Alumni Association honors three graduates

Author: Arts and Letters

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Three University of Notre Dame graduates received special awards from the Notre Dame Alumni Association on campus this month.

* The Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes achievements in the performing arts, was presented to NASCAR and former music industry executive Max L. Siegel, a 1986 graduate who earned his law degree from Notre Dame in 1992.

The highest-ranking African-American in NASCAR, Siegel is the president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI), where he oversees competition, marketing, sales, sponsorship and distribution for DEI motor sports teams, licensing, promotion, and business development, and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.

Siegel, a former executive for Sony BMG/Zomba Label Group, held dual positions as senior vice president of Zomba Label and president of Zomba Gospel. During his tenure at Sony BMG, he helped the company score 16 gold and platinum records and more No. 1 hits than ever before. He served on the executive team that produced pop artists including Usher, Justin Timberlake and N’Sync.

An accomplished entertainment executive, attorney, author and television and film producer, Siegel is one of the most sought-after names in the entertainment industry. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, ESPN and National Public Radio, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today, the New York Times, Crain’s New York Business, Black Enterprise and Billboard Magazine.

* Award-winning author Michael Collins, who was graduated from Notre Dame in 1987 and earned his master’s degree from the University in 1991, received the Rev. Robert F. Griffin, C.S.C., Award in recognition of outstanding literary achievements.

Collins is the author of two collections of short stories and six novels: “The Secret Life of E. Robert Pendleton,” “Lost Souls,” “The Resurrectionists,” “Emerald Underground,” “The Keepers of Truth,” and “Death of a Writer,” which have been translated into 17 languages. He won the Pushcart Best American Short Story, Irish Novel of the Year, and London Times Book of the Year awards. In addition, he three times earned New York Times Notable Book of the Year awards. Last year, “Death of a Writer” was named Novel of the Year in France, and a film adaptation of “The Resurrectionists,” to be released in 2009, will be directed by Oscar-winner John Madden, whose credits include “Shakespeare in Love.”

Collins attended Notre Dame on an athletic scholarship in cross country and track, and is a former winner of the North Pole, South Pole, Everest and Sub-Sahara marathons. Last year, he finished fifth at the USATF 50-Mile Championships — a performance that earned him a spot on the U. S. national team. However, Collins opted to represent his native Ireland at the World 100k Championships in Holland, where he set a national record for 100 kilometers (62 miles).

* The Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Award for outstanding service was presented to Dr. Edward Charles Murphy, a neurosurgeon who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Notre Dame in 1965 and 1966.

A member of the Board of Governors for St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston and Patients Medical Center in Pasadena, Texas, Murphy’s passion for community service began during his undergraduate days at Notre Dame. Soon after his arrival on campus, he joined a group of students doing informal missionary work in Mexico an initiative that eventually led to the creation of the University’s Center for Social Concerns.

Murphy attended Northwestern University Medical School, and while in Chicago, he mentored high school students from his local parish and volunteered in clinics for the poor. During his residency at Baylor College of Medicine, he co-founded the Houston Community Youth Center for Boys and Girls and later started a neurosurgery practice, served as a faculty member at Baylor and raised six children – four of whom he adopted as a single parent.

In the 1980s, Murphy served as the doctor for St. Mary’s Seminary, was knighted by the approval of the Vatican, and became a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he visited his homeland of Lima, Peru, where he provided medical care to impoverished citizens. He is the founder of the Texas Medical Mission, an organization working to facilitate the development of the Dos de Mayo National Hospital, which serves more than 8 million people and is known as the “hospital for the poor” in Lima.

Originally published by Angela Sienko and Shannon Chapla at on January 31, 2008.