The largest construction project in the 175-year history of the University of Notre Dame – an 800,000-square-foot integration of world-class space for teaching, research, performances, faith, multimedia, student life and athletics – is nearing completion, with several components now open or opening over the next two weeks and most of the other facilities ready for occupancy in January. The buildings include the new homes of the Deparment of Anthropology, Department of Psychology, Department of Music, and Sacred Music at Notre Dame.
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The University of Notre Dame has received a $1.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program and its transformative work with graduate students and the community. This is the program’s second grant from the Lilly Endowment — a private, philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development — following a $1.9 million grant in 2012 that helped launch SMND.
Erin Rice ’17 has been named one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Rice is the seventh student in the last 10 years from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters to win the Student Merit Award at IDSA’s Midwest District Design Conference.
One of the most innovative and new pieces of popular culture emerged in 1914 when Winsor McCay, a famous cartoonist and vaudeville performer, incorporated an animated cartoon called Gertie into his act. Despite its popularity at the time, the original film and the paper drawings for it have all but been forgotten over the past 100 years. But now, faculty members in Notre Dame's Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are working to change that by collaborating internationally to restore the film and to research the history surrounding its cultural impact.
Brian Edlefson, a Notre Dame assistant professor of visual communication design, has won a prestigious international award for his design work showing how people can adjust their office furniture to shape their work environments. Edlefson won an iF Design Award for user adjustment information he created for furniture maker Herman Miller. Edelfson’s design was selected by a 58-member jury of the iF International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany, from more than 5,500 entries submitted from 59 countries.
The first Notre Dame App Challenge concluded with presentations by each of the four final teams to the judging committee and the public in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium on campus. South Bend City Connect, an app aimed at reducing the additional cost of poverty for South Bend residents, took the top prize of $7,500. The idea for the app was created by graduate students Miriam Moore and Robbin Forsyth, who are both pursuing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in design.
Kiera Duffy, associate professor of the practice in Notre Dame’s Department of Music, recently received the 2017 Hunt Family Award for Emerging Artists from New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The award honors the soprano’s outstanding artistry and promising future. “Lincoln Center has such meaning in my life — as it does for every classical musician. It is the cultural hub of North America,” she said. “So for Lincoln Center to honor what I’m doing is very humbling and a lovely validation.”
Notre Dame associate professor Heather Hyde Minor specializes in the history of European art and architecture from 1600 to 1800. Her current research project examines the life of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, an 18th-century German art historian and archaeologist whom many consider to be the founder of the modern discipline of art history.
Peter Holland, the College of Arts and Letters’ associate dean for the arts and the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, has been named chair of the International Shakespeare Association. Holland, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, was selected by the association’s executive committee from candidates nominated worldwide for the prestigious position. The association, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of Shakespeare, seeks to further the study of the playwright’s life and to connect Shakespeareans and Shakespeare societies around the world.
Barry Lopez’s work has taken him to more than 80 countries over the past 50 years, including some of the most inhospitable places on earth. But on March 9, Lopez is coming home to his alma mater to discuss a topic both timely and close to his heart: the writer’s role in engaging the public on environmental issues.
Senior Dan Lopes’ project “Scoop Pet Food Dispenser” received a third-place award, and senior Erin Rice’s project “Lead Animal Control Cage” received honorable mention.
The gift was made to the University by Helen Schwab and her husband, Charles, in honor of her brother Joe O’Neill. O’Neill Hall joins Corbett Family Hall and the Duncan Student Center as the three structures surrounding Notre Dame Stadium, and will be a six-story, 100,000-square-foot building for the Department of Music, the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, and hospitality space, with completion scheduled for August.
An interdisciplinary team of four Notre Dame students won second place Friday (January 27) in the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition. Mark Davidson, Jessica Klouda, Erin Rice, and Madeline Zupan were honored for their project, “The Spirit of the Isle,” a manmade island where guests enter from behind a waterfall to experience an engaging amphitheatre, explore sweeping terraces, or venture into a cave beneath the falls, which can double as an ice-skating rink in winter.
Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory John Liberatore—who was recently awarded a prestigious fellowship from the MacDowell Colony— has been awarded a second fellowship from the Millay Colony for the Arts.
Beginning Monday (Jan. 16), the University of Notre Dame will host a series of events to mark both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Walk the Walk Week. The observances celebrate the diversity that currently exists on the University’s campus and offer an opportunity to reflect on how each member of the campus community can take an active role in making the University more welcoming and inclusive.
Even during fall break, College of Arts and Letters students were hard at work. They toured Latin America to perform sacred music. They gathered to collaborate on senior thesis projects and dissertations. And they traveled to major cities across the U.S. to explore career options and network with Notre Dame alumni.
