NDNU Today: Summer 2017

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N D NU today SUMMER 2017

The Magazine of Notre Dame de Namur University

NDNU’s Impact

in the

Community and Globally

President’s Message

This issue of NDNU Today focuses on the impact of our university in the community and beyond. These outcomes range from Notre Dame de Namur’s program to help formerly incarcerated individuals earn a college degree, to the global reach of our new online MA for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, to public access at our campus’s Water Dog Lake property. We also pay tribute in this issue to three retiring professors who have given decades of their life to teaching and mentoring NDNU students: Betty Friedman, Joanne Rossi, and Don Stannard-Friel. Their careers have also touched communities in a myriad of ways, including teacher preparation, public service in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, and artistic exhibitions and education. Of course, the world beyond our university also impacts NDNU. During the spring semester of 2017, this impact could be felt more strongly than usual on our campus. The federal executive orders on immigration and state and national policies on student aid also personally concern many NDNU students. Our campus has actively responded to these developments and has reassured students that our university is committed to them and their education. Following the president’s first executive order on immigration in January 2017, I sent a letter to all NDNU students to reaffirm the university’s embrace of diversity and to say that NDNU welcomes and supports students without regard to their immigration status. NDNU cosigned with other members of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) a statement opposing the executive order on immigration. I also joined with other university presidents to lobby Congress on Capitol Hill on the executive order and to inform elected representatives of its effect on many of our students and applicants. To help address the financial aid needs of students at NDNU and beyond, I have served for the last year as a member of the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. As a member of CSAC, my concerns are to make sure that the needs of students in nonprofit private universities are addressed, and to increase the funding and efficiency of the Cal Grant system that provides financial aid for students in our state. In these times of political tempests, it is reassuring to know that the Hallmarks that distinguish a Notre Dame de Namur education continue to provide a beacon for our faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

Judith Maxwell Greig President

Cover: NDNU students and alums participate in a NASA summer institute

Inside Three Celebrated Professors Retire


Don Stannard-Friel Betty Friedman Joanne Rossi

Former Incarcerated Students’ Success


Sr. Dorothy Stang Scholarship Funds Students

Educating the Educators

Biological Science Teacher Prep Program NASA Institute for Teachers New Online TESOL Master’s

Tracy Campus Takes Root Satellite Campus Milestones

Around Campus

News and Updates Athletics Commencement 2017 Alumni Highlights

NDNU Today The Magazine of Notre Dame de Namur University Judith Maxwell Greig President

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EDITORIAL STAFF Jason Murray, Vice President for Enrollment Management Karen Schornstein, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications Karen Plesur, Associate Director, Marketing and Communications Zack Rogow, Assistant Director, Communications and Media Relations CONTRIBUTORS: Scott Kimmelman, Elizabeth Valente, and Gloria Haro

VIEW NDNU Today: ndnu.edu/magazine CONTACT US: NDNU Marketing and Communications at marketing@ndnu.edu


NDNU Today 10% recycled content


hree beloved professors who leave enduring legacies are retiring this summer from Notre Dame de Namur University: Betty Friedman of the Department of Art and Graphic Design, Joanne Rossi of the School of Education and Psychology, and Don Stannard-Friel of the Department of Psychology and Sociology.

“All three of these faculty members have made enormous contributions to our university and to the lives of countless students,� said President Judith Maxwell Greig.


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after Long Careers at NDNU

DON STANNARD-FRIEL, affectionately known as “Dr. Don,” originally came to NDNU to teach sociology at the invitation of Sister Roseanne Murphy, then chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences. “I started at NDNU in 1978, a tumultuous time in the Bay Area,” recalls Professor Stannard-Friel. “There was the Jonestown massacre and the assassinations of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone of San Francisco. Sister Roseanne and I shared an office, talking about sociology and the world around us. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur encouraged and inspired me to provide education for the common good.” Professor Stannard-Friel developed his own style of teaching that he calls “Streetwise Sociology” or “Tenderloin U.,” a blend of academic education and community engagement. He and his students could be seen all over the hardscrabble Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, helping out at service agencies, participating in the annual census of homeless people, putting on a Halloween festival for kids at the local playground, and organizing a college night for local students. As part of his efforts to introduce his sociology class to real-life situations, Professor Stannard-Friel once brought a group of five students and five faculty to spend a week in a single-room occupancy hotel on Sixth Street, South of Market in San Francisco, an area known for its concentration of homelessness, addiction, 5

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Don Stannard-Friel

and alcoholism. For thirty years, he has taken students to San Quentin State Prison to tour the facility and meet prisoners. It is not unusual for students to enroll in multiple classes with Professor Stannard-Friel. “Dr. Don has had a huge impact on my life,” says Rob Harrison ’12. “He challenged me to get an excellent GPA, something I’d never done.” After graduating from NDNU, Harrison founded a nonprofit to work with at-risk youth. Professor Stannard-Friel also had an extended term as an administrator at NDNU. President Veronica Skillin appointed him dean of faculty in 1984. “I was as shocked as anyone,” admits Stannard-Friel. “I was the hippie sociology professor. It was a challenging time to be an administrator—enrollment was

Lea Suzuki / San Francisco Chronicle / Polaris

Don Stannard-Friel and a group of NDNU students took part in the annual homeless census in San Francisco in January 2017.

