Arts and Letters graduates among those to be honored by Alumni Association

Author: Arts and Letters

Four University of Notre Dame graduates will be honored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association during ceremonies on campus in November.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Philip Volpe , a 1977 Notre Dame graduate, board-certified family physician and director of health services at Fort Bragg, N.C., will receive the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award honoring distinguished military service during a halftime ceremony at the Notre Dame-Navy football game Nov. 3 (Saturday).

With more than 20 years of military service, Volpe is commanding general of the Army’s 44th Medical Command and corps surgeon for the XVIII Airborne Corps Battle Command. He was commissioned in 1983 as a captain in the Medical Corps after earning his bachelor’s degree in pre-professional studies at Notre Dame and his M.D. from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he was named valedictorian of his class.

Volpe’s numerous deployments include Operation Just Cause in Panama, Operation Hurricane Andrew Relief in South Florida, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Operation Clean Sweep in North Carolina, and numerous classified special operations missions.

As the command surgeon during Task Force Ranger operations in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 (also known as “Black Hawk Down”), Volpe helped save the lives of numerous critically wounded soldiers.

His many decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

U.S. Rep. Daniel Lungren , a Republican from California’s 3rd Congressional District and a 1968 Notre Dame graduate, will receive the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award on Nov. 8 (Thursday) in recognition of outstanding governmental, patriotic, public or political service.

Lungren earned his law degree in 1971from Georgetown University, where he served on the staffs of U.S. Sens. George Murphy (R-Calif.) and Bill Brock (R-Tenn.). From 1971 to 1972, he worked as a special assistant to the co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

First elected to office in 1978, Lungren, at age 32, challenged the two-term incumbent and won the congressional seat in California’s 34th district. For 10 years he served in Congress and was considered a leader in criminal justice and immigration issues. He later was elected attorney general of California, and during his eight years of service helped author California’s “Three-Strikes-and-You’re-Out” law, sponsored legislation that culminated in “Megan’s Law” and successfully argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1993 to 1998, the crime rate dropped by 30 percent to historic lows in California, in large part due to Lungren’s advocacy of tough-on-crime policies.

At the end of Lungren’s second term as attorney general, he became a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and served as a fellow in Harvard University’s Institute of Politics before returning to the private practice of law. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted him to return to Congress, where he now serves on the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees.

Barry W. Ryan , a 1962 graduate, and his wife, Jacquelyn, of Dauphin, Pa., will receive the Family Exemplar Award on Nov. 8, presented each year to an individual, couple or family, at least one of whom is a Notre Dame graduate, who have made an impact on society, the Catholic Church, politics, athletics or personal lifestyle as related to family values.

Barry is the owner and chief executive officer of Information Network Associates, and Jacquelyn is a teacher at Cathedral School in Harrisburg, Pa., where she founded an inner-city kindergarten for underprivileged children and has taught “pro-bono” for more than 20 years.

The Ryans have touched the lives of many through their organization of, and participation in, several ongoing volunteer projects that highlight the importance of family and community. They have implemented a number of initiatives to help the impoverished and underprivileged, including food and clothing drives, Christmas gift programs for needy children, and Sunday dinners for the homeless.

Together, the Ryans serve as volunteers for Birthright International, which seeks to help women cope with unplanned pregnancies. They also serve the Catholic Family Movement Group, which promotes Catholic family values and spiritual growth, and volunteer at the Lourdes House, a shelter for unwed mothers.

Aaron Taylor, a 1994 Notre Dame graduate, former Irish and NFL player and former college football analyst for ABC Sports, will receive the Harvey G. Foster Award on Nov. 9 (Friday) for athletic endeavors and civic or University service.

An offensive guard for Notre Dame, Taylor was drafted in 1994 by the Green Bay Packers, where he earned a Super Bowl ring in 1997. He played for the San Diego Chargers in 1998 and 1999 before retiring from the NFL because of knee injuries. He joined ABC Sports as a color commentator for college football and recently retired from broadcasting to devote time to his passion for philanthropy, including the Aaron Taylor IMPACT Fund, a non-profit organization that benefits programs for children in San Diego.After leaving professional football, Taylor earned a post-graduate degree in elementary education, and in 2001, participated in a volunteer placement program teaching English to high school students in South America. He also founded a project that built a community center and 40 temporary houses in the tsunami-ravaged village of Kosgoda, Sri Lanka.

President of the NFL Players Association for Retired Players in San Diego, Taylor currently is organizing a mentor program for NFL rookies, active players and retired players, and recently received the 10News Leadership Award for his work in Sri Lanka, mentoring children and with athletes in transition.

Originally published by Angela Sienko and Shannon Chapla at on October 29, 2007.