Mar 20, 2017, 10:30 AM EDT
For certain Notre Dame student-athletes, the Monogram Club puts them on scholarship once their playing days are over.
In the late 2000s the Monogram Club explored ways to enhance its connection with current student-athletes and student support staff which led to the creation of a postgraduate scholarship. Since 2009 the Club has annually awarded a $5,000 grant to a graduating male and female Monogram winner in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and potential for success in postgraduate study. To date the Monogram Club has issued $80,000 to the 16 recipients.
“The Monogram Club scholarship has reduced some of the financial stressors I’ve encountered and allowed me to more fully embrace my medical school studies and focus on cultivating those core values that will allow me to become the physician I aspire to be,” says Chris Iverson (‘12, manager), who received the scholarship in 2012 and will graduate in May from the University of Iowa with an MD degree along with an MBA.
“In many ways, my medical school experience has been like a full-time job,” adds Iverson. “The hours previously spent coordinating practice drills and ensuring game days run smooth as a student manager have been replaced by time spent in the library attempting to fully understand various human body systems in the hopes that my furthered mastery will improve the care I provide to my future patients.”
The scholarship is funded through the Club’s annual membership contributions which means Monogram winners from as far back as the 1940s are helping graduates from the 2010s achieve their professional dream. There might not be a better illustration of the Monogram Club’s motto of Bridging the Gap Between Legend and Legacy.
“Since the Club has had a great amount of success with the Brennan-Boland-Riehle Scholarship Fund, which helps out children of Monogram winners attending Notre Dame, we wanted to look at ways where we could do more for current student-athletes and student support staff,” says former Monogram Club president Joe Restic (‘79, football) on the genesis of the postgraduate scholarship. “We had a lot of senior Monogram winners going on to get graduate degrees and we wanted to find a way to help them take that next step.”
“I am very thankful for the financial assistance that the scholarship provides, but beyond the financial assistance, it is great just to have the support and encouragement of the Monogram Club to pursue postgraduate studies,” says Sarah Kappers (‘16, rowing), a 2016 scholarship recipient who will start her postgraduate studies at Northwestern University in August.
The Club’s awards committee reviews all submitted applications before selecting the two recipients, who are then announced each spring at the O.S.C.A.R.S. (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievement & Recognition Showcase) awards gala.
“I’ve been on the committee that looks at the applicants and I’m just amazed at the quality of applicants that we get,” states Restic. “It’s tremendous what these student-athletes are doing in terms of community service, success in the classroom and certainly on the field. It’s tough to pick winners every year.”
The Monogram Club awards the scholarships with the utmost confidence that the recipients will continue to strive for greatness just as they did during their time at Notre Dame. There are high demands placed on Notre Dame student-athletes and student support staff, but the lessons learned as an undergrad can have a lasting impact.
“My skills developed as a student-athlete at Notre Dame improved my adjustment to graduate school,” says Kelly Curran (‘14, cross country/track & field), who garnered the scholarship in 2014 and is now in her third year at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. “Relative to many of my peers, I was more accustomed to a demanding schedule. My time-management skills were implemented and allowed me to set aside time for forming friendships as well as my schoolwork. I feel that Notre Dame prepared me well for the increasing demands of my postgraduate program and future career.”
The scholarships are a way to pay it forward to individuals who represent the future of the Monogram Club. It will fall upon them, and their peers, to be the leaders who continue the Club’s mission of delivering on the 40-year promise bestowed upon Monogram winners.
“My advice to current and future student-athletes would be to take advantage of all the resources offered by the Monogram Club and Notre Dame as a whole,” says 2016 scholarship recipient Brian Talcott (‘16, soccer) who currently is enrolled at the University of Iowa College of Law. “The Monogram Club is such a valuable asset to student-athletes, not only because it provides opportunities like the postgraduate scholarship, but also because it provides people who genuinely want to help you achieve your goals. The Monogram Club is a perfect example of the goodness that Notre Dame represents.
“The postgraduate scholarship has been a blessing. Not only is it helping me obtain a life-long goal, but it is allowing me to enjoy my experience here at Iowa Law. There are a tremendous amount of responsibilities and things to think about while attending graduate school, and the scholarship has minimized this burden and permitted me to focus on my studies.”
While the end of a student-athlete’s playing career finishes one chapter, the Monogram Club is eager to help them write the rest of the book.