Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Have a good read...and a good feed: Stories from ND Magazine

The menus for Notre Dame's
Thanksgiving meals in 1939 and 1941
In "Philosophy that Feeds the Soul" Allan LaReau '70 (father of my classmate Renee!) recalls that the late Joseph Evans, Notre Dame professor of philosophy "commissioned us to return home for the holiday and have a good read...and a good feed." He adds, "It seemed like more than a clever farewell rather a reminder to nourish our minds, bodies and souls—the whole person." What a great message to give to students before the Thanksgiving break! I'd like to tuck this away for future use and in the meantime offer a morsels of food for thought, Sports and Spirituality style.

Notre Dame Magazine is fortified with stories, essays and updates that are full of fiber, high in Vitamin C and D and worth integrating into my literary diet. Occasionally it can be overwhelming to choose what to ingest and digest. Hoping that you might have time for a good read in the next few days, I would like to recommend the following updates from the magazine that serve as Chicken Soup for the Sports and Spirituality soul. Enjoy.

Ivey to Grow in Memphis: (good fun with that headline!) For Irish Women's basketball fans, Niele Ivey '00 is a Hall of Fame name. As a player on the 2001 National Championship team and as a coach for the 2015 National Championship team, Ivey has been a part of the program from 17 years combined. 

"Now she’s blazing a new trail, becoming the first female assistant coach for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and just the ninth woman to coach in the league."

The Irish loss is the Grizzlies' gain. And yet, it's a win for both programs.

Pardon the Disruption. "The Athletic was born as many business ventures are: in an attempt to fill a void. In Hansmann’s and Mather’s case, that meant figuring out a way to monetize first-rate digital sports journalism — inside information and analysis from reporters who have the sources and insights that only come from experience on the beat."

When I first learned about this upstart sports news outlet, I was skeptical. As a sports fan, I hear and read ever more from "The Athletic" and others who reference it nearly every day. I had no idea the co-founder is a Notre Dame grad, but since he is I now know his story. It's a good one. 
First Steps to Fitness: Friendship "The most indicative facet of gauging a person’s overall well-being: relationships." Here's what happens when you combine THAT with fitness. 

Not sure I needed a professor of computer science and engineering to convince me otherwise, but it never hurts to get that reminder...oh, and back it with research. Good stuff.

ACC jumps into the revenue stream. A little more context and insight for why we were prevented from seeing Notre Dame beat Duke 38-7.  Meh.
Read about Chris fromThe Observer here
Deaths in the Family: It is rare to see a current student profiled in this section. Though I did not know Chris Westdyk ’19, the photograph used in the magazine (not available online) captures a his spirit and makes me feel like I do. 

Throughout the month of November, we remember those who have died. I am grateful for the Catholic tradition, the Communion of saints. As Ginny Kubitz Moyer writes "it’s the belief that there’s a family bond, a communion, between all believers in Christ – those who have died, as well as those of us who are still alive." Such bonds are strengthened when we share the stories—the life and legacy of those we love and have lost. Here is one worth reading (in full, below) and sharing.

"Chris Westdyk ’19 suffered from melanoma in high school and college, battling the disease with quiet dignity while pursuing his passions with unstinting enthusiasm. He devoted himself to Stanford Hall, where he spent his senior year as a resident assistant, had served as a Welcome Weekend ambassador and designed the dorm flag.

The pre-med and economics double major, who received his degree in a South Bend hospital room during a special ceremony with University President Rev. John I. Jenkins ’76, ’78M.A., was also active in the Alliance for Catholic Education and the Center for Social Concerns’ Appalachia program.

An avid runner, Westdyk completed the New York City Marathon in November 2018, running to raise money for research and treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His friend Lydia Piendel ’18 recalled in The Observer how he urged her on during their runs together.

“It felt like it should have been the other way around, like I should be the one encouraging him,” Piendel said, “but it didn’t go that way.”

To those in the Notre Dame community who knew Westdyk best, such inspiration will be his enduring legacy. He died June 3 at age 22."

Happy Thanksgiving to all. To give thanks is a privilege. Notre Dame, the Notre Dame family and all the nourishment it has and continues to offer me are among my greatest blessings.

Photo Credits
All from ND Magazine

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