Alumni News

Notre Dame Welcomes the Classes of 1950 & 1951

On Friday, June 11, 2021, ten alumni of the pioneering classes of 1950 and 1951 returned to ND to celebrate their 70th reunion! The day began with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Saint Brother André Bessette Chapel by Msgr. David Walker, brother of Phil Walker '50. The alums, their spouses, and guests continued the festivities with a luncheon in the Student Success Center.

Seated from left: Rev. Henry Cody '51, Al and Rosalie Ramadei '50, Dorothy McHugh and William Bassett '50, Janet and Sam Velleca '50 and James Dillion '50. Standing from left E. William (Bill) Iovanne '51, Peter Santino '51, Edward Reilly '50, Donald and Carol Riordan '50, and Phil Walker '50. Mr. Reilly and Mr. Dillion traveled from California for the event. The Riordans are the grandparents of Michael Riordan '24.

Aidan Walsh '20 (left) and Genaro Labanca '21 (right) were thrilled to meet Phil Walker '50 as all three share the distinction of being named Man of the Year -- 70 years apart. Other student participants were Owen Clark '21, this year's Code Award winner.  The Notre Dame Office of Alumni Relations looks forward to a new tradition of celebrating Seventieth Reunions.
 

2021 Legacy Graduates gathered with their fathers and grandfathers in front of Alumni Hall before the graduation ceremony.  


Back row from left: Tanner Belcher and Tim Belcher ’82; Jackson Paulishen and Fran Reed ’82; Joe Filardi and Sal Filardi ’81; Marc Cirillo and Frank Cirillo ’78;  Ryan Brady and Kevin Brady ’91; Ari Kinder and Anthony Kinder ’87. 

Front row from left: Liam Faughnan and Brian Faughnan ’89 with Grandfather Joseph Faughnan ’64 in front; Matteo Martone and Tomasso Martone ’90; Ryan Cannon and Grandfather John Early ’54; JJ Cretella and grandfather Rev. Joseph Cretella ‘56; Genaro Labanca and Dominic Savo ’95.

Legacy graduates not present:  Joseph Crisci son of Louis Crisci ’83; Mitchell Riccio son of Raymond Riccio ’87, and Nicholas Richetelli grandson of Gary Richetelli ’65. 

The Class of 2021 will attend these institutions

Albertus Magnus College

Amherst College

Bryant University

Canisius College

Catholic University of America

Central Connecticut State University

Chapman University

Colorado State University

Duke University

Duquesne University

Emmanuel College

Endicott College

Fairfield University

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fordham University

Gateway Community College

Hofstra University

Jacksonville University

Louisiana State University

Merrimack College

Michigan State University

Mississippi State University

Mitchell College

Morehouse College

New England College

New England Institute of Technology

New York University

Nichols College

Northeastern University

Pennsylvania State University

Quinnipiac University

Roanoke College

Rochester Institute of Technology

Roger Williams College

Sacred Heart University

Saint Anselm College

Southern Connecticut State University

Springfield College

Saint John’s University

SUNY College of Environmental Science 

Trinity College

University of Connecticut

University of Maine

University of New Haven

University of Rhode Island

University of Southern California

University of Tampa

Vanderbilt University 

Western New England University

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Xavier University

 

Post Graduate Prep Programs

Bridgton Academy

Cushing Academy

Notre Dame Basketball Prep

 

Military Service

United States Air Force

 

Notre Dame Celebrates the Class of 2021

The 72nd Notre Dame High School commencement exercises got underway on Saturday morning, May 22nd on Marcucci Field. President Robert Curis and Vice President for Academics Ruben Valencia greeted the guests of the 117 graduates of the Class of 2021, and Marcus Yancoskie ‘21 delivered a well-received address to his fellow graduates. Class of 2017 Man of the Year Robert Schreck welcomed the class to alumni status.  The highlight of the first part of the ceremony was the announcement of the 2021 Code and Man of the Year Awards.  The ceremonies on Marcucci Field concluded with the graduates and their guests proceeding to Alumni Hall where each graduate walked across the stage to receive his diploma. 


One hundred fifteen 2021 graduates come from 25 cities and towns, and two others are international students from China and South Korea. Our two international students were with us up to the time the school closed because of the pandemic.  They attended classes virtually during their senior year despite the significant time differences between their homes and the United States. 


The graduates received acceptances from 168 colleges and universities throughout the country and considered scholarship and financial offers amounting to $16.8 million.   Their choices reflect 54 of these institutions (click here to see the list).  One student will enter the United States Air Force, and two will enter college with ROTC scholarships.  Four students will participate in postgraduate prep programs, two of them in Notre Dame’s Post Grad Basketball Prep program. Two students will enter the workforce via family-owned businesses.  Approximately 30 percent of the class will attend these four schools: University of Connecticut (10), Quinnipiac University (9), University of New Haven (8), Sacred Heart University (6).  The top fields of study are business (29), science, including medical-related fields (24), and engineering (10).


