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Catching Up With The Monogram Club

Sep 1, 2017, 9:58 AM EDT

Eva Niklinska ('17, fencing) was a recipient of the Monogram Club's postgraduate scholarship.

Note: This story appears in the Notre Dame-Temple game day program.

From celebrating the past, strengthening the present and building towards the future, here is just some of what the Monogram Club has been doing since the conclusion of last football season.

Inaugural Jesse Harper Award Presented To Jim Gibbons
The Monogram Club established the Jesse Harper Award during its 100th anniversary in 2016 as another way to highlight the great accomplishments of its members. The award recognizes Monogram Club members who have demonstrated a committed involvement with the Notre Dame athletics department and University. Jim Gibbons (`53, baseball & basketball) was the first recipient of the award.


In 1956, Jim Gibbons, the inaugural Jesse Harper Award recipient, returned to coach at Notre Dame and he spent the next 43 years working at his alma mater.

Gibbons earned three Monograms in basketball and two in baseball during his playing days at Notre Dame. He returned to his alma mater in 1956 and spent the next 43 years working at the University. He served as an assistant coach for both the Fighting Irish baseball and basketball programs for six years before transitioning to a position in University Relations. He later became the University’s chief protocol officer and was responsible for organizing dedications, convocations, dinners and special dignitary visits. Gibbons remained in that department until he retired in 1999.

The award bears Harper’s name as a way to recognize his many contributions to Notre Dame. Harper coached football (1913-17), basketball (1913-18) and baseball (1914-18) at Notre Dame in addition to serving two stints (1913-17, 1931-33) as the University’s athletics director. Harper holds a very special place in the rich history of the Monogram Club as he, along with Knute Rockne, founded the Club in 1916.

Spring Monogram Jacket Ceremony
Former Notre Dame and U.S. Women’s National Team standout Shannon Boxx (’99, soccer) was the featured alumni speaker at the spring Monogram Jacket Ceremony. Nearly 70 first-time Monogram winners received their jackets in front of family, teammates, coaches and administrators inside Club Naimoli.

Boxx spoke about the dedication and focus it took to produce a career that included three Olympic gold medals, a World Cup title and championships at the collegiate and professional levels. She also touched on what it means to be a member of the Monogram Club.


The women’s soccer program surprised Shannon Boxx (center) with a new Monogram jacket during the spring Monogram Jacket Ceremony.

“When I reflect on my career I always remember how proud I felt when I received my Monogram jacket,” Boxx said to those in attendance. “As you know, receiving that honor takes hard work and commitment in the classroom and on the field. There are only a few of us that receive the Monogram jacket. This privilege represents the achievements we’ve had on the field, but it’s also an acknowledgement of the support, guidance and sacrifice our family, friends, teammates, coaches and teachers have made for us during our journey.”

Eva Niklinska And Evan Panken Awarded Monogram Club Postgraduate Scholarships
During their outstanding Notre Dame careers, Eva Niklinska (17, fencing) and Evan Panken (16, soccer) won national championships, were Dean’s List students and contributed mightily to the community, and the Monogram Club was proud to present them with its postgraduate scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year.

It marked the ninth year the Monogram Club awarded a postgraduate scholarship to one male and one female Monogram winner. In recognition of outstanding academic achievement, service, leadership, and potential for success in postgraduate study, each individual receives a one-time, nonrenewable grant of $5,000 to attend graduate school.

Niklinska currently attends Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, while Panken is at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Monogram Club Hosts Fourth Quarter Farewell And Distributes Graduation Stoles
The Monogram Club welcomed athletics graduates, their families, friends, coaches and administrators to the sixth annual Fourth Quarter Farewell inside the Guglielmino Athletics Complex. This event has become a staple during commencement weekend as it provides members of the athletics family a chance to gather one final time before the hectic pace of the weekend takes over.


The Fourth Quarter Farewell once again was held inside the Guglielmino Athletics Complex.

Notre Dame Senior Deputy Athletics Director Missy Conboy (’82, basketball) and Monogram Club Postgraduate Scholarship recipient Eva Niklinska (’17, fencing) were the featured speakers at the event.

Athletics graduates once again donned specially-designed stoles during commencement exercises. For the fourth year in a row, the Monogram Club and Notre Dame athletics department issued stoles to graduating student-athletes/support staff in recognition of their work in the classroom, in competition and the community.

MCN In The Summertime
The Monogram Career Network (MCN) continued to impact both current student-athletes and Monogram alumni across the nation. The MCN held networking events this summer in New York City and Chicago that connected current student-athletes interning in those areas with Monogram alumni.


Monogram alumni and current student-athletes at the summer MCN event in Chicago.

The events were part of ongoing efforts of the MCN to connect current and former student-athletes for the sake of career development, growth and support. It was the second consecutive year receptions were held in both cities. The Monogram Club hopes to make them annual events since the contingent of Monogram winners in both areas is so strong.



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