declining at many colleges since most of the Baby Boomers had completed their educations.” As dean of faculty, Professor Stannard-Friel focused attention on shared governance. He also facilitated the team that developed the intensive evening degree program, then a highly unusual curriculum, and he introduced the Human Services major as part of that program. Enrollment increased 70% while he was dean of faculty. “Sister Veronica’s cabinet was a diverse group,” remembers Professor Stannard-Friel. “We all got along well, and we all argued like crazy. To this day, we still get together during the Christmas holidays.” Professor Stannard-Friel has moved to Davis, California, near family, and is currently working on a sociology book, and a novel. Professor Gretchen Wehrle, his colleague in the Department of Psychology and Sociology, recalls entering the classroom one morning and hearing a few students talking: “’Dr. Don is wearing regular shoes today, something special must be going on.’” Professor Wehrle adds, “Dr. Don is not only well-known for his Birkenstocks, but also for his love of students. It has been an honor to work so closely with him. I know that Don is ready to retire, but I don’t know if NDNU is ready to see him go.” PROFESSOR JOANNE ROSSI is retiring from the School of Education and Psychology after twenty years at NDNU. “When I first approached NDNU about teaching I just proposed one continuing education class,” she says. “The department chair said, ‘No, you’re going to teach content area reading here.’ I’ve been at NDNU ever since.” The focus of Professor Rossi’s work is reading methods. “If you’re an elementary or secondary school teacher, you embed literacy strategies into everything you teach. I prepare teachers to 6

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do that,” Professor Rossi explains. She started as a grade school teacher in New York and Virginia. “I came to the conclusion that I didn’t know enough about reading to be as successful at teaching as I wanted.” She went back to university and completed a master’s and EdD in education. Florence Srinivasan ’16 took Professor Rossi’s reading class at NDNU while studying for her master’s degree: “I was amazed by Professor Rossi’s gentleness and intuitive support, as well as her genuine interest in my teaching. Stepping into her classroom as a student teacher felt magical, because my own students transformed into the focus of my learning. Years later, I still hear her voice prompting me: ‘Have you tried….?’” Florence Srinivasan now works as a special education teacher in Palo Alto.

Joanne Rossi

Betty Friedman Professor Rossi’s colleagues are equally enthusiastic: “I think the world of Joanne Rossi,” says Bob Ferrara, director of NDNU’s Multiple Subject Credential Program. “She’s an outstanding professor, totally student-centered and highly knowledgeable. Her keen desire to help students is the core of her effectiveness.” Professor Rossi also served for nine years as dean of what was then the School of Education at NDNU. In that role, she set up a lab school in San Bruno. “The school was 70% English-language learners,” she says. “During the time NDNU had a close relationship with that school, test scores rose, and teachers had new staff development opportunities.” One of her strongest suits as a professor is the years of handson experience that Professor Rossi brings to her students. “I always share with my students the stories about being an elementary school teacher, a literacy coach, and an assistant principal,” she says. “It’s the stories that provide the connection between theory and practice.” After retirement, Professor Rossi plans to spend more time with her grandchildren. But she also intends to continue teaching at NDNU on a part-time basis. In addition, she is coauthoring a new book on case studies in reading. “The field of reading is so important because it touches every other field,” says Professor Rossi. “Each year we learn more about the learning process and we gain more insight in how to help kids read. There’s so much work to be done.” PROFESSOR BETTY FRIEDMAN arrived at NDNU in 1995 with the assignment of creating the Art and Graphic Design major. “One unique feature of the major is how many fine art classes the students take,” she explains. “I think designers are more creative if they’ve learned painting, sculpture, and drawing.” She also included in the curriculum internships with local businesses. Professor Friedman chaired the Department of Art and Graphic Design for twenty years. She also taught studio art courses and has been active in the shows at the Wiegand Gallery. In fact, she helped sheetrock some of the interior walls in the gallery, and she designed the catalogues for the exhibitions. Professor Friedman’s former student Rachelle Agundes ’00 testifies to her impact: “I’ve known Betty since 1996, when she was my freshman-year advisor and professor. Betty’s enthusiasm for teaching and genuine interest in her students is undeniable and heartfelt. Her influence has affected me in more life-changing ways than any other person.” Rachelle Agundes is now an accomplished artist and teacher in her own right.


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Professor Friedman’s colleague Professor Robert Poplack adds: “Betty is an inspiring teacher who has been highly successful in training generations of graphic designers now working professionally. She has an amazing rapport with her students, who love and admire her.” Professor Friedman lists among her favorite accomplishments at NDNU her acquisition of a high-quality printmaking press for students to use. “To obtain the press, I had to get creative,” she explains. “I purchased the equipment from the estate of the artist Misch Kohn. The press is extremely heavy, and to transport it to campus and unload it, we had to rent a boom crane and move it here on the weekend.” After she retires, Professor Friedman is looking forward to time in her studio. She is a printmaker who uses unusual media. Professor Friedman makes her own paper from fibers of cotton, abaca (from banana trees), and kozo (from mulberry trees). “Handmade paper is great to print on,” she enthuses. “You can make it whatever size and thickness you want.” She colors the paper with powdered pigment instead of ink or paint. “The color is more intense,” Professor Friedman says. “We are deeply in debt to these three faculty members for the decades of work they have devoted to NDNU and their students,” says President Greig. “They are all are so passionate about their work that none will ‘retire’ in the sense of putting up their feet. They will continue to make important contributions to their fields.”

"I decided I wanted to help young people who are experiencing situations similar to what I went through.� Monique


Formerly Incarcerated Women Earning Degrees at NDNU Sister Dorothy Stang Scholarship program funds a second chance for students


otre Dame de Namur University is collaborating on an innovative venture to provide a path to college for formerly incarcerated women. The project is a joint effort with St. Vincent de Paul’s Catherine Center, a residential program for women who have been in jail or prison, founded by two Sisters of Mercy. The collaboration allows Catherine Center residents who are admitted to NDNU’s Belmont campus to work toward a university degree. The first student to finish the program completed her bachelor’s in May 2017, and she graduated summa cum laude. NDNU is currently raising funds for the Sister Dorothy Stang Scholarship to support these women, named in honor of the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who was murdered in Brazil in 2005 while working for education, social justice, and the environment. 9

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Jim McGarry, director of NDNU’s Sister Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement, describes how the project got started: “Since 2006, my wife and I have been associated with Catherine Center, a restorative justice ministry,” McGarry recounts. “The women there have become our friends and we’ve gotten to know them well. It was clear to me and confirmed by the leadership of Catherine Center that an efficient path to college success would be a powerful component in renewing these women’s hopes, dreams, and lives.” That path is already producing results for the women who have started the program. The first NDNU graduate from Catherine Center, Monique, finished her bachelor’s degree in Human Services in May with the highest honors, completing a video for her capstone project

