Giving Societies

Jesse Harper Council

The Jesse Harper Council is the premier membership level of the Rockne Athletics Fund. This exclusive council of benefactors help James E. Rohr, Director of Athletics, Jack Swarbrick, advance the five core values of the Notre Dame Athletics Department: Community, Education, Excellence, Faith, and Tradition.

Through annual gifts of $50,000 or more, Jesse Harper Council members provide Notre Dame Athletics discretionary funding to meet its most pressing needs.

  • Members of the Jesse Harper Council receive exclusive membership experiences while providing a direct and immediate impact on student-athletes. Members’ annual contributions bolster essential efforts such as:
  • Funding student-athlete scholarships
  • Providing robust nutritional stations and team-room provisions for all student-athletes
  • Expanding injury prevention, recovery, and rehab resources
  • Funding summer scholarships and study abroad opportunities
  • Improving team transportation


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Jesse Harper Council Impact

Over the past few years, Notre Dame Athletics has reached historic new levels of excellence, including NCAA National Championships in women’s basketball and fencing, multiple Big Ten Championships in hockey, a college football playoff appearance, and graduating the highest rate of student-athletes in the NCAA for the thirteenth straight year. However, the margin for success gets smaller each year, meaning the latest developments in technology, nutrition, and training could determine the next national championship game.

Notre Dame is committed to remaining one of the top programs in varsity athletics. Still, it refuses to do so at the expense of academics and the wellbeing of student-athletes. Through the bold leadership of Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame is striving to improve athletic performance by leveraging cutting-edge sports science and data analytics and investing in educational programming, including expanded career services, internships, and foreign study abroad opportunities for student-athletes. Crucial to these efforts are Jesse Harper Council members.

Every day, Notre Dame student-athletes have the opportunity to experience the most distinctive student-athlete experience in the country, because of Rockne Athletic Fund members. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Rockne members provided over $8 million in student-athlete financial aid and over $400,000 in much- needed facility upgrades. In total, the Rockne Athletics Fund raised $12.54 million for Notre Dame student-athletes in the fiscal year 2021. Of that total, Jesse Harper Council members contributed $5.2 million.

Giving Options

Members of the Jesse Harper Council make annual gifts through a variety of giving options, including charitable investments in the Notre Dame endowment pool.

Type Description
Annual Gift Make an annual gift of $50,000 through credit card, cash, wire transfer, or stock gift 
Leadership Pledge Sign a leadership pledge and memorialize and commemorate your commitment to support Notre Dame Athletics for the next two to four years.
Endowment of GIAs and Coaching Positions An opportunity to tie your name or your family with a Notre Dame coaching position, or a student-athlete scholarship.
Donor-Advised Fund Make a grant recommendation to Notre Dame through your donor-advised fund.
Notre Dame Charitable Remainder Trust Participate in the returns of the Notre Dame Endowment while maximizing your charitable impact.

Membership Experiences

Members of the Jesse Harper Council gain access to exclusive events on campus as well as unique opportunities to interact with University leadership and students, and all the experiences of Rockne Irish through Gold levels. *Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events and other on-campus membership experiences are limited; however, we expect to return them in the future when permitted by CDC, local government, and University guidelines.

  • Special Ticket Assistance

    Members will enjoy special ticket assistance to all Notre Dame sporting events, including post-season events such as conference tournaments and bowl games.

  • Invitations to Exclusive Athletics Advancement Events

    Members will be invited to annual events such as Annual Winter Weekend, Ask Jack, Happy Hours, and Rockne Reception. Each event is a unique opportunity to meet with Notre Dame leadership such as Jack Swarbrick, the James E. Rohr Director of Athletics. In addition, many events feature opportunities to interact with Notre Dame student-athletes.

  • Invitation to Inaugural Notre Dame Sports Summit

    This vibrant biennial event features exclusive experiences and discussions with various leaders across the sports industry.

  • MVP Student-Mentor Program

    Members will be offered the opportunity to closely interact and mentor Notre Dame student-athletes through this exclusive mentoring program. The program will include year-round communication as well as a formal opportunity to meet with assigned student-athletes.

  • Premium Access

    Enjoy exclusive access to Game Day activities such as locker room tours and field passes. Members also have the opportunity to attend football practice on Thursdays of game week, and view practices of other Notre Dame Athletics Programs.

  • Personalized Concierge Service

    Special ombudsman/concierge service for Athletic events and special needs provided by the Rockne Athletics Fund Team


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Have questions? We have answers!

The Athletics team is committed to advancing the mission of Notre Dame and is eager to help you with any questions you have about the impact of the Athletics Director’s Circle, giving options, or membership experiences.

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