Dec 16, 2013, 7:18 PM EST
In celebration of the Christmas season, the Notre Dame University Relations Division hosted Mass in the Keenan-Stanford Chapel and a luncheon in Club Naimoli on Friday afternoon.
Held as a gesture of gratitude to employees for their dedication throughout the year, the Monogram Club was proud to recognize one university relations leader in particular, for his tremendous contributions to Notre Dame and the athletics department.
Following the invocation, president emeritus Rev. Edward A. (Monk) Malloy, C.S.C. (’63, ’67, ’69), a basketball Monogram winner, introduced Vice President for University Relations Lou Nanni (’84, ’88) as the Club’s newest honorary Monogram recipient.
Before presenting the award, Fr. Malloy called a number of special guests into the room for the surprise. Among them were Nanni’s wife, Carmen (’93) and four of their children, his brother, Chris (’88, basketball), and his mother, as well as dear friends, Tom Conlin (’84, baseball), Peter Schivarelli (’71, football) and Dick Nussbaum (’74, ’77, baseball), the Monogram Club’s past president.
Malloy noted that Nanni’s honorary Monogram may have been the result of his wonderful professional accomplishments, both in his current role, and throughout his time serving the South Bend and Notre Dame communities, but joked that maybe it was his storied Bookstore Basketball career (and his time on Malloy’s team, All The President’s Men) that earned him the recognition.
“I’m delighted that you could join this distinguished company,” Malloy said. “I am proud to be a Monogram Club member myself, and we’re happy to welcome to this assembly, family and friends to celebrate this occasion with you.”
Nussbaum outfitted the Club’s latest honorary member with the renowned letter jacket, and Conlin, Nanni’s Sorin College roommate, read the words inscribed on the Monogram scroll.
Like many honorary recipients before him, Nanni was incredibly surprised, perhaps a tad embarrassed, and especially appreciative to receive the award.
“I’m honored and I thank you all for being here for this, but mostly, thanks again to the Monogram Club for this terrific honor for which I feel certainly undeserving, but more than grateful,” Nanni said.
“And thank you to all of you [University Relations employees], with whom, I was thinking at Mass today, I just feel really privileged to serve Notre Dame with every day. God bless.”
A 1984 graduate of Notre Dame, Nanni received his bachelor’s degree in government and the Program of Liberal Studies. After graduating, he served as a lay missioner in Santiago, Chile, before entering Notre Dame’s international peace studies program and earning a master’s in 1988.
Today, Nanni oversees development, advisory councils, special events and the Notre Dame Alumni Association. Before returning to his alma mater in 1999, he was executive director of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless for eight years.