NDNU Students Join Catherine Center Residents for Writing Workshops Professor Pearl Chaozon Bauer of NDNU took her Women’s Literature class several times to Catherine Center in spring 2017 to write and share work. “The visits helped my students understand the true relevance of the books we were reading in class about women’s oppression and empowerment,” Professor Chaozon Bauer noted. The class was reading Carissa Phelps’s book Runaway Girl about her experiences with human trafficking, for example, and one of the women at Catherine Center shared a similar story about her life. The NDNU students met once a month with the women at Catherine Center. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Jonathan Freedman volunteered to help the group with writing tasks. “It was an incredible experience for all of us,” said Professor Chaozon Bauer. “We were able to create a loving and kind space where the Catherine Center women and the NDNU students felt comfortable sharing their vulnerabilities and experiences. Throughout the four visits, we wrote poems and shared them. At first, the women and students were hesitant to write and share, but they got progressively more comfortable with their own writing and reading.” . ndnu.edu

project on the story of her life and how her scholarship helped her to graduate. Monique, the child of two addicts, dropped out of college and became an addict herself. She was in and out of jail for several years. With the support she received at Catherine Center, she was able to consider going back to college. “At first I didn’t feel worthy to attend a university,” Monique reflects. “I was ashamed of my life experience. Through my professors at NDNU, I realized I could use that pain for good. I decided I wanted to help young people who are experiencing situations similar to what I went through.” Monique, the first in her family to attend college, plans to apply to graduate school and become a social worker. Another student in the program, L., also grew up in a troubled family: “Coming out of a household where I was a victim of, and a witness to, much domestic violence and abuse, I left high school early on and was an addict for approximately 17 years.” L. found Catherine Center and has been in recovery for over six years. She earned her GED, then an associate’s degree at a


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community college, and is now taking classes toward an interdisciplinary bachelor’s at NDNU combining biology, sociology, and theology, getting straight A marks. “My plan is to do graduate study in nutrition and naturopathic medicine,” says L. “Healing and restoration have become my life’s work.” L.’s experience before she became caught up in the criminal justice system is fairly typical of the women at Catherine Center. “To understand the stories and the potential of these women, it helps to see that the vast majority of them were previously

released from prison in the United States are rearrested in less than five years. At Catherine Center, that statistic is dramatically reversed—fewer than 10% of the women are arrested again once they reenter society. “The benefits of this collaboration with NDNU are tremendous in terms of the women having a supportive college experience and graduating with degrees that can allow them access to meaningful work,” says Vivian Clausing, the center’s program director. “Making education available to populations that usually do not have access is an important way to bring societal change and help remove the stigma associated with addiction and imprisonment.”

“Healing and restoration have become my life’s work.” victimized by crimes that were never prosecuted,” McGarry observes. “They suffered domestic violence, physical coercion, and/or sexual exploitation before they were ever arrested.” The rate of incarceration in the United States remains the highest of any large country in the world, and is more than ten times the rate in Denmark, Nepal, or Senegal, for instance. Well over two million people are currently in U.S. federal, state, and county jails or prisons. Part of the motivation for the Catherine Center is to begin changing the recidivism rate among the previously incarcerated. Approximately three-quarters of women

According to McGarry, the university also benefits from this exchange. “The life experience of the students from the Catherine Center contributes immeasurably to our learning here at NDNU. They bring a profound reflection on their life journey that deepens all our discourse.”

To donate to the Dorothy Stang Scholarship Fund, please visit ndnu.edu/giving and click on “Make a Gift.”


Educating the Educators NDNU is building on our longstanding distinction in education by launching several new initiatives for teachers: ŵŵ Biological Sciences Teacher Preparation Program (page 7)

ŵŵ NDNU Students and Alums at NASA Institute for Teachers (page 8)

ŵŵ Online MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (page 9) ŵŵ Tracy Campus Teaching Credentials (page 14)


alifornia is currently experiencing a teacher shortage in a variety of areas. With many educators currently retiring or nearing retirement age, the state needs 20,000 new teachers a year. At the same time, the number of new teaching credentials granted annually in California is roughly 11,500, leading to an acute shortfall in many school districts. In response to these needs and opportunities, NDNU is adding teaching credentials at its satellite campus in Tracy in fall 2017, and a Biological Sciences Teacher Preparation program in 2018 in collaboration with the San Mateo Community College District. “There is a critical need in California for new, qualified


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teachers,” says Caryl Hodges, dean of NDNU’s School of Education and Psychology. “This is particularly true in the sciences. Our new biological sciences credential program will help with this shortage. The program at NDNU is a significant cost and time saver for potential teachers because it offers the opportunity to complete both a bachelor’s degree and single subject biology credential with four years of study.” Initially, NDNU will collaborate with one community college, Cañada College, to take advantage of the existing transfer program between the two institutions. Cañada College has a vibrant STEM Center and a MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) program, both of which will be used to attract and recruit students into the integrated pathway.

