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Shirt 2004 design unveiled today

Anna Gelhaus | Friday, April 23, 2004

Will the tide of the “Sea of Green” rise again? That question will be answered this afternoon as The Shirt 2004 is unveiled.Designer Brittany Becker said she cannot comment on the color or design of this year’s Shirt, but she said, “It has a little more of a vintage feel than before. The main facet [of the design] is the role students play in the Notre Dame tradition and the atmosphere in the stadium.” Kate Crossin, 2004 president of The Shirt Committee, said the shirt is aimed with students in mind.”I really wanted to focus more on the students. We say we are selling more than a shirt,” she said. We wanted a color the students liked, a design the students liked. From my talks with coach [Tyrone] Willingham, we decided we wanted to bring the football populace together.”Becker added that she hopes it creates unity. Crossin said there is a big emphasis on this year’s unveiling as it is the 15th anniversary of the project. Brennan Harvath, the original president of The Shirt, will be present and wearing the original 1990 design. Various hall presidents and Courtney Schuster, the 2002 Shirt president, will be modeling the other Shirts from the past. Chuck Lennon, executive director for the Alumni Association, will kick off the event at 4:45 p.m. outside the Hammes Bookstore with “a mini pep rally” said Crossin. The official unveiling and press conference will begin inside at 5 p.m. with various members of the Notre Dame community, including athletic director Kevin White, Lennon, Harvath and Sister Jean Lenz. Lenz encouraged students to buy The Shirt in 1990 to cover the medical expenses of Notre Dame graduate student, Zheng de Wang, a victim of a hit-and-run on Notre Dame Avenue. The proceeds from the shirt are evenly split between a fund to help with student medical expenses and The Shirt Charity Fund. Thirty-five percent of the charity fund goes to the Rector Fund, and the rest supplements Student Activities fees.The Rector Fund allows dorms to provide students, who have financial concerns, with extra money to cover events like football tickets that they might otherwise be unable to participate in. “They [rectors] can allocate how [the fund] they see fit,” said Crossin. “It’s really a great resource for the dorms.”Becker says she’s “a little nervous, but excited” about the unveiling. “I hope everyone wears it, likes it and raises money for the cause,” she said. “Because that’s what it is really about.” The Shirt will be available for a student discount of $11 today, Saturday and Sunday. There is a limit of one shirt per student with valid student ID. Crossin said there will be roughly 9,000 shirts in the first shipment, which will come in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. “We will be getting a more sufficient amount than in the past,” she said.Performances by the band The Undertones, Irish dancers, the Notre Dame cheerleaders, the marching band and clowns will entertain those in attendance Marco’s Pizza and Coca-Cola will be providing food and drinks.There will be an opportunity to win one of two $500 shopping sprees at the bookstore and a set of football tickets for the 2004 season. Other events this week have also commemorated The Shirt’s 15th anniversary. Five hundred white shirts promoting the unveiling were given to dorms and passed out at DeBartolo Hall.”I wanted to see walking billboards,” said Crossin. “We wanted to make the 15th anniversary big.”