Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Notre Dame Story -- I Never Knew...

Ever wonder who's the "Morris guy" whose name is on the Morris Inn at Notre Dame (photo of lobby) or, the Morris Performing Arts Center, Morris Park Country Club, etc., in South Bend? Well here is his unique "Notre Dame" story. As the story goes, E. M. Morris orphaned at 12 years old, rode his horse with all of his belongings in his saddle bag to Notre Dame. He met with Father John William Cavanaugh, the President of Notre Dame from 1905 to 1919. Given his financial situation, he asked Father Cavanaugh if he could attend the college for free. He promised to pay the University back ten-fold if they allowed him to enroll. Father Cavanaugh believed in his spirit and allowed him to do so -- and what a great decision that was! E. M. Morris and the Morris Family did pay the University back ten-fold over the years. Morris founded The Associates Investment Company in 1918, originally to help needy people, and it later became the single largest financing company in the world. The Associates was sold to Ford Motor Company, in 1998, for $3.5 Billion and sold again in 2000, to Citigroup for $31 Billion. He also founded the First Bank & Trust in South Bend which today operates as 1st Source Bank. In 1932 Morris Farms was founded in Niles, MI. E. M. Morris began purchasing parcels of land with the main principal of reforestation. He planted over 120,000 trees of many varieties. Today, Morris Farms consists of approximately 960 acres. The Morris Farms is in the news today because the Morris Family heirs just announced they're going to sell the property. Here's a link to the South Bend Tribune story:


Irish Athletes Honored by Big East Conference!

The Big East Conference honored three Notre Dame athletes with 2009-2010 Big East Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award. Irish basketball player Tim Abromaitis, rower Sarah Keithley and tennis player Tyler Davis were among the 24 student athletes in the Big East to receive this honor. Abromaitis (Unionville, CT) posted a 3.73 GPA in the classroom and was one of the big surprises in the Big East this year, averaging 18.2 pts. per game earning Academic All-American honors. Keithley (Austin, TX) coxed a Big East Champion boat in three of her four seasons for the Irish while posting a 3.74 GPA in the classroom. And, Tyler Davis (Nashville, TN) earned All Big East Academic Honors for the third straight year while compiling a 4-1 mark in singles for the Irish. Congratulations to all three!

ND Professor Receives Sheedy Award

Jim Collins, Notre Dame professor in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre was named the 2010 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award winner in recognition of his work as a scholar and teacher. The Sheedy award, named after Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, CSC who was Dean of the College of Arts & Letters from 1951 to 1969, acknowledges a faculty member who has sustained excellence in research and instruction over a wide range of courses. This individual must also motivate and enrich students using innovative and creative teaching methods and influence teaching and learning within the department, College and University. Collins is author of “Architecture of Excess: Cultural Life in the Information Age” (1995) and “Uncommon Cultures: Popular Culture and Postmodernism” (1989), editor of “Hi-Pop: Making Culture into Popular Entertainment” (2002), and co-editor of “Film Theory Goes to the Movies” (1993). His most recent book, “Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture,” was released last month. Congratulations Professor Collins!