NDNU Students Participate in NASA Science Education Project (L to R) Moriah Ponder, Stephanie Salas , Kristy Jordan, Ashley Hughes, Ariel Fields, Program Director Stephanie Demaree


n summer 2017, NDNU is participating for the second year in a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) institute for teacher education that aims to promote science learning for students of color. The space agency’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) provides the opportunity for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) such as NDNU to take part in an institute for educators at a NASA center. NDNU teacher education students attend the program at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. “This institute is an excellent match and resource for our students,” says Stephanie Demaree ’04, program director for Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation at NDNU. “The goals of the NASA institute include preparing high-quality teachers, engaging in STEM education, and innovating in the classroom, and those are also key for NDNU’s teacher education programs.” Over the course of the five-day institute, five NDNU teacher education students and one faculty sponsor learn about studentcentered classroom activities that utilize NASA assets and resources. The sessions are designed to help educators develop instructional practices to enhance science, technology, 12

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engineering, and math (STEM) instruction for all students. The NDNU team explores NASA equipment such as wind tunnels and human centrifuges, learning how scientific principles can be used to solve technical challenges related to air and space travel. As a participating university in the MUREP program, NDNU also receives membership in the NASA MEI Emerging Stars Network that gives the university priority for NASA teacher development support and educational resources. “As a first-year teacher, I found the NASA MUREP program stimulating and engaging,” said Ashley Hughes ‘16, who teaches at Nativity School in Menlo Park. “The program helped me think outside the box to create STEM lessons that would work for my students, who are all types of learners.” “I was extremely grateful to have this opportunity at NASA, because I had always felt apprehensive about teaching science,” said Stephanie Salas, a Liberal Studies Teacher Preparation major at NDNU. “The program gave me confidence and made me feel more comfortable with STEM lessons. It was also rewarding having Dr. Demaree and other NDNU students there because we were constantly brainstorming new things we could add to the lessons they offered.”

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

For more information on the online MA TESOL program, please visit ndnu.edu/education-and-leadership/tesol/

toward university degrees. The curriculum has a rotating structure so applicants can begin either in fall, spring, or summer. The courses are offered asynchronously, which means that students do not have to be online at any one time of day in order to participate. Online students will have the same access to university resources as residential students, including the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Registrar; as well as online resources at the library and personal advising that includes career guidance. “Many people ask me whether there is a correct age, place of residence, or undergraduate major for applicants to this program,” says Dr. Washington. “The answer is simply no. We are looking for individuals with bachelor’s degrees who are committed to supporting the language development of the communities they serve, who learn from their students how to be stronger educators, and who want to be a part of an exciting global community of educators who share that passion.”


n fall 2017, NDNU will initiate a new program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). This master’s degree course of study is Dr. Brad Washington offered entirely online and will include a global cohort of students. Dr. Brad Washington is directing the program— he is an experienced TESOL educator and researcher who started a similar program at another university and recently headed the Bay Area chapter of the California Association for the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages organization. “The MA TESOL program at NDNU has a unique focus,” Washington describes. “The students will learn pioneering uses of technology to facilitate language acquisition. The technology will involve widely accessible devices, such as mobile phones.” In addition, the MA TESOL program concentrates on social justice issues. The students will have an opportunity to intern with organizations that are working with refugee and immigrant populations, such as Jesuit Worldwide Learning, which is helping individuals in refugee camps on several continents work

I'm a #TESOLteacher because... Regardless of culture, country, or background, we are more alike than we are different, and there is no greater space for bringing people together than the language classroom. Understanding each other leads to greater empathy and peace." @keepupwithenglish

NDNU Launching New Online MA Program in

Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth." DR. HELEN CALDICOTT

"All the Tracy students have remarkable stories�

Jason Murray

New Campus Takes Root in Tracy


Notre Dame de Namur University’s satellite campus in Tracy, California, has passed a number of milestones in the last few months.


t this year’s NDNU Commencement in May, the first two graduates from the Tracy campus took part in the ceremony: MBA recipient Kelly Marie D’Souza, and bachelor of science recipient Mark Correa. Both garnered awards for their contributions as students: D’Souza accepted both a Leadership Excellence Award and an Academic Excellence Award, and Correa was presented with a Service Award. “All the Tracy students have remarkable stories about how they came to our campus,” says NDNU Vice President for Enrollment Management Jason Murray, who travels from Belmont to Tracy almost every week to cement ties with the campus and the community. “Kelly D’Souza finished a graduate degree while working full time and raising a family. Mark Correa commuted from the Central Valley to San Jose while he was studying. Most of the Tracy students would not be able to work toward degrees without programs offered close to their homes and a class schedule convenient for working adults. In addition to those individual stories, there is also the story of a community embracing higher education and what it can bring to a city.” The Tracy Consortium for Higher Education is a local group that actively promotes and supports the presence of a university in southern San Joaquin county. “A town gets numerous benefits when it has a university,” remarks Roger


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First Tracy Graduates: Kelly Marie D’Souza ’17 and Mark Correa ’17

Birdsall, retired Tracy businessman who founded the Consortium. “A campus offers cultural activities you wouldn’t normally have. When there are university students around, everyone walks with a little bounce in their step. And of course, there are economic benefits: you get a different type of business coming to town.” Recently the Consortium hosted their second major fundraiser, at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Gurinder Grewal, also hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Pranjal Patel, Dr. and Mrs. Sunil Patel, and Dr. and Mrs.

Rajiv Punjya. The 75 attendees contributed over $72,000 for scholarships for local NDNU students. This total adds to the $100,000 the Consortium had previously raised to support Tracy students. The number of those students is steadily increasing, as are the programs they are attending. The Tracy campus began with two offerings, an undergraduate and a graduate degree in business administration. Beginning in fall 2017, students will also enroll for a bachelor of science in Human Services, and both single and multiple subject teaching credentials. In addition to the academic programs, NDNU has stepped up its extracurricular activities in Tracy. The town boasts a beautiful art deco performance venue that has been fully restored, the Grand Theatre. NDNU’s Department of Music and Vocal Arts has now brought their spring show to the Grand three years running. In April, NDNU’s women’s soccer team played a scrimmage in Tracy against the local West Coast Wild soccer club, which has won the national championship in the under-18 age group. “The city of Tracy is excited to partner with NDNU to bring higher education to the residents of Tracy and the surrounding communities,” says Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman. “Having a college campus like NDNU in Tracy will lead to greater economic activity, fueling prosperity at the local and regional level.”


