Each year, Father Jenkins directs President’s Circle funding to a handful of key initiatives and ongoing priorities. Below is a sampling of recent allocations:
Financial Aid for Students in Great Need
Among the chief advantages of the President’s Circle is its ability to provide flexible resources with which Father Jenkins and the University can meet critical and emerging needs. A clear example of this was Father Jenkins’ recent decision to direct those flexible funds to a select group of Notre Dame undergraduates with significant loan debt.
In the current tough economic climate, the University is more committed than ever to ensuring that a Notre Dame education is affordable. The President’s Circle has played a key role in this regard by providing one-time contributions to these students in order to reduce their loan debt and make their repayment obligations more manageable. Father Jenkins is especially grateful to members of the Circle for proving, once again, that the Notre Dame family is always there to rally around those in need.
Hiring for Catholic Mission
Advancing Notre Dame’s Catholic character through a variety of channels—including the recruitment of Catholic faculty—is one of Father Jenkins' primary goals. Following a period of reflection and discussion with the faculty, Father Jenkins identified a number of useful strategies toward that goal, including the establishment of the Office of Academic Mission Support. The office is charged with assisting Notre Dame’s colleges, schools, institutes, and centers with academic programs and initiatives that advance our Catholic mission.
With aid from the President’s Circle, the office is in the lengthy process of refining and expanding an existing database of academically distinguished faculty and graduate students who reflect our Catholic mission. To further identify future cohorts of Catholic faculty, the office is also building relationships with campus parishes and Newman Centers at the universities from which Notre Dame recruits most of its younger professors.