Ted Gerarden ‘65 Supports ND’s International Baccalaureate Initiative

On countless occasions throughout Notre Dame’s history, dedicated parents and faithful alumni have come forward with generous gifts of time, treasure, and talent. Ted Gerarden '65 is one such individual.  A 2016 DC alumni event gave Ted an opportunity to promote an idea that, he discovered, was something Notre Dame’s president Robert Curis was already pondering. Should Notre Dame become an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma School? In March, that idea became a reality after a rigorous three-year application and preparation process underwritten with financial support from Gerarden.  

Ted and his wife Ann, a retired academic dean at Georgetown University, have a solid commitment to education and Notre Dame.  In addition to funding the IB certification process, Gerarden supports a Notre Dame scholarship created by his late parents, Anthony and Muriel Gerarden.  

Gerarden traces his commitment to Brother Joseph Zutelis’s legendary English class, which Gerarden took in 1963-64.  When asked to name the person most influential in his life, Ted always responds, “Brother Joseph, no question about it!”

This is high praise indeed.  Gerarden went on to Georgetown University and Georgetown Law School, enjoyed a career in corporate law and government service, and retired as a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service.  Gerarden credits his Notre Dame education as making all that possible.

Ted learned about the IB program when his youngest child participated in the IB at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Virginia.  From that experience, Ted realized the tremendous impact the IB program can have on educational excellence at a school—and how the IB would add significantly to Notre Dame’s reputation as a school of choice for academic success.

Curis, who had worked with the IB at the Whitby School, felt the same way.  It didn’t hurt that Robert and Ted had another connection—both hold degrees from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service!  Gerarden pledged financial support for the rigorous preparation that Notre Dame would have to undertake; Curis set the stage for Notre Dame’s successful application by hiring Ruben Valencia as Vice President for Academics at ND.  Valencia had been deeply involved with IB programs in Florida.

As Gerarden said, “Robert and Ruben generated enthusiasm for this difficult work, and Notre Dame’s faculty embraced the training and curriculum changes needed to meet IB degree requirements.  I am thrilled that Notre Dame will begin IB courses in the 2021-22 school year!”