In Memoriam

John B. (Jack) Oblak, 1942–2017 President of NDNU, 2000–2007 Former NDNU President John B. (Jack) Oblak passed away on March 23, 2017, at a hospital near his home in Pennsylvania. As president, Jack Oblak led the effort to rename the university (previously College of Notre Dame) and established the current multi-school structure for the academic programs. During Jack Oblak’s term as president, the university began to implement its campus mas- ter plan, with the assistance of a $2M gift from the Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation. During his tenure, NDNU built New Hall, significantly adding to residence hall space. NDNU also successfully increased the institution’s endowment. The university developed the Strategic Plan 2007–2010, prioritizing teacher education, business, psychology, and natural sciences. NDNU also began the bachelor’s program in kinesiology during this period. In addition to his duties as president, Jack Oblak participated in university theater productions, including a part in the world premiere of Tim Robbins’s stage adaption of Dead Man Walking, and the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol.

Thomas F. Jordan, 1926–2017 NDNU Vice President for College Relations, Assistant to the President for Development and Advancement, 1976–1992 As the university’s chief development officer, Tom Jordan played a key role in raising funds to build some of the principle structures on the NDNU campus, including Gleason Gym and the Toso Residences. He also solicited donations to renovate the Ralston mansion carriage house into the Madison Art Center and Wiegand Gallery. Tom Jordan was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and was an advocate for racial justice in the early days of the civil rights movement. He was the founder and president of the Catholic Interracial Council and a founding member of the Interfaith Committee on Race Relations. In addition to his work at NDNU, Tom Jordan was a vice president of the University of San Francisco and the Graduate Theological Union, a founding trustee of CASE (the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), and an honorary life trustee of the American Ireland Fund. 16

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Trustee Kris Zavoli Receives Joe Allen Exemplar Award from the College Board


ris Zavoli ’68, ’73, an alum and member of the NDNU Board of Trustees, was named the 2017 recipient of the Joe Allen Exemplar Award, the most prestigious award conferred by the Western Regional Assembly of the College Board. The award acknowledges a “leader of leaders” who has made contributions on behalf of students over an extended time. Kris Zavoli earned a BA, Master of Arts in Teaching, and two teaching credentials at NDNU. She also served as NDNU’s director of admissions. Kris Zavoli was the first in her family to attend college. “When I was in

high school in Sacramento, Sister Helen Cecelia of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur was my teacher and college counselor. She drove me all the way to Belmont for an open house to encourage me to apply for admission and financial aid,” Zavoli recalls. “My work in the NDNU Admissions Office taught me that I could be an advocate for kids like me who didn’t think they could go to college.” Zavoli has continued that advocacy by creating the Zavoli Endowed Scholarship, awarded annually to an NDNU student with financial aid needs who is the first in the family to attend college.

Douglas Rice Named Interim Dean of School of Business and Management


rofessor Douglas Rice has been appointed to the post of interim dean of the School of Business and Management. Rice replaces Professor Craig Brewer, who served as dean for four years. Rice earned his Doctor of Business Administration from Golden Gate University with a concentration in finance. He has been a faculty member at NDNU for four years, and previously


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taught at Golden Gate University for over ten years. He has developed and taught many courses over that time, including classes on investments, corporate finance, and behavioral finance. Rice received a Best-in-Region Award for his presentation on preparing students for career success at the 2016 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Regional Conference. He also founded Rice Financial Education, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes financial literacy.

The Campaign to Save Ralston Hall Reaches $20.2 Million as Construction Nears Notre Dame de Namur University’s Campaign to Save Ralston Hall has now reached the $20.2 million mark and continues to grow to meet construction needs. “We are immensely grateful to our benefactors and donors who have come forward with additional capstone gifts as we near construction,” said Judith Maxwell Greig, president. “We were extremely pleased to have achieved our original fundraising goals, but to have donors come forward a second and even third time with funding assistance on the project was remarkable!” Permitting for the project is nearing completion. Once the project is fully approved, construction is expected to start soon. For more information, please contact Dino Hernandez, Vice President for Advancement: (650) 508-3512 or dhernandez@ndnu.edu

B elmont Mayor Charles Stone presents Jon Black with award

ARGONAUTS Women’s Basketball Shocks the PacWest; Women’s Soccer Makes Tracy Debut; Lacrosse Coach Honored This spring, the Notre Dame de Namur women’s basketball team fought their way to the school’s first-ever appearance in the Pacific West Conference Tournament. The Argonauts, picked to finish last in the conference, stunned the opposition, finishing fourth with a school record 13 conference wins. The Argos defied expectations with a potent offense that finished the year with six wins in their final seven games. NDNU’s biggest win came against Azusa Pacific on Senior Night when the Argos clinched fourth place with an 89-74 victory over the Cougars. A week later, the Argos squared off with APU again, this time falling to Cougars in the first round of the PacWest Tournament. Three Argos earned All-Conference honors for NDNU, led by Marissa Caballero being named PacWest Newcomer of the Year and Second Team All-Conference. Emily Tevez joined Caballero on the Second Team, with Jerusha Paine receiving Honorable Mention status. Another historical event for NDNU athletics this spring was


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the women’s soccer team playing their firstever game in Tracy. The Argonauts squared off against the West Coast Soccer Club (“The Wild”), at the Tracy Sports Complex on April 2 to a crowd of over 200 people. NDNU prevailed in the game with three second half goals. NDNU men’s lacrosse head coach Jon Black ’08, ’17, was selected as the annual graduate to receive the City of Belmont Community Service and Leadership Award. Black received his MBA this spring, and is also the university’s associate director of admissions. During Black’s four-year tenure as associate coach and then head coach, he and the lacrosse team have performed many thousands of hours of community service and have raised close to $20,000 for a variety of causes, including fighting childhood cancer, promoting breast cancer awareness, and helping children with special needs.

