UND Night Highlights

The Notre Dame Club of Omaha held its annual UND Night on June 7 at Field Club Omaha.  Nearly 90 alumni and friends attended the event that included a social hour and dinner, followed by the featured speaker, Ann Firth.  Firth was recently promoted to the Office of the President, where she works closely with Omaha native Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C.   The club also awarded its Person of the Year Award to Dennis Murphy, whose contributions to the University and Catholic Education have benefitted many in the community and beyond.

Murphy, a 1971 graduate, began his career as an engineer at Kiewit Construction and worked on a number of major projects throughout his career.  He was later named president of Kiewit Engineering and oversaw numerous major projects around the country.

Club president Ed Murphy (right) hands the Person of the Year plaque to Dennis Murphy.

Murphy accepts award from club president Ed Murphy (right)

Mr. Murphy was introduced by board member Ron Gordon who highlighted some of his local contributions including his help with raising money and advising in the renovation of a new wing of a building used by Essential Pregnancy Services.  Gordon also discussed the contributions to local Catholic education made by Murphy and his wife, Ellin.  In addition to their local contributions, the Murphy’s have also established the Dennis and Ellin C. Murphy Irish Studies Library Endowment at the University. See below for a short clip from Murphy’s acceptance of the Person of the Year award.

See the video here

Following the Person of the Year presentation, Ann Firth addressed the crowd and discussed her experiences past and present at Notre Dame. She began with some stories about her own children who had graduated from the university or were currently attending and how their experiences mirrored that of many others. In her remarks, she also discussed her time in the Office of Student Affairs and the challenges and successes associated with that position. Firth closed by highlighting some of the recent additions and new initiatives taking place on campus, including the continued push to improve and expand research in all areas and strengthen Catholic character.

Register for UND night

Universal Notre Dame night will be held Thursday, June 7 at Field Club Omaha (3615 Woolworth). This year’s speaker is Ann Firth, Chief of Staff to Reverend John Jenkins C.S.C. The club will be honoring Dennis F. Murphy as the Person of the Year.  To register for this event, fill out the form below and pay via the PayPal button at the end of this post.

Number in party
1 (member) $55.00 USD
2 (member & guest/spouse) $110.00 USD
3 $165.00 USD
4 $220.00 USD
5 $275.00 USD
6 $330.00 USD
7 $385.00 USD
Table $400.00 USD
Non-member $65.00 USD
Non-member (2) $130.00 USD

Harper honored at UND Night

Former ConAgra CEO, Charles M. “Mike” Harper, received the Notre Dame Person of the Year award at the 2011 UND night on June 9.  Harper, a former South Bend resident and retired CEO of ConAgra, received the award for his dedication and support of the University.Most recently,Harper receives a plaque of Harper Hall from the University. his foundation’s $10 million gift, along with a matching $10 million appropriation from the state of Indiana, helped establish the Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute.   Located on the corner of Angela Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue, the Institute is a joint collaboration between Notre Dame and the IU School of Medicine.

After receiving the award, Harper reflected on the significance of the private and public partnership between Notre Dame and the State of Indiana and the memory of his wife Josie, who died of cancer. Harper praised her amazing support and the outstanding job she did raising their children, who help run the Harper Family Foundation.  He also commented on the importance of encouraging public institutions to work together with private institutions, a centerpiece of the gift to establish the Cancer Research Institute.

The Person of the Year presentation was followed by the featured speaker, Notre Dame Business School professor, Carl Ackerman.  Ackerman has been recognized many times over for his outstanding teaching and support for students.  During his presentation, Ackerman showed several photos of students reading their Finance textbooks in interesting locales (underwater, while snowboarding, in the air) – an homage to his message that they should “always read their Finance books.”  He offered several more stories of his interactions with Notre Dame students, commenting that they were always considerate and grateful for recommendation letters and phone calls that helped them jump start their careers.  Ackerman noted that ND students are consistently  personable and humble.

The evening’s events were attended by over 70 alumni, friends, and representatives of the University. This year also featured ayoung alumni table that included a number of recent graduates.If you are interested in helping with future club events contact club president, Ed Murphy at efm1@cox.net.

Carl Ackerman to speak at UND Night: June 9

The Notre Dame Club of Omaha will host Carl Ackerman for UND Night on June 9 at Field Club Omaha (3615 Woolworth Avenue).  Ackerman teaches financial management and personal finance to University of Notre Dame undergraduates.  He crusades against excessive fees in the investment industry, redirecting them to fight poverty and despair (http://business.nd.edu/carlackermann).

This year’s event begins at 6:00 pm with a cocktail hour and dinner at 7:00Register for the event here.  The cost for members and a guest or spouse is $55.00 per person.  Non-members can attend for $65.oo.  Charles “Mike” Harper will be honored as the club’s Person of the Year.

UND Night is an annual event hosted by the club.  Previous guests have included current president John Jenkins, athletic director Jack Swarbrick, and general counsel Marianne Corr.

For more information, contact Bob Mullin at rmullinjr@mcgrathnorth.com.

Shanahan honored as Omaha ND Club's Person of the Year

Judge Thomas Shanahan (’56) received the club’s ‘Person of the Year’ award at the 2010 Universal Notre Dame Night held on May 20 at Field Club Omaha. Shanahan was honored by the club for his accomplishments as a Nebraska Supreme Court and U.S. District Court judge, dedication to community service, and support for the University. nd-dinner-may-20-2010-024Board member Bob Mullin, who introduced Shanahan, spoke of his passion for the law, years of work with the homeless at the Stephens Center, and the Notre Dame fight song that played while a caller waited for him to answer. Shanahan, accompanied by his wife, children, and several grandchildren, was presented with a plaque and received a standing ovation from the crowd of approximately 90 attendees.

Later in the evening, university vice president and general counsel Marianne Corr, spoke about student life, changes around campus, nd-dinner-may-20-2010-003current and future initiatives, and fielded questions about her role with the university. Among other topics, including her decision to leave a prestigious law firm to take the general counsel position, she spoke about her ‘interesting’ experiences working out the final details for this year’s ND-Army game held at Yankee Stadium. “The Yankees were great,” she remarked with a smile, “but their lawyers…”

After closing remarks from club president John Menicucci, board chairman Tom Jenkins led the audience in the alma mater.

Jessie Harper's influence on ND football

Jesse Harper

Thank you to everyone who attended UND Night last Wednesday, July 1st.  We had over 120 Alums and friends of Notre Dame.  ND Athletic Director, Jack Swarbrick gave an inspirational talk about the history of Notre Dame football, how ND football coach Jessie Harper really changed the course of ND athletics forever and included how 2009 marks the 100th year of Michigan whining.  At the end of his address he spent time answering questions about the University, the athletic program and ND current events.

We were very fortunate to have Mr. Swarbrick address the ND Club of Omaha.  Special thanks to Outgoing Chairman of the Club Board Dick Berry and Outgoing Club President Scott Cavey for their service to the Club and assistance with Mr. Swarbrick.  Also special thanks to Bob Mullin and Rich Gilloon for planning and coordinating UND Night.  Thanks again to all those who attended and look for more information at http://www.ndclubomaha.com regarding the upcoming Freshman sendoff event on Sunday, August 9th and the Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, September 14th.  GO IRISH!