Women's Initiative

The Notre Dame Women's Initiative formed in an effort to better recognize and steward female leaders of Notre Dame, deepen their relationship with fellow alumnae, parents, and friends, and further the mission of Our Lady’s University.

Steering Committee Members:
  • Anne Thompson

  • Cindy Parseghian

  • Devona Bastiaans-Fagan

  • Cathleen P. Black

  • Katie O. Washington Cole

  • Jean T. Collier

  • Marianne Corr

  • Jill R. Coyle

  • Karen McCartan DeSantis

  • Michelle R. Ferguson

  • Mary Hesburgh Flaherty

  • Celeste V. Ford

  • Stephanie A. Gallo

  • Carol H. Hoffman

  • Kristina Jodis

  • Mary Kennedy

  • Tara C. Kenney

  • Karen M. Keyes

  • Julie Power Killian

  • Mary Beth Klein

  • Lisa A. Kovalik

  • Stephanie Penna Lutz

  • Molly McDonnell

  • Deborah J. McGraw-Block

  • Molly M. Meyers

  • Karen Phelps Moyer

  • Katie Woodward Olsen

  • Mary Anne Reilly

  • Clare Stack Richer

  • Shayla K. Rumely

  • Phyllis Stone

  • Mary Grimes Trotter

  • Laura Woodward


A Letter from Anne Thompson '79 and Cindy Parseghian '77:

Dear Notre Dame alumnae, parents, and friends,

Today, over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate alumnae help shape the character, soul, and future of Notre Dame. Together, we remain forever grateful to Father Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., at that time the University’s president, for opening the doors of Notre Dame to women in 1972. By admitting women, Fr. Ted changed our lives and the University in profound and important ways; in fact, he often cited the admission of women as the achievement of which he was most proud. Today, thanks to the extraordinary vision and dedication of the leaders who have succeeded Fr. Ted --- first Fr. “Monk” Malloy, C.S.C. and now Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C. --- Notre Dame is the world’s premier Catholic research university,  in no small measure because of the invaluable contributions of women. Together with Fr. John and the University’s leadership, we  would like to invite you to join us in celebrating the achievements of Notre Dame women in a very tangible way through participation in a special initiative.

As you may know, the Hesburgh Library is being renovated, an effort that will preserve the library as a state-of-the-art hub of learning, teaching and research for current and future generations of students and scholars. As part of this major renovation, a new North Entrance to the library has been created. This is an ideal opportunity for us as a Notre Dame community to build  a “gateway to knowledge” for all who come to learn at Notre Dame --- a gateway that will serve as a tribute to Fr. Ted, a man whose impact on Notre Dame will never be forgotten, as well as a campus space to celebrate the incredible women who have and will continue to shape the Notre Dame story.

We hope you will consider joining us in supporting a $5 million campaign for the new North Entrance to the library. From the very beginning of this initiative, we have been inspired by the qualities Fr. Ted embodied so beautifully in life --- courage, dynamism, generosity, vision, and faith. These are qualities we see reflected daily and in the most extraordinary ways in the women of Notre Dame. Consider making a gift to honor Fr. Ted, or making a gift in your own name, or in honor of an inspiring and courageous Notre Dame woman who has made an impact on you personally. All benefactors to the Notre Dame Women's Initiative will be recognized in the new North Entrance to the Hesburgh Library and will be invited to a special dedication event in October 2016.

We are humbled by this opportunity to honor Fr. Ted and the women of Notre Dame, and excited about working alongside you to make this idea a reality.     

In Notre Dame,
Anne Thompson (’79) and Cindy Parseghian (’77)
Members, Board of Trustees

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Are you interested in learning more about the Notre Dame Women's Initiative, including future events and opportunities for engagement?

Contact Micki Kidder

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