#1851REASONS–Inspirational Stories

I was , U N D At N xplore e o t d e age encour nd outside th o h a inside professors w e m by o o r pportiv s u s s a l e c b ue to day.” ve, n i i t s n n o c to this espo ryone r w o e ed h lpful ev ft, z a s am and he hen I le NDNU has launched a new online a w I campaign called #1851REASONS, named ing, DNU. W join the g a eng as at N dy to for the university’s founding in 1851. The .” w elt rea eachers hashtag is a platform to capture and share I f ks of t NDNU experiences. We are asking alums, ran students, faculty, and staff to post on Facebook

Arts Roundup

and/or Instagram to tell us why you chose NDNU and what you liked about your experience at the university. Post a photo or video, tell us your story, find out what others have shared. Search for: #1851REASONS.

Alum Masako Miki ’96 showed her work at the campus’s Wiegand Gallery as part of a three-person exhibition in March and April 2017: Britta Kathmeyer/Masako Miki/Sara Pringle Works on Paper, Paintings & Installation. The show featured women artists exploring the relationship between humans and nature. Since graduating from NDNU, Masako Miki has been an artist in residence at the de Young Museum in San Francisco and has exhibited her work widely in the United States and Japan. The Department of Music and Vocal Arts staged the Broadway hit musical The Secret Garden in February and March, with six performances on the Belmont campus and one at the historic Grand Theatre in Tracy. The cast


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included twenty-eight student performers and an orchestra of six. This production used a new technology of stage projections for sets, entirely run by computer and iPad. Department Chair Debra Lambert ’13 was the musical director, and faculty members Greg Fritsch and Dottie Lester White provided the stage direction and choreography, respectively. Musical and Vocal Arts was also represented in China this summer, when NDNU student Longyue Dai was invited to perform a solo vocal recital at the Opera Baroque of Sichuan in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, on July 8. Department Chair Debra Lambert also traveled to

Notre Dame de Namur University Student

Jessica I. Gonzalez Honored as 2017 Newman Civic Fellow


essica I. Gonzalez was recently named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact offers learning, networking, scholarship, and postgraduate opportunities; and a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows. Jessica I. Gonzalez is a third-year student at Notre Dame de Namur University. She is also a third-year Bonner Leader, a program through which she is dedicated to community engagement. Jessica has worked with homeless families and with Reading Partners, a highly successful one-on-one approach to literacy. With both of her reading partners, Jessica has specialized in encouraging the success of elementary school children who are attending school under extremely difficult circumstances. Jessica is also treasurer of the


The Humane Side of Human Services Some recent Human Services capstone projects

Senior Projects



University's Rainbow Connection, a group supporting the rights and needs of our LGBTQ students. “We are proud that Jessica has been chosen as a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow,” said President Judith Maxwell Greig of NDNU. “We are particularly proud of Jessica’s work in the community on behalf of homeless families, her literacy coaching of low-income elementary school students, and her exemplary service as an NDNU Bonner Leader.” “I am deeply honored that Campus Compact considered that I had the potential to become a Newman Civic Fellow, and very thankful as well,” said Gonzalez. “I’m currently volunteering at John Gill Elementary School in Redwood City, California, helping students improve reading and comprehension skills. Most of these students are immigrants or refugees, or from other low income families. It’s amazing to see how students build self-confidence and improve over time. I wish we had had a program like this when I was younger.”

Carlos Echevarria worked with the San Jose Vet Center and CrossFit Kindred to implement a physical training program for disabled veterans as part of their rehabilitation. The San Jose Vet Center offers readjustment counseling for veterans coming from all war eras.

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David Muir organized assistance for the St. Bonaventure Outreach Services in providing electricity and water to families on the Eastern Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. Through a combination of outreach projects, he raised money to purchase a solar panel kit, a cistern, a water pump, and a water heater.

Amanda Fletcher worked with the Helen and Joe Farkes Center for the Study of the Holocaust in Catholic Schools, using her extensive experience in libraries to organize their collection and provide unlimited access to the collection for students and teachers.

For more project stories visit the Human Services program blog:










NDNU celebrated its

165th Commencement Ceremony on May 6, 2017


NDNU Today


2017 Noura Bou Zeid '17

Governor Eddie Baza Calvo of Guam, an NDNU graduate from the class of ’83, welcomed the new alums, who included his son Paul Jerome (PJ) Calvo. Governor Calvo also received a Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The 2017 undergraduate Commencement speaker was Noura Bou Zeid. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Noura emigrated to the Bay Area with her family at the age of three. At NDNU, Noura majored in political science and also completed an English major. Through the Political Science and History Departments, Noura participated in the Political Science Association, the Model Arab League, and an internship with Congresswoman Jackie Speier. She studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, in the International Relations and Multilateral Diplomacy Program of the School for International Training. Noura became increasingly interested in international trade, and compiled a senior capstone project on “Modernizing Intra-Arab Investment Contracts.” Following her study abroad, Noura took on an internship with the General Delegation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Washington, DC. There she served as a congressional affairs intern and attended Senate hearings on foreign policy. In addition, she was a summer intern with the National Council on U.S.–Arab Relations. Noura is now taking part in the Summer Institute for General Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She hopes to enroll in a dual MBA-JD program.

Commencement speakers Libby and Len Traubman told graduates about their Living Room Dialogues that bring together Jews and Palestinians to share stories in an atmosphere of respectful communication. The Traubmans have applied this model of conflict resolution in many disputes around the globe.

Hats Oƒƒ to Our Grads!

Aamir Laique of the Clinical Psychology master’s program gave the graduate student speech. He concluded by saying, “Because of those people who choose to turn away from problems they see, the world needs us to turn towards those problems and look them in the eye."

NDNU President Judith Maxwell Greig urged the graduates: “Reflect on what you learned here and our Hallmarks and how you want to be remembered at the end of your life. Go out and bring dignity and goodness to serve the people in your world.”