The nominations have been revealed for the 2017 Grammy Awards and the Department of Music’s artist-in-residence Nathan Gunn has been nominated, in the category of Best Opera Recording, for the recording of Jennifer Higdon’s opera Cold Mountain.
Stephen Lancaster, an associate professor of the practice in voice in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, has been awarded the 2016 American Prize in Vocal Performance. Lancaster, who is also head of the graduate studio in voice, won the prize for the men in art song and oratorio, professional division.
A unique collaboration between the Notre Dame Children’s Choir and a Sacred Music at Notre Dame graduate student aims to invigorate ancient pieces of music and make them more accessible and enjoyable for modern audiences. Released by the Dynamic Catholic Institute, O Emmanuel is already attracting attention, debuting this week at No. 1 on Billboard’s traditional classical albums chart and No. 3 on the classical albums chart. A review in Catholic World Report described it as “the best jazz infusion into contemporary Christmas music since Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”
Christmas nativity scenes recreated by cultures from around the world are on display in six Notre Dame campus buildings through Jan. 31, 2017. The third annual International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage features 30 crèches on loan from the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. The exhibit is sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life.
1916 The Irish Rebellion was awarded "Best Documentary Series" at the 2016 Irish Film and Television Award ceremony, held on Friday, Oct. 7, in Dublin. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the three-part series tells the dramatic story of the events that took place in Dublin during Easter Week 1916, when a small group of Irish rebels took on the might of the British Empire.
A documentary by two Notre Dame student filmmakers has been featured in 12 film festivals across the country and won numerous awards. It's the latest success story for documentarians from Notre Dame, a line that extends from How to Die in Oregon director Peter Richardson to The Great Alone’s Greg Kohs to Wordplay director Patrick Creadon. That tradition of excellence extends to 2015 graduate Dylan Parent, whose short documentary on a Holocaust survivor screened at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and Erin Zacek ’11 and Dan Moore ’11, whose film was chosen for the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival.
For a talented group of students and young alumni from Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the dream of having their film screened at a Los Angeles film festival was realized this summer. The showcase, hosted by the College of Arts and Letters, was held at the Directors Guild of America Theatre this summer. It featured six student films and a short documentary from the “First Time Fans” series, directed by alumni filmmakers.
From the first flicker of life in Frankenstein’s monster to the spark of unexpected connection between two high school students, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre’s 2016-17 theatre season features an array of diverse, compelling productions. The department will present two student-written plays, In Paradisum and The Pink Pope, followed by an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, and Christ’s Passion: Medieval Mystery Plays.
Two faculty members and former chairs who were instrumental in the development of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are taking their final bows. Mark Pilkinton, who expanded the department in the 1980s and pushed for the building of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, retired this summer. Donald Crafton unified the department during his tenure as chair and expanded it to include film and television studies. He will retire after the fall semester.
In his second term as poet laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera will visit the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 5 and 6 (Wednesday and Thursday). Herrera’s stay on campus includes a poetry reading with opening remarks from University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., as well as a reception and visits and lunch with students.
The University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art presents Raising Children for Strangers, featuring the latest work of the Brooklyn-based, Taiwanese-American artist Fay Ku. The special exhibition is a collaboration between the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Liu Institute of Asia and Asian Studies, and the Snite Museum. The seven pieces featured in the exhibit are hybrid works of art that, to use the artist’s own words, “adopt visual tropes from both Western art and found images from social media to create tableaux that are open-ended narratives.”
Singer, songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren will serve as an artist-in-residence for the Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) at the University of Notre Dame from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1. During his residency, Rundgren will teach several classes, work with students and teachers in the South Bend/Mishawaka community, perform with student bands in a concert Oct. 1 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, organize an on-campus collection of used musical instruments for national redistribution to music students in need and, in conjunction with his Spirit of Harmony Foundation, present an award to Notre Dame alumnus Bill Hurd.
Political science major Patrick Vassel '07 didn’t come to Notre Dame dreaming of a career on Broadway. But a path that began with acting and directing in shows on campus has led him to New York's biggest stage. He's now associate director of Hamilton, the blockbuster musical that's won Tony Awards, a Grammy, and the Pulitzer Prize. Vassel has been a key figure in the show's development, working with actors and technicians night in and night out.
This summer the 2016 Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival is continuing its celebration of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with numerous theatrical events. Shakespearean actors of all ages from throughout the Michiana area will take the Washington Hall stage for performances of “ShakeScenes” July 16 and July 17. From July 17 through August 22, the Festival’s Young Company will perform Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre at outdoor venues throughout Michiana. And 14 performances of Shakespeare’s The Tempest will take place August 16-28 at Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.