A CENTURY OF COMMITMENT TO NOTRE DAME (video)
As part of the Monogram Club’s ongoing 100th anniversary celebration, some of the Club’s many connections to each Notre Dame program have been highlighted. This latest installment of the “Monogram Club Turns 100” series looks at the strong ties between the Monogram Club and the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program.
Here’s a look at how the Monogram Club and the Fighting Irish women’s basketball program have been intertwined throughout the years…
Women’s Basketball Monogram Moments
The Notre Dame women’s basketball program gained varsity status in 1977 and the Fighting Irish posted a 13-4 record in their inaugural campaign (1977-78).
Carol Lally Shields (’79), a captain on Notre Dame’s first varsity team, was awarded the Monogram Club’s Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award in 2006. She also was a Monogram Club director from 2005-08.
Laura Dougherty Ely (’85) is the most recent women’s basketball Monogram winner to serve on the Club’s board of directors. Ely, a Fighting Irish team captain as a senior, was a Monogram Club director from 2012-15.
Former Fighting Irish great Ruth Riley (’01) received the Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award, which is the Club’s highest honor, last February.
Former Notre Dame stars – and current associate coaches – Niele Ivey (’01) and Beth Morgan Cunningham (’97) both earned four Monograms during their playing days.
Head coach Muffet McGraw received an honorary Monogram in 1997.
Through the team-hosting program the Monogram Club funded the women’s basketball team’s trip to the Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami last January.
In 2014 the Monogram Club began issuing commencement stoles to graduating student-athletes and student support staff. Women’s basketball players Markisha Wright (left) and Whitney Holloway (right) are seen here proudly wearing their stoles during last spring’s graduation exercises inside Notre Dame Stadium.
The women’s basketball program’s most recent group of first-time Monogram winners received their letter jackets this fall during the Club’s letter jacket ceremony, which was established in 2009.
Dick Nussbaum (’74, ’77 baseball) presented the women’s basketball team’s 2009 Monogram Club Team MVP Award to Melissa Lechlitner, who also earned the award in 2010.
The women’s basketball team won the 2009 Trophy Award, which is co-sponsored by the Monogram Club and Alumni Association. The Trophy Award is presented each spring at the OSCARS gala and it recognizes the team that has demonstrated a commitment to the South Bend/Notre Dame community.
Bob Nagle, the voice of Fighting Irish women’s basketball, received an honorary Monogram in 2005.