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Two Arts and Letters Graduates Receive Alumni Association Awards

Author: Arts and Letters

Two University of Notre Dame graduates received special awards from the Notre Dame Alumni Association during Alumni Senate 2009 on campus.

Missy Conboy, a 1982 graduate and longtime University employee, received the James E. Armstrong Award for distinguished service to Notre Dame.

The University’s deputy director of athletics, Conboy came to Notre Dame in 1987 when she joined the staff as assistant athletic director. She also has served as senior associate athletic director, associate athletic director, assistant athletic director and interim director of athletics.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Conboy was a four-year member of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team and led the team as a senior captain. She received her law degree from the University of Kansas in 1985. She then became an enforcement representative for the NCAA and spent two years in that capacity, investigating infraction reports and processing cases for the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

In her current position, Conboy is responsible for overseeing the legal affairs of the athletics department as well as the master plans for facilities, human resources and legal contracts. In addition to her role as liaison to the Athletic Affairs Committee and the Board of Trustees, Conboy is the sport administrator for volleyball, women’s tennis and men’s and women’s swimming, fencing and rowing programs.

Throughout her career at Notre Dame, Conboy has overseen NCAA compliance and event management for the athletics department. She served as a member of the NCAA’s Legislative Review, Interpretations and Men’s Tennis Committees, and was instrumental in bringing the 1994 Division I Men’s Tennis Championships and 1998 Division I Women’s Tennis Championships to Notre Dame. In addition, she has chaired the Big East Senior Women’s Administrators’ Committee; served on the Academic Honors, Finance, Volleyball, Executive and Championships Committees; and recently was appointed to serve on the Committee on Infractions and the Executive Committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

The Rev. Louis J. Putz, C.S.C., Award was presented to Arthur C. Frericks, a 1950 Notre Dame graduate and former student of Father Putz, for his exemplary dedication to improving the lives of others.

The father of five adopted children with the help of Catholic Charities, Frericks held top leadership positions with the Catholic Charities in Fort Wayne, Ind., and was instrumental in building a Catholic nursing home in the city and establishing its first lay board.

In the 1990s, Frericks brought the spiritual practice of the Centering Prayer to numerous parishes. He trained seven parishes in his diocese, and ultimately wrote a book on Centering Prayer—an effort to empower the laity in their prayer life. Frericks also started the first finance committee in the country to establish a social security system for priests.

More recently, Frericks made a significant donation to Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart—a bronze statue of Saint Peter that was used as the model to create the Vatican’s Saint Peter statue. In addition, Frericks donated monies to establish —now a focal point for alumni to connect to a life of prayer from Notre Dame— and his ideas were foundational in establishing the Web site’s mission, design and outreach.

Originally published by Angela Sienko at on April 27, 2009.