NDNU Alumni

CLASS NOTES 1960s Greetings Alumni! 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year! Since the start of the new year alumni and friends have had an engaging six months. Many enjoyed an outing to Scottsdale, Arizona, to catch the San Francisco Giants Spring Training Opening Day game. In California, attendees enjoyed a weekend of relaxation and religious renewal during the 17th Annual Carmel Alumni Retreat Weekend, while some explored new wineries and historic sites in and around the Central Valley. Alumni soared into innovation and technology at the annual alumni reunion held this year at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. In Belmont, alums came together to honor first responders at the annual NDNU Alumni Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Parents and alumni came out to support the annual lacrosse showdown with Belmont Mayor Charles Stone. We look forward to seeing you at many more of our alumni events this year and hope that you will stay connected with this dynamic institution. For more information on alumni events go to NDNUAlumniNetCommunity.org. Thank you and see you soon! Elizabeth Valente Director of Alumni and Parent Relations alumni@ndnu.edu (888) 511-NDNU (6368)


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Elizabeth Pelaez Norris ’67 Elizabeth retired from teaching after 39 years. She spent 34 of those years working at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda. She continues to write, volunteer, and stay active with poetry community events.


Cathy Gach ’72 Cathy is enjoying retirement after 45 years in the education system. She began her career as a school administrator in 1988. Cathy graduated from NDNU with a BA in art. Barbara Morgan ’74 Barbara became the first recipient of the Idaho Medal of Achievement. She spent 24 years as an elementary school teacher before becoming the first teacher-astronaut to travel to space aboard the shuttle Endeavor in 2007.


Bradley Nitschneider ’85, ’90, ‘91 Bradley is currently the elementary program coordinator and sixth grade homeroom teacher at Hyde Academy in Beijing, China. He has worked in the education field since 1989 and has published five mathematics books for students in grades 1 through 4.


Gina Gallo ’90 Gina received the Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award for her contributions to the wine world and hospitality industry. She is the senior director of winemaking for the Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery.

Bernadette Mellott ‘99 Bernadette is the new executive director at Ombudsman Services of San Mateo County Inc. The nonprofit organization serves to protect all residents living in long-term care in San Mateo County from abuse and fraud. Meghan Tuazon ’91 Meghan recently directed The Dining Room for the Elmira Little Theatre production company in Elmira, New York. She also works as a speech coach for the Corning Museum of Glass. She graduated with a BA in theater.


Venice Asuncion ’08, ‘15 Venice is the new product marketing manager at BOLD, based in San Francisco. The tech company helps people find jobs, build resumes, and assist employers in finding the right people for their company. Jeff Azzopardi ’04 Jeff was awarded the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Executive Certificate. He started his law enforcement career with the South San Francisco Police Department in 1993 and was appointed police chief in 2014. Marianne Markt ’04, ‘06 Marianne is the CFO and treasurer for The Digital Monkey School Foundation. She helps implement artistic programs, services, and events for teens and young adults, and brings community members together. Parminder “Parm” S. Sachdej ’03 Parm was promoted to vice president and manager of the Guam Dealer Center with First Hawaiian Bank. He‘s responsible for managing wholesale and retail dealer relationships, growing the indirect auto loan portfolio, and overseeing collections for the region.


Alyson Alconis ’16 Alyson is the social media marketing manager at Sulis & Thermae London Limited. She is also a content creator and marketing consultant for The Beauty Vanity, an online makeup advice beauty site. Andrew Bautista ‘14 Andrew is the print program project coordinator at Apple in Cupertino. He received his BA in psychology and minored in business administration. Rachel Brunson ‘11 Rachel is the new assistant director of the Learning and Writing Center at the University of San Francisco. Before moving back to San Francisco, she was working in the University of South Carolina’s Student Success Center. Sean Carreon ’13 Sean is a business analyst at Cisco. He provides analysis and reporting on departmental/group revenue, expenses, and strategic projects. He graduated with a BS in business administration. Juan Castro ‘16 Juan is the new music teacher at Notre Dame Elementary School in Belmont. The theater art major also appeared in the musical No, No, Nanette with San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon theater company. Esmeralda Montenegro Owen ’11 Esmeralda received an award and recognition from the Hartnell College Governing Board for her work on Measure T, a $167 million bond proposal to expand programs and facilities in the Hartnell Community College District.

NDNU Alumni

CLASS NOTES Arturo Pimentel ’15 Arturo works as an account executive at Provident Credit Union. He graduated with a BA in communications. Gabriella Reyes ’17 Gabriella is working as a legal process clerk II for Santa Clara Superior Court. She graduated with a BA in history and political science. Maria Sanchez ’15 Maria and her husband opened up a coffee shop, Tertulia, and an art gallery in downtown Oakland. She curates the art at Sanchez Contemporary and plans to highlight Latino and other artists of color. Wayne Self ’14 Wayne wrote and composed the musical production, Upstairs. The performance is being shown at the Davidson/Valentini theatre at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Wayne graduated with a MFA in musical arts. Leandra Steenkamp ’16 Leandra was crowned Miss Grand National 2017 by the Grand National Rodeo. She received her BA in psychology.

Scott Sweetnam ’12, ‘15 Scott is the business operations manager at Oracle. He manages a team of analysts and is responsible for various logistics requirements such as processing global logistics data, being the lead on RFPs, and managing contract renewal of global suppliers. Jeremy Winslow ‘15 Jeremy is a freelance critic and reporter in the Greater Sacramento region, writing for publications such as Paste Magazine, Sacramento News & Review, and GameStop.

In Memoriam Kathleen M. Mirante, MD, ‘61 Mary Diane Floom Conrad ‘63 Maureen E. Shaw ’78

This fun puzzle book is to help chess players avoid capturing unprotected pieces that look safe to capture, but which are actually “poison.” Lauren is a chess teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been ranked as one of the top 100 female chess players in the nation for over ten years.

NDNU Today

Wais Abdiani ’09 Wais and his fiancée Freshta Obaid are in the process of planning their 2018 wedding. The two met through their parents and got engaged in Maui in 2016. Wais is a program finance manager at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Stephen Lagos '12 Stephen is engaged to his boyfriend, David Murphy, of ten years and the two are planning to get married in March of 2019. Stephen works at NDNU as an admissions counselor.

