University President Fr. John Jenkins led the spring 2014 town hall meeting Monday in Washington Hall, which focused on campus expansion projects as well as ways to improve Notre Dame for future students.Jenkins discussed the importance of constantly adapting and revising Notre Dame, making it better for the future.“Notre Dame’s commitment to education, scholarly engagement, internationality and faith sets it apart as an outstanding research university.” Jenkins said. “Everybody should be asking questions. Everyone should be engaged in discovering new truths — that is what sets Notre Dame apart from other top schools.”Jenkins described the “Strategic Plan”, which involves many important additions to the campus.“The current residence halls are filled to 106 percent, which is a major problem,” Jenkins said.In response, the University will build two new residence halls behind Grace Hall. Other projects include a new architecture building, Nanovic Hall, Jenkins Hall, a new research complex and the expansion of the Hesburgh Library.Katie McCarty | The Observer Jenkins also addressed the Campus Crossroads Project, which aims to maximize use of space around Notre Dame stadium.“One of the goals is to keep the campus compact — Notre Dame is a walking campus, and it should always be a walking campus,” Jenkins said. “This project will work because it will recapture space that isn’t being used but is still in the walking zone.”According to Jenkins, new buildings will be built around the stadium including new professor offices, a music building and a new student center.Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves also discussed the “ImproveND Project”, which is essentially a survey to identify the school’s weaknesses and strengths.The survey showed that Notre Dame is strongest in campus safety, library services and fitness and recreation services, he said. Lower scores were in timeliness and openness to suggestions, campus eateries and catering and performance management.The president and faculty are constantly working to identify areas of improvement, set achievable goals and monitor progress in order to create accountability and show commitment to justice and fairness in light of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, Jenkins said. These changes are working to modernize and evolve Notre Dame to keep in competitive among top international universities.The question is whether Fr. Sorin would look at Notre Dame today and see the fulfillment of his dream for the University, Jenkins said.“If we’ve done our job, Sorin would look around and say ‘this is what I dreamed of,” Jenkins said.Tags: Campus Crossroads, Fr. John Jenkins, town hall meeting
ROME — The alarm was set for 4 a.m. on Easter morning.Juniors Annie Richelsen, Elizabeth Crimmins and Derek Meyer — all studying abroad in Dublin for the semester — got up, got dressed and began the trek to St. Peter’s Square with a couple other students from the Ireland brigade.The group arrived at the Vatican and got in a line around 5:30 a.m. It was another 4 1/2 hours before Easter Mass began, celebrated by Pope Francis in front of the historic basilica.But the early wake-up was worth it, Crimmins said from her seat some 20 rows back from the bottom of the basilica’s stairs.“This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing,” she said as thousands passed through security checks and flooded into the piazza beneath Bernini’s colonnade. Katie Galioto | The Observer Junior Elizabeth Crimmins watches Pope Francis deliver his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” Easter message. The pope celebrated Easter Mass in Vatican City and traveled through the crowd in his popemobile.About 130 Notre Dame students signed up to attend Easter Mass in the Vatican City as part of Campus Ministry’s Holy Week Pilgrimage, junior Claire Kramer, student minister for the Rome Global Gateway, said. Of those students, about 30 participated in the full-track pilgrimage — a four-day trek allowing them to visit churches and sites across Rome in the days leading up to Easter Sunday.“Even though I’m staying here, I felt like I was on a vacation in Rome,” Kramer said. “I’m pretty sure we walked like a half marathon every day. I was exhausted by the end, but it was so cool to see all these special places on Holy Thursday, on Good Friday.”The program included trips to Rome’s four papal basilicas, a walk up Scala Santa — the stairs which, according to Catholic tradition, Jesus climbed to be tried by Pontius Pilate — and Stations of the Cross led by Pope Francis at the Colosseum.“Basically, instead of a pub crawl, we did an altar crawl,” Richelsen said with a laugh.Shaun Evans, a junior spending the semester in Rome, said he appreciated the chance to experience the history of the Catholic faith over the course of the week.“For Good Friday, I went to Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, where I got to venerate relics of the true cross,” he said. “I went to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday in St. John Lateran, where there are huge statues of the 12 apostles — the ones whose feet were washed at the Last Supper.”Evans said while he went to Easter Mass at St. Peter’s with his family, he was struck by the number of people from different countries — something which, he said, spoke about the universality of the Catholic faith.“You saw the great draw it has all over the world,” he said. “Most of the Mass was in Latin. The Gospel was also read in the original Greek. And then a couple of readings were in different languages, the intercessions were in all sorts of different languages.”Notre Dame students themselves traveled from campus and study abroad locations across Europe to participate in the pilgrimage.