Spring Reflection and Engagement

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

Happy New Year!

I hope this message finds you well and excited to reunite with your friends and classmates after enjoying a restful and relaxing Christmas Break. I am thrilled to welcome you home as we begin the spring semester at the University of Notre Dame.

As you know, your first week of classes also marks the start of our campus commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Walk the Walk Week

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Thanksgiving and Advent Blessings

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

As we begin to celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming Advent season, and with the end of the semester quickly approaching, I write simply to offer a few reflections and words of encouragement in the midst of this busy season.

This is an exciting and joy-filled time of year. While many of you are preparing to travel home to spend Thanksgiving with family and loved ones, others may be looking forward to a few days on campus with a slower change of pace. The first signs of the holidays are starting to show, and we are already looking ahead to how we will enjoy the Christmas Break and next semester’s classes. At the same time, we are seeing the weather become colder and the skies turning mostly gray. We are aware of the ways others in the world and in our communities may be hurting, and are perhaps experiencing challenges or suffering ourselves. It is important to name and acknowledge these kinds of apparent contradictions because in doing so we are also invited to recognize where we might find—and where we might bring—sources of light and hope.

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Inclusive Campus Student Survey Results

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I hope these past few weeks have been exciting, rewarding, and filled with opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit as you engage in your coursework and campus life.

At the start of the semester, I invited us to consider what it might mean to engage intentionally in reflection in community. Finding space and time amid busy schedules can be difficult, but our willingness to do so—to reflect, prayerfully, on the constant input we receive and to do so in the context of community—is absolutely essential to the good work we are able to do at Notre Dame and beyond.

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Welcome Home

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I hope this message finds you settled in and preparing for your first full week of classes! I am thrilled to write today to welcome you to another academic year at the University of Notre Dame.

As you may know, I serve as the University’s Vice President for Student Affairs. If you are not familiar with the work of Student Affairs, our team comprises more than 250 professional staff from an array of offices

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Welcoming You to Your New Home

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I am thrilled to add my welcome to the many offices, staff, faculty, and students who have been in touch with you this summer as you prepare to begin your journey at Notre Dame. I write on behalf of myself and my colleagues in the Division of Student Affairs, and to share a bit about the community you will join in just a few short weeks.

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Moving Forward Together

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I hope this message finds you well as you enter into reading days and prepare for your last exams of the semester. 

In my first message to you last August as I was beginning in my role as Vice President for Student Affairs, I emphasized that my highest priority this year would be to listen—to the experiences of our students, the perspectives of our staff and faculty who work so closely with you, and the many collaborators who care deeply for student life inside and outside of the classroom. These experiences are an essential source of input for the University, and especially for my colleagues and I in Student Affairs who seek to support your well-being; your social, moral, intellectual, and spiritual formation; your sense of connection and belonging; and your ability to reflect, pray, and discern during your time as a Notre Dame student.…

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Making Connections this Spring

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I hope the first weeks of the new semester, while cold, have been fruitful. We have much to be proud of as we begin the new semester, and I am especially grateful for your flexibility and attention to necessary COVID protocols as well as student leadership and participation in the University’s observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Walk the Walk Week. Thanks to all of you – and in particular the students involved with the MLK Day Coalition – for your advocacy of a full-day observance of this important date. The past month has demonstrated the strong sense of community that truly undergirds our common life and work at Notre Dame.…

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Caring for Ourselves and One Another

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I hope you had a wonderful Fall Break, and found at least some opportunity to catch your breath after a busy first half of the semester! With cooler weather upon us and the end of the semester now in sight, I write to both commend you for your perseverance over the last year and remind you about the importance of caring for yourselves and one other in these last weeks of fall.…

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Welcome from Fr. Gerry

Author: Rev. Gerry Olinger, C.S.C.

Dear Students,

I hope this message finds you enjoying your first day of classes! I am thrilled to write today to welcome you to another academic year at the University of Notre Dame.

As some of you may know, this is my first year as the University’s Vice President for Student Affairs. If you are not familiar with the work of Student Affairs, it comprises more than 250 professional staff who work in a variety of departments

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