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Mistaken identity?

Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I graduated from Notre Dame in 1982. I also happened to meet my same-sex life partner in 1982. I guess you could say that was an important year for me.

Since graduating, in every year that I can remember I have contributed when asked to the Notre Dame Annual Fund and have done so willingly. At least twice a year I am solicited by the ND Development Department. We may not be major donors by University standards but at least we are consistent.

To my surprise, this fall for the first time my solicitation was addressed to both my partner (Michael DeLeon) and me (Gregory Bourke). Further, on the back of my pledge card there was the printed note “Gregory and Michael, Thank you for your consistent support. We hope we can count on you again this fall.”

For as long as I have had the option (several years at least) on the Notre Dame on-line alumni directory I have had my partner listed under the spouse category. We were legally married in Canada five years ago. It seems the ND Development Department has just updated its files cross-referencing with the Irish Online directory, which is all well and good.

Maybe they think my Michael is female. Maybe they just took the data feed from Irish Online and accepted the data without validating. I can’t say. So, I have to ask was this a case of mistaken identity, a computer error, or a sign of progress?

Funny that the ND Development Department finally recognizes us as a couple after 26 years together. When we are writing checks the University embraces us. But that seems to be the only time.


Greg Bourke


Class of 1982

Sept. 29