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Page to return to ND

Maureen Reynolds | Friday, May 14, 2004

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, graduate of the class of 1967, will serve as the principal speaker at Notre Dame’s 159th commencement ceremony Sunday.University President Father Edward Malloy said when Page was chosen in March that the justice was selected because his ideals reflect the mission of the University.”We speak in our mission statement of Notre Dame creating an environment that ‘fosters the development in its students of those disciplined habits of mind, body and spirit …'” Malloy said in a statement. “Few of our graduates better epitomize these ideals than Alan Page.”As graduation approaches, some seniors expressed a desire to learn what impact Notre Dame had on Page.”I’d like to hear him discuss what he learned at Notre Dame and how being a part of the community impacted his life and career and what he was able to contribute as a result of his time here,” senior Katie Mitchell said. “And I would like him to challenge us to do the same.”Others would like Page to focus on a service aspect of post-graduate life.”I hope that he would impart an idea of Christian service to others, using our education to serve others,” senior Elizabeth Lee said.During the ceremony, Page will be presented with an honorary doctor of humane arts and letters degree, his second honorary degree from the University. Page received an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1993.The Notre Dame Alumni Association bestowed the Father Edward Sorin Award on Page for distinguished service to the University in 1992. He served as a member of the Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council from 1993 to 1999.”It is testimony to the tremendous respect we have for [Page] that we would invite him to accept a second honorary degree and, this time, speak to our graduating class,” Malloy said. “We’re delighted that he has accepted and will honor us with his presence.”Page became the first African American justice to sit on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1993. His earlier law career includes time as Minnesota’s assistant attorney general and with the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.While attending Notre Dame, Page played defensive end for the Irish football team, and as a senior he helped lead the 1966 national championship team. He graduated in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in pre-law and was subsequently drafted to the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. In 1978, while a member of the vaunted “Purple People Eaters” defensive unit, Page earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.