minutes and added color, and prime-time programs dramatized narratives that incorporated the civil rights movement and other social changes. In Hollywood, the studio system and decency codes that dominated American cinema since the 1930s dissolved as independent producers and documentarians pioneered new forms of storytelling and visual representation.

This Learning Beyond the Classics Series poses a central question: what do the revolutions of 1968 mean to us today? How do the films, television programs, and print media of that time speak to our current moment?

This course is for general education and no credit is offered. Those who sign up for the series are not required to produce essays or take exams. Nothing is required to be brought to the weekly screenings, other than your ticket. Course materials will be emailed prior to each screening.

Learning Beyond the Classics is a new venture that looks to bring the film studies classroom experience to the general public. The series includes a weekly reading, a recorded introduction to the film you can listen to at your leisure, and a discussion after the film. All are welcome to sign up for the series. Come to explore and appreciate classic films at a new level.

Ricky has mentioned that if any if you want to participate and receive the course materials, please let us know. The fee for the course will be waived for all volunteers. For more info on this and a list of the films that will be shown, please go to the website: