Alumni Association presents eight awards

Author: Arts and Letters


The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association presented eight awards during ceremonies on campus last month.

  • Rev. George Rozum, C.S.C. , a 1961 graduate and rector of Alumni Hall for 28 years, was honored during a surprise ceremony with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his exemplary service to the University.

Father Rozum came to Notre Dame after eight years as associate pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas. After a year’s sabbatical at Moreau Seminary, he became assistant rector in the former Holy Cross Hall. The following year he was put in charge of Alumni Hall, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

  • The William D. Reynolds Award, which recognizes distinguished service to young people, was presented to David Cleary , a 1963 graduate and president of Cleary & Oxford Associates in Alexandria, Va.

Cleary is the founder of both Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, which works to promote the well-being of children, improve parent-child relations and prevent child abuse and neglect, and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Alexandria and Fairfax, Va., which provides courtroom advocacy for children in abuse and neglect cases. He also is a former Minnesota state legislator and, in 1976 served in the prestigious White House Fellowship program.

  • The Mike Russo Character Award, established in 2004, was presented to Notre Dame sophomores *Amanda Cinalli * and *Benjamin Gunty * in recognition of achievement, service to Notre Dame and strength of character.

A preprofessional studies (pre-med) major, Cinalli is a forward on the women’s soccer team and collected first team all-Big East and freshman All-America honors during the team’s 2004 national title season. She also is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is actively involved with youth activities at the Robinson Community Learning Center and Granger Community Church. A volunteer at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Cinalli entertains children and assists doctors and nurses through the Helpful Undergraduate Students (HUGS) program.

Gunty is a Program of Liberal Studies major who has devoted much of his time at Notre Dame to service, as a retreat facilitator and speaker at St. Joseph Grade School in South Bend, day care assistant for Circle of Mercy, and project leader for the Student International Business Council. A resident of Siegfried Hall, Gunty helped welcome freshman as a “Frosh-O” staff member, and serves as the captain of two hall athletic teams and elected hall senator. He also is involved with PILLARS, a volunteer student group that coordinates alcohol and drug prevention activities on campus.

  • Benny Morten , a 1999 graduate who earned his master’s degree through the University’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, received the Young Alumni Award for his “inspirational accomplishments” since leaving Notre Dame.

Morten taught math and science and served as assistant principal at Saint Anthony Catholic School in Harlingen, Texas, during which time he also was a member of the first ACE Leadership Program. Currently, he is the principal of Saint Ann Catholic School in Pilsen, Ill., where he has established a development program to help alleviate fundraising burdens for the predominantly Hispanic students’ families. An active member of the Notre Dame Club of Chicago, Morten serves on the Diversity Committee and the ACE Fellowship in Chicago.

  • The Rev. Robert F. Griffin, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes outstanding literary achievements, was presented to Kenneth L. Woodward , a 1957 graduate.

The author of three books and a contributing editor for Newsweek, Woodward served for 38 years as the magazine’s religion editor and has written more than 800articles, including more than 100 cover stories. He writes regularly for major publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commonweal and First Things. Woodward’s many literary honors include a National Magazine Award and 11 Wilbur Awards, and his articles have been included in “The Best American Spiritual Writing” and “The Best Catholic Writing.”

  • Randy W. Young , a 1972 graduate, and his wife, Julie, received the Family Exemplar Award for their commitment to improving the lives of children and families through their work with the Boy and Girl Scouts and St. Vincent Parish community of Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Randy has been a scoutmaster since 1977, and has served as a coach, tour leader and camp master. He also has been a youth coordinator and youth director at St. Vincent Parish, as well as secretary of the Downtown Kiwanis Club. A 1999 recipient of Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash award, Randy’s honors also include the Indiana Youth Investment Award.

Julie has served as a Girl Scout leader in a Brownie troup, and, among many other retreats, helped lead a group from St. Vincent Parish to see the pope at World Youth Day in Denver.

  • *Noreen Keating * received the Rev. Louis J. Putz, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes senior-led service.

President of the Lighthouse of Oakland County, Mich., from 1985 to 2005, Keating helped organize numerous services throughout the county, including a food bank, homeless shelter, transitional housing program, community housing development, emergency services facility and Montessori child care center for at-risk children. A board member of the League of Catholic Women, Hospice of Southern Michigan, and vice president of the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Board of Trustees, Keating also has been honored as one of Detroit’s Enterprising Women in 2004 and Michiganian of the Year in 1999. She and her husband, Terry, a 1960 graduate, live in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on May 05, 2006.