“I booked the trip back in December,” Meyer said. “This is the one place we knew we were coming, and we were definitely looking forward to it.”At the ceremony, Pope Francis gave both an impromptu homily and his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” Easter message. He traversed the crowd in his white popemobile, offering waves and blessings — which junior Maria Kunath said was her favorite part of the weekend.“Even though the crowd was giant, it still felt to me like you were praying with the Pope personally — and that feeling was cemented when he came around in his popemobile,” she said. “And I swear, he made eye contact with me.”In his homily, Francis called for people to hold onto their faith amidst a world of evil and violence, referencing recent bombings in Syria and other wars around the world.“He talked about remembering people who are suffering and going through a lot of hardship right now on a day that’s so joyful for us,” junior Stephanie Reuter said. “I thought that was nice. And it makes sense — he’s been very attentive to immigrants and refugees his whole Pontificate.”“I thought that was great,” Kunath added. “It was the time to do it because everyone was watching.”In the middle of the Mass, a sudden rain shower sprinkled the crowd. The skies had completely cleared, however, by the time the Swiss Guard and band from the Mass processed out of the Square.“I liked that — in the end, everything wasn’t just concentrated at the Vatican,” junior Becket Salerno said. “The Vatican went out into Rome, blowing trumpets and marching through the streets.”Tags: Easter Mass, Rome, Vatican
Multiple reports say Dallas has tried to coax their former tight end Jason Witten out of retirement this season.The 36-year-old Witten has said he’s committed to his new career as a broadcaster. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett finally addressed the rumors Monday, denying that an effort to sign Witten ever existed. Jason Garrett on the report that he had talked to Jason Witten about a possible return to playing for the Cowboys this season: “There is no truth to that story.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 10, 2018For now, both parties seem perfectly content without each other. Witten gave the Cowboys 15 strong years, but he decided to step away from playing professional football. Amari Cooper has helped reinvigorate the Cowboys’ passing game, so it’s unlikely they’ll be looking to make any changes. Related News The Cowboys, who have sole ownership of first place in the NFC East, will look to extend their winning streak to six games against the Colts next Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar performance from Amari Cooper Cowboys tried to bring Jason Witten out of retirement, report says “There is no truth to that story,” Garrett said (via Jon Machota of the Dallas News).
Hopefully for them, fantasy basketball GMs weren’t so discouraged by Tobias Harris’ effort on Tuesday at Dallas that they opted to bench him Wednesday.Because the Clippers’ forward came out firing in Miami, avenging a poor 1-for-9, nine-point effort in a loss to the Mavericks with 31 points on 12-for-19 shooting to help defeat the Heat.Harris also had six assists in Wednesday’s 111-99 victory, giving him 19 dishes in three games, a career-best for over such a span.“Great players don’t have two bad ones in a row,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters in Miami. “We told him to keep doing what he’s doing, and today he was doing it all. What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Former Clipper Blake Griffin’s best true-shooting season with the Clippers was in 2013-14, when he had a 58.3 percentage – fifth-best for the franchise.For his part, Harris told reporters Wednesday that he was focused on getting into positions that would allow him to be more effective.“I was able to pick-and-roll and get to the mid-range and knock those down,” he said. “Today was a big game, and mentally too. Right from the beginning I liked our energy and I liked our pace, and we just flowed off of that.”SINDARIUS ‘UN-STATABLE’Sindarius Thornwell played about 6-1/2 minutes and had zero stats in the box score to show for it, with one exception: The Clippers were plus-seven when he was on the floor.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates “Last year he didn’t know how to do that, and this year he is doing it and I am proud of him for that.”Harris, 26, continues to have a career year in his first full season with the Clippers, who are 26-22 entering Friday’s game against the struggling Bulls (11-37) in Chicago.His 21 points, eight rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game all are career bests, as are his field-goal (50.1), 3-point (43.1) and free-throw shooting (88.4) percentages.According to basketball-reference.com, Harris also is on pace to set a Clippers’ record for true shooting percentage, which measures a player’s shooting efficiency by calculating 2- and 3-point field goals and free throws collectively.Harris has a true shooting mark of 61 percent, which would be the best in team history for a player averaging at least 15 field goals per game. No. 2 on that list: Bob McAdoo, who had a 59.4 true shooting percentage in 1973-74. For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Rivers, who previously described guard Avery Bradley’s contributions as being “un-statable,” on Wednesday credited Thornwell, the sturdy second-year guard from South Carolina, with being the difference-maker in the victory.“I believe the hero of the game was Sindarius,” Rivers said. “He came up big in the stretch with (Dwyane) Wade. Wade was killing us. I had put Sindarius in the game and those stops that he made really helped us.”Wade finished with 13 points, all of which came in the first half.Thornwell, 24, is averaging 1.3 points and 5.4 minutes per game this season.