May 1, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame Monogram Club awarded Dr. Angelo Capozzi (’56, baseball), co-founder and medical director of Rotaplast, with the 2014 Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award at An Evening With The Monogram Club in the Joyce Center during Blue-Gold weekend festivities.
Voice of Notre Dame women’s basketball, and honorary Monogram recipient Bob Nagle emceed the program, a highlight of the Club’s annual dinner, which once again featured a reception-style format in Sports Heritage Hall.
"[Angelo] is a great example of what Notre Dame people do,” Nagle said. “You take the gift that you get here at Notre Dame, the leadership you get from coaches, and you go forward and you don’t just make a dent, you make a difference."
During the award presentation, Monogram Club Executive Director Brant Ust (’00, baseball), president Haley Scott DeMaria (’95, swimming) and second vice president Terri Vitale (’94 & ’95, tennis) joined Dr. Capozzi on stage.
Afterwards, Capozzi, a former lefthanded pitcher under legendary Irish coach Jake Kline (’21), spoke with Nagle about his experience at Notre Dame and the service he has done with Rotary International.
It was during his first trip with Interplast, to Mexicali, Mexico in 1976, that Capozzi discovered his life’s calling.
"I’m sure everybody in the audience has had the experience of being exposed to something that just captured them," Capozzi said. "When I went down on that mission and operated on all those kids with cleft lip and palate . . . It had such an effect on me that I made up my mind that doing this work was going to be a part of my professional career."
Capozzi credited his wife of 53 years, Louise, for encouraging him to follow his passion for international service, even though they had two young children of their own at the time of his first visit.
Since then, Capozzi has made more than 60 missions, and in 1993, helped establish Rotaplast, an organization that has now operated on well over 19,000 children around the world. He noted that each year, 250,000 children are born with cleft lip and palate, and between 30 to 40% will not receive treatment, unless it is through organizations such as Rotaplast.
Though technically retired, Capozzi continues to work with Rotaplast, and has no plans to slow down.
"I’ve got a skill that not a lot of people have, and I feel I should put it to work as long as I possibly can. Age is just a number," he said.
The speaking program began with remarks from University Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick (’76), who commented on the state of the athletics department and reflected on the remarkable accomplishments of Notre Dame student-athletes throughout the year, particularly those of the men’s soccer and women’s basketball teams, as well as fencers Gerek Meinhardt and Lee Kiefer, and swimmer Emma Reaney.
Following the Moose Krause presentation, DeMaria offered some concluding words, thanking the membership for their continued support of the Club and commending the current student-athletes for their commitment to faith, compassion, community and service.
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
1979 - Ray Meyer '38 (basketball)
2014 - Dr. Angelo Capozzi ’56 (baseball)