Millions of Americans watched live nightly news coverage of the papal conclave in Vatican City, and if you happened to be watching NBC, you were likely being told the news by a Notre Dame alumna. Anne Thompson ’79 is NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent and has covered stories from the Gulf oil spill to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Given her Catholic background and previous reporting on the Church, Thompson was assigned to cover the conclave, much to her excitement.
Imagine you have just completed 26.2 miles of running, with legs like Jell-O, a headache, and worn-out lungs. Now imagine running that same marathon in the searing heat of the Sahara Desert or the blistering cold of the North Pole. That’s what Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters alumnus Michael Collins ’87, ’91 M.A. does. In addition to being an “ultra-marathoner,” Collins, who has a Ph.D. in English, is also a successful novelist and playwright.
With sports injuries a growing concern, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) decided last year to create a centralized medical office to improve safety in college sports nationwide. And they hired a Domer to do it. In October, the NCAA named Dr. Brian Hainline ’78 as the NCAA’s first ever chief medical officer. At Notre Dame, Hainline took the Arts and Letters pre-med track, which allowed him to study philosophy, too.
The Spider-Man series, The Avengers, the X-Men series—these films, produced by Marvel Comics’ production company, Marvel Studios, are some of the highest-grossing films of the 21st century. All are based on characters and stories from Marvel comic books, and it’s the job of Bill Rosemann ’93 to keep those characters and stories coming. Rosemann, an editor at Marvel Comics’ New York office, read comics in his youth and majored in English at Notre Dame.
Plenty of American office workers have used a Keurig coffee maker for a boost by now, and they can thank a Domer for the ubiquitous caffeine machine. Chris Stevens ’74 is one of the original four co-founders of Keurig Premium Coffee Systems. Launched in 1998, the company is now the largest seller of coffee brewers in America. Stevens, who majored in economics, is the vice president of corporate relations for Keurig.
Like many other veterans, Michael Zacchea ’90 returned from service in the Iraq War after an injury and struggled at times to readjust to life outside of the military. Now, the English and classics major is helping other disabled American troops on the same return journey to civilian life.