May 16, 2016, 3:59 PM EST
While the Monogram Club and the Notre Dame athletics department are proud to issue commencement stoles to graduating student-athletes and student support staff, commencement scarfs may have been more appropriate this year.
Attending an event at Notre Dame Stadium in 30-degree weather isn’t unprecedented, doing so in mid-May is. However, despite the chilly conditions, it was a great weekend for Notre Dame’s 171st Commencement Ceremony.
Over 200 Monogram winners officially became Notre Dame graduates and the Monogram Club was thrilled to see many of them at Saturday morning’s Fourth Quarter Farewell, which has become a popular destination for graduates, their families, friends, coaches and administrators during commencement weekend.
“Thank you for all you have done to help your sons and daughters be here today and graduating from not only a great university, but commencing with a great experience,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick (’76, honorary) to the families in attendance at the Fourth Quarter Farewell.
“To the student-athletes, I want to thank you for accepting the challenge of being a member of a new family. You have served that family remarkably well. Across all our sports during your four years here, we won more than 70 percent of our contests. We never finished out of the top 10 in the Directors’ Cup, the measure of performance for all of our sports. We never finished lower than third, and virtually every year finished first, in both graduation success rate and the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate.”
“As I told you four years ago, stay closely connected to your family at home and I hope you will now stay closely connected to your new Notre Dame family,” said Swarbrick. “Because in the years ahead our commitment to you remains the same as it was these last four years. We are here to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Whether it’s a phone call or a visit away, we can help you in your careers, your professional development or your personal lives and I hope you will not hesitate.”
Men’s soccer goalkeeper, and class of 2016 member, Brian Talcott was the featured student-athlete speaker. Among his many accolades, Talcott recently was awarded the Monogram Club’s postgraduate scholarship.
“I am confident that every single one of us have been knocked out of our comfort zone in some respect at Notre Dame,” said Talcott. “For some this occurred on the field, track, floor or rink. For others it was in the classroom. For most of us, it was in both. I have no doubt that not only facing, but embracing these challenges, have forged who we have become today. We’ve become better athletes, better students and, most importantly, better people.
“Through the athletic and academic challenges during my four years at Notre Dame, I’ve come to realize one thing; long after the memories of the goals and the grades fade, what will remain are the memories of the relationships I’ve built with my 51 former teammates and the good ole days. This is what I will take most with me from my experience as a student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame and it is what I will miss most.”
Several Fighting Irish student-athletes juggled competition and commencement during the weekend. Both the men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse teams won NCAA tournament contests on campus, while several other student-athletes competed in various contests around the country.
Here’s a look back at commencement weekend 2016…
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Congrats to all my fellow @notredame EMBA classmates at graduation today, I have loved learning from you all and am excited to see the impact our 2016 class will have on the world!! In 2001 I went from ND to @wnba player and now in 2016 I go from ND to WNBA @sastars management. Notre Dame not only has given me an incredible education, it has connected me with some of the most amazing people I have met, and it inspires me to be the best version of myself and to use what I have to make a meaningful difference in the world. I am beyond blessed to be a Double Domer!! Today I close one chapter to immediately open another, excited for the WNBA opening night!! #goirish #GoStarsGo 📚🎓🍀🏀