Apr 22, 2016, 2:55 PM EDT
Everyone’s journey to earning a Monogram is unique. While the sport or activity might be the same, odds are the path to that milestone had different directions, turns and detours. Some students earn a Monogram for their contributions as a freshman, others achieve that status in their fifth year.
On Tuesday, the paths of 74 Notre Dame students converged at Club Naimoli for the Monogram Club’s spring Monogram Jacket Ceremony. This group of first-time Monogram winners brought with them family, friends, teammates and coaches to share in this achievement, which gave them the chance to don the iconic Monogram jacket for the first time.
The Monogram Jacket Ceremony, which is held twice a year and covers all sports and support groups, began in 2008 and holds a special place within Notre Dame athletics. Tuesday’s honorees came from cheerleading, cross country, football, soccer, volleyball along with student athletic trainers, managers and video technicians.
Taking to the podium at the event were individuals who represented four decades of Notre Dame athletics. Monogram Club executive director Brant Ust (’00, baseball) provided the opening remarks before Notre Dame senior deputy athletics director Missy Conboy (’82, basketball) delivered a speech on behalf of the athletics department.
“We congratulate you on the hard work that brought you here,” said Conboy. “We compel and exhort you to aim even higher. With the talent gathered in these seats we can’t wait to see how you will mold and shape the future of the Monogram Club.”
The featured alumni speaker was former Fighting Irish All-America center Jeff Faine (’03, football). Faine earned three Monograms during his playing days at Notre Dame before going on to enjoy a 10-year career in the NFL. He currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a managing partner at Iron Lion Financial and takes part in great philanthropic work.
“Since transitioning from cleats to dress shoes, I’ve realized a desire to throw gasoline on the potential that is within young athletes like yourselves,” stated Faine to the group. “I find myself responsible to help create the shift that can deliver greatness. I ask you to do the same; pay it forward to the younger versions of yourselves. Protect our brand by making the right mark on the younger Notre Dame.”
A fitting touch to every Monogram Jacket Ceremony is the student-athlete speech. Men’s soccer goalkeeper Chris Hubbard, a junior, concluded Tuesday’s event with some reflections on his Notre Dame experience to this stage of his career.
“Notre Dame can empower you to accomplish your goals and that’s what makes this place so unique,” said Hubbard. “So much of who I am today is because of Notre Dame. The challenges, the successes and failures I have seen here have made me a better athlete, a better student and have shaped me to who I am as a person. It has defined what I find important in life.”
2016 Spring Monogram Jacket Ceremony
First-Time Monogram Winners
Student Athletic Trainers
Mary Grace Gallagher
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Olivia Chen (manager)
Steven Doyle (manager)
Edward (Ned) D’Arcy (video technician)
Equanimeous St. Brown
Sara Chesser (manager)
Adrian Wolff (manager)