Four graduates 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 this month.

The Rev. Arthur S. Harvey, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes achievements in the performing arts, will be presented to Michael Swanson, a 1993 graduate, and his wife Christine, a 1994 graduate, for their dedication to producing morally resonant independent films, commercials and public service announcements through their production company, Faith Filmworks Inc. in Charlotte, N.C.

Named by CNN as “two to watch” in the entertainment industry, Michael is chief executive officer and producer of Faith Filmworks, and Christine serves as writer and director. The Swansons’ prizewinning works have been exhibited at numerous film festivals, including the Sundance, Santa Barbara and Hamptons International. Recent projects include “All About You,” “Two Seasons” and Woman Thou Art Loosed." In 2004 the Swansons’ two commercials for Notre Dame featuring television personality Regis Philbin and actor Martin Sheen, were awarded gold medals by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Rev. James J. Flanigan, C.S.C., a 1958 graduate who has taught at the University for 40 years, will receive the Rev. Anthony J. Lauck, C.S.C., Award for outstanding accomplishments in the fine and visual arts.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1962, Father Flanigan, formerly Notre Dame’s associate vice president for Student Affairs and rector of Dillon Hall, currently serves as an associate professor of art, art history and design and curator of the Snite Museum’s Mestrovic Collection. His own works, which abound on campus, include “Blessed Brother Andre, C.S.C.,” in the Eck Visitors’ Center, “Christ the Teacher” on the lawn north of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, “The Stations of the Cross” in the Sorin Hall Chapel, and “Mary, Seat of Wisdom” outside the Malloy Hall chapel.

The Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Award for outstanding humanitarian service will be presented to Mary McCann Sanchez, who earned her master’s degree from the University in 1979, then developed a passion for Central America while serving as a Holy Cross Associate in Chile.

After returning to the United States, Sanchez taught in a multi-cultural school in Chicago and with political asylum candidates through the Midwest Immigrant Rights Community. Motivated by the needs of refugees from Central America, she was drawn back through Catholic Relief Services as an educational advisor in a Salvadoran refugee camp, and the American Friends Service Committee, for which she helped support a civil society during the peace processes in El Salvador and Guatemala.

For the past five years Sanchez has assisted Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns in placing students in Honduras to tackle gender and AIDS issues, and last summer began serving as a consultant for development, social organization and trade in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Contact: Mary Patricia Dowling, Alumni Association, 574-631-4638,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on January 11, 2006.