Nine graduates received the Certificate of Biliteracy issued by the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers -- six for Spanish, two for Latin, and one for Italian.  Sixteen percent of the class self-identify as first-generation college students.
Notre Dame’s  top honors were awarded to 

Top row: Notre Dame Code Award Winner Owen Clark ‘21; Notre Dame Man of Year Award Winner Genaro Labanca ‘21; Class of 2021 Valedictorian Alex Ozonoff ‘21; bottom row: Class of 2021 Salutatorian Evan Quesada ‘21, and Notre Dame Athlete of the Year Connor Smith ‘21. 


No other class experienced a senior year (and a portion of junior year) like the Class of 2021.  Their success is due in large part to the dedication of their teachers, coaches, and counselors.  The Notre Dame administration and staff went to great lengths to assure the Class of 2021 would not miss any of the essential elements that go into providing a quality Catholic education in the Holy Cross Tradition. 


We extend congratulations and best wishes to all of the members of the Class of 2021.


 

Luis Chavez-Brumell '04
Deputy Director of the New Haven Free Public Library

If you are from New Haven, you probably identify with a particular neighborhood, parish church, or a favorite place to get apizza. For Luis Chavez-Brumell '04, a New Haven native who identifies with the entire city, each neighborhood has unique traits that make it great.  Although he grew up in Beaver Hills and Westville, he spent considerable time in other communities. He attended West Hills Middle School in the Hill neighborhood where his father worked at the Hill Health Center, and where his parents helped found the LULAC Head Start Daycare Center on Cedar Street.  

Chavez-Brumell saw different areas of New Haven every day as he traveled home from Notre Dame via public transit. Those trips allowed him to observe unique neighborhood traits firsthand and rediscovered the New Haven Free Public Library system throughout the city. He visited the Ives Main Library to select books for required summer reading and walked past the Mitchell Branch Library on the way home from the bus stop. 

Fast forward from ND's 2004 graduation to 2016, Chavez-Brumell is the manager of the Young Minds and Family Learning Department of the NHFPL with responsibility for supporting Summer Learning initiatives for youth. Two years later, Chavez-Brumell was appointed Branch Manager of the Courtland S. Wilson Library in the Hill Neighborhood, named in honor of the grandfather of a West Hills classmate. His outstanding work at the Wilson Branch led to his 2020 appointment as Deputy Director of the NHFPL system.  

His Notre Dame Story began with his mother and some neighbors encouraging him to apply.  Chavez-Brumell entered Notre Dame in 2000 from New Haven's West Hills Middle School, where he had some Spanish courses.  Having tested into Spanish II as a freshman, he improved his fluency and grammar over the next four years. Chavez-Brumell, like most ND students, had an active extra-curricular life participating in Track, Minority Student Union, Intramurals, and the Spanish, Guitar, and Ecology Clubs. Graduating from ND, he enrolled at UConn and earned his BA degree in Latin American Studies in 2008. 

After UConn, he served for a year with Public Allies, an AmeriCorps Apprenticeship Program through which he was a Volunteer Coordinator at the Bridgeport Free Public Library. "My AmeriCorps experience in Bridgeport led to my career in public libraries." His next steps allowed him to consolidate his community engagement, storytelling, and library experiences by working as a Production Assistant on a PBS documentary entitled Fixing the Future NOW, taking a part-time position at the West Haven Public Library, and working towards a Master's Degree in Library Science via distance education. He was awarded his degree from North Carolina Central University, Durham, in 2012. Along with his part-time West Haven Library position, in 2014, he became the Associate Site Manager of an AmeriCorps program at UConn, through which he recruited, trained, and supervised early-childhood literacy volunteers.

 "In my current role, I apply my Latin American Studies and my Spanish language skills to be of service to the City's Spanish-speaking community. I helped set up a vaccination clinic at the Wilson Branch Library in partnership with the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center.  Among other responsibilities, I lead the NHFPL's Strategic initiatives and will restart city-wide Spanish Language services."  The New Haven Free Public Library provides an ideal setting for an activist like Luis Chavez-Brumell. He engages with newly arrived neighbors, arranges English classes for parents, provides reading material in various languages spoken by New Haveners, and establishes literacy programs.

Chavez-Brumell is an advocate dedicated to the power of story to build the present and imagine improved futures. He received several certificates in multiple aspects of video production. "I have always loved storytelling, and I had an opportunity to work on a PBS documentary Fixing the Future NOW as a production assistant. I wanted to expand my knowledge base with the experience. During my time as the Wilson Library Branch Manager, I helped create a writing group in partnership with the Long Wharf Theatre and the Arts Council of New Haven to provide the community with opportunities to develop their skills. I currently serve on New Haven's cultural equity team, and I hope to get a new camera and further develop these skills as they relate to all aspects of my career."

Developing his own story and helping others to tell their own stories is what brought ND Alumnus Luis Chavez-Brumell ’04 to where he is today.