Births Casey Porter '02 Casey and his wife Amber welcomed their daughter Haley in early 2017. Their son Jason was born in 2013. Casey is a talent acquisition manager with Enterprise Holdings. Nikita (Anthony) Gilkerson ’04 Nikita and her husband Josh welcomed their son “Ralston” Blaise Gilkerson. The couple married in Ralston Hall in 2001 and decided to name their third son after the historic landmark. He is affectionately called “Rocky” by his older brothers Sebastian (5) and Lincoln (3).

Recently Released by Alumni

50 Poison Pieces: Solve 50 Puzzles Where the Unprotected Piece Is Toxic by Lauren Goodkind ‘06 Lauren Goodkind (April, 2017)



A Road to Barcelona, A Mother’s Account by Terri Stober ‘70 Xlibris US (February 2017) This is a mother’s story of two daughters leaving home to pursue dreams to be Olympic gymnasts. The book captures the loneliness and longing to be with her daughters during their journey. Terri is a retired high school educator and human relations specialist who now lives in Ventura, California.


NDNU Alumni


Wais Abdiani, MBA ’09 Program Finance Manager Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Wais Abdiani manages finances for the new state-of-the art Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford scheduled to open in December 2017. More than doubling its original size, the new building for the Packard Children’s Hospital will be the most technologically advanced, family-friendly, and environmentally sustainable hospital for children and expectant mothers in the nation. “I’m excited to go to work every day to help with the construction of a hospital that will break new ground in many ways,” says Wais. The hospital is technologically advanced in its use of hybrid operating rooms equipped to take x-rays; it’s family friendly in providing homey private rooms with accommodations for up to two relatives; and the design is a work of art, filled with nature-themed play spaces, gardens, and artwork, as well as a cafeteria with a woodburning pizza oven and local organic food. “To outfit the new hospital involved the purchase of over 15,000 pieces of medical equipment and 4,700 pieces of furniture, among many other items,” Wais recounts. “What motivates me to do this work is knowing that children with the greatest medical challenges will come here and receive the best possible treatment.” The hospital is also environmentally friendly, including a wind turbine, and a cistern to collect rainwater for the gardens. “We used recycled wood and steel for many of the building components,” Wais describes. Wais was born in a refugee camp and emigrated to the United States with his family at a young age. After college, Wais was able to attend the MBA program at NDNU with the help of financial aid. “The professors took an interest and encouraged me,” he recalls. “At NDNU I took classes that offered project management skills I immediately applied to my work.” Wais laments the current stigma that is often attached to refugees: “Refugees come here to seek a safe haven from war, embrace Western values, raise families, and work hard to give back to this great country.”


NDNU Today

Alumni & Parent Lacrosse Mixer 2017 L-R: Jon Black ’08, ’17, Lacrosse Head Coach; Curtis Yokoyama ’17; Alex Campbell ’18; Griffin Van Baush ’17; Charles Stone, Mayor of City of Belmont; and Judith Maxwell Greig, NDNU President

Carmel Retreat 2017 L-R: Kathleen Nichols ’69, Toni Oyster ’85, Phyllis Gillum ’63, Theresa Plut ‘92, Sr. Roseanne Murphy, SNDdeN, Marilyn McElhaney ’68, ‘77, Russell Wertenberg ’91, Linda Wertenberg, Lucia Von Clemm-Green ’73, ’74, and Rose Flahaven ‘61

“The annual NDNU Alumni Carmel Retreat at Villa Angelica is the ideal time for me to nourish my spirit, mind, body, and soul, allowing me to return to my daily life with a new sense of energy and purpose," said Rose Flahaven ‘61. "It is so much fun catching up with my NDNU alumni family."

NDNU Alumni


Arizona Spring Training 2017 L-R: Carlos Pokorski; Jeremy Pokorski; Jonathan Beretta '99; Elizabeth Valente, NDNU Alumni Director; Charlotte Pokorski '67; Kathryn Woo; Brittany Scheunemann; Therese Crowley-Marrion '66; Craig Brewer, Dean of the School of Business & Management; and Dino Hernandez, VP for Advancement

Alumni Reunion 2017 NDNU Alumni, Faculty/Staff, and friends of the university at the Hiller Aviation Museum

2017 Wine & Culture Tour: Exploring the Central Valley L-R: James Jardine, Terri Cook, Bob Kaczor, Rose Flahavan ‘61, Michael and Dorothy Callan ‘87, Jerry Feight, Mary Ann Brown, Rumana Jabeen, Michael Schmitz ’81, ‘88, Joanne Kaczor ‘96, Connie Feight, Anne Hannigan ’70, ‘72, Bill Brown, Sr. Roseanne Murphy, SNDdeN, Alumni Director Elizabeth Valente, Lawrence and Susan Basso ‘87, Diane Jardine ‘67, and Beverly Evans ‘89 “Each year when we return to NDNU after our tour, I am filled with joy, having experienced another outstanding trip,” said Joanne Kaczor ’96. “The wines, cultural sights, food, and the people make each tour so memorable.”


NDNU Today

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day 2017 L-R: Rosario Fernandez '04; Mike Brosnan '04, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Anti-Trafficking Project Coordinator; Don Mattei '79, '98; Mike Callagy '84, ’00, San Mateo Assistant County Manager; Patrick Hensley '08, Daly City PD Captain; Judith Maxwell Greig, NDNU President; and Dan DeSmidt ‘00, Belmont PD Chief

1500 Ralston Avenue Belmont, CA 94002-1908 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


Did you know? Water Dog Lake Park, a 51.5 parcel of land located in central Belmont, was acquired along with the Ralston Mansion by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1922. The lake was originally a reservoir for the Ralston estate, which became the NDNU campus. In 1965, the university began leasing the land for a token fee to the City of Belmont as a nature area with free public access and hiking trails. Water Dog Lake retains that status today, home to wildlife, stately white oaks, and other flora and fauna.