April 18, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded Alumni Association executive director Chuck Lennon '61, '62 (baseball) with the 2011 Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award at the organization's annual dinner Saturday night in the Joyce Center's Sports Heritage Hall.
Lennon accepted his award before more than 550 dinner attendees, including a large number of former Alumni Association board and University Senate officials who worked with the Joliet, Ill., native during his extraordinary career.
"I have watched Chuck all across this country, and whether he's serving as president of something or serving a meal, he's going to treat you exactly the same," Monogram Club incoming president Dick Nussbaum '74, '77 (baseball) said. "He's going to remember your name, he's going to look you in the eye, and he's going to really care about you and what you say, and there aren't enough people like that in the world."
A member of the Notre Dame community for 51 years, Lennon has served as the executive director of the University's Alumni Association since 1981. He will retire on June 30, 2011, after 30 years of service to the more than 128,000 members of the Notre Dame global alumni community.
Under Lennon's leadership, the Alumni Association has earned a national reputation for innovation in programming. It was among the first to offer continuing education programming--including the Hesburgh Lecture Series and Excellence in Teaching Conference--and to initiate community service programs that have been emulated throughout American higher education. Yale and Stanford Universities are among those with community service programs modeled on Notre Dame's.
Lennon also led in the creation of the Black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific, and Native American alumni groups and expanded the roles for women, senior and Young Alumni, and international graduates within the Alumni Association.
"To be mentioned in the same breath with the names of previous Moose Krause award winners is beyond my comprehension," Lennon said. "You have honored me for doing something that I've loved to do everyday. It's never been a job and it's never been work; it's been a mission and it's been something that I really believe is a calling."
A number of Lennon's family members were on hand for the ceremony - including daughter and Monogram Club board member Molly Lennon-Anderson '92 (soccer) - who followed her father's acceptance speech with a special presentation of her own.
Lennon-Anderson announced that Notre Dame head olympic sports equipment manager Kathy Speybroeck would become the first honorary monogram recipient of 2011.
In addition to serving as the director of the University's renowned student manager organization, Speybroeck is responsible for awarding monograms to managers and ordering letter jackets for more than 200 annual recipients.
"Kathy's worth and value to our Monogram Club is much deeper than any job description could ever entail," Lennon-Anderson said. "She believes in the monogram's meaning, its worth and its message. She takes pride in what it means to us."
The recognition came as a complete surprise to Speybroeck who took the stage and emotionally accepted her monogram.
"I'm not a Notre Dame grad, but I've been here a long time and I'm very proud to be working at this University," Speybroeck said. "I'm the gatekeeper of the monograms here because I'm very proud to give them out and I know how hard it is to receive one."
In addition to these award ceremonies, the evening included a number of other speakers and presentations.
The dinner kicked off with a surprise announcement from All-America hockey monogram winner Greg Meredith '80, who told the crowd that the student section of the Compton Family Center will be named after former Monogram Club executive director Rev. James Riehle, C.S.C. '49.
"We were looking for something that would reflect Fr. Riehle's love of the Notre Dame family, of Notre Dame athletics, and of the students of Notre Dame," Meredith said. "It is our hope that each of the 1,000 student section seats will have a name of a friend of Fr. Riehle attached to it."
Following the dinner portion of the evening, outgoing Monogram Club president Joe Restic '79 (football) took to the stage to thank the outgoing members of the organization's board of directors, including Brian Short '72, '75 (swimming), Chuck Aragon '81 (track), Jim Dee '84 (baseball), Greg Dingens '86 (football) and Kerrie Wagner '89 (golf).
Restic proceeded to thank the Club's membership for its support during his tenure and reflected on his two-year term before officially passing the title of president to Nussbaum.
Nussbaum - a practicing attorney in South Bend - has served as a region eight director of the Alumni Association and recently completed a term as the organization's president. He was named to the University's Board of Trustees in 2009.
"Dick is a tremendous advocate for the Monogram Club," Restic said. "He's been associated with our organization since 2002 and he's very passionate. I can't think of a better individual who is more prepared to be the next president of this organization."
After Nussbaum officially accepted the Monogram Club presidency, he introduced the five incoming directors of the Monogram Club board. The group includes Chris Stevens '74 (basketball), Bryan Fenton '87 (manager), Byron Spruell '87, `89 (football), Tom Arkell '94, '97 (hockey) and Carolyn Cooper '06 (volleyball).
From there, Nussbaum welcomed Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick '76 to the stage for remarks.
Swarbrick thanked the monogram winners in attendance for their service to the institution, and explained how their careers serve as living examples of the Notre Dame model that the athletics department preaches to current student-athletes.
"It was important for me to be here because this organization is so important to us," Swarbrick said. "You are our proof of concept. The representation we make to our student-athletes about what we can achieve together and what we will do is manifest in your success."
The dinner's keynote speaker was men's basketball head coach Mike Brey, who followed Swarbrick and thanked the Monogram Club for its support during the men's basketball team's historic season. The team's 27 wins this season were the second most in school history, and the Irish tied a school record with 14 BIG EAST victories.
Brey also commented about how thankful he was for having the opportunity to coach the players who made up his 2010-11 team.
"This group was very mature, very focused, and really believed in each other,"Brey said. "I was like a proud father walking around Houston at the Final Four hearing from other coaches about how we played the right way and played so unselfishly."
The Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the Notre Dame Monogram Club. It is bestowed upon an active Club member who has achieved notoriety in the following areas:
Exemplary performance in local, state or national government
Outstanding dedication to the spirit and ideals of Notre Dame
Demonstrated responsibility to and concern for their respective communities
Extraordinary commitment and involvement with youth
The Monogram Club's officers and board of directors select the annual recipient.
The award is named in honor of Notre Dame athletics legend Edward "Moose" Krause (1913-92), a three-sport monogram winner in the early 1930s who earned All-America honors in football and basketball while also competing in track and field. He later served as an assistant football coach and assistant and head basketball coach at Notre Dame before becoming one of the nation's most respected athletic directors, serving in that role at his alma mater from 1949-82.
Monogram Club Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award Recipients