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Lennon to retire in June

Laura McCrystal | Friday, September 10, 2010

Charles “Chuck” Lennon Jr., executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, will retire in June after 30 years in his current role, according to a University press release.

Under Lennon’s leadership, the number of Notre Dame clubs around the world grew from 151 to 276.  He earned the Alumni Association a national reputation for its programming, such as those in continuing education, and oversaw the creation of black, Hispanic, Asian-pacific and Native American alumni groups.

In the last 30 years he worked under three University presidents: Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy and Fr. John Jenkins.

“Chuck Lennon embodies the spirit of Notre Dame,” Jenkins said in the press release. “As a student, athlete, alumnus, coach, administrator, and, since 1981, as the leader of one of the most extraordinary alumni associations in the nation, that spirit animates everything he does.”

Lennon earned a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame in 1961 and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling in 1962. As an undergraduate, he played three seasons of baseball and earned a monogram. From 1961 to 1966, he worked for the University’s Athletic Department as an assistant basketball and baseball coach and an assistant ticket manager. He was also the University’s coordinator of research and sponsored programs for two years.

Outside the University, Lennon held many positions South Bend community before he began his work with the Alumni Association. He was executive director of local agencies, including the Mental Health Association of St. Joseph County, the South Bend Model Cities Program, the Community Development Agency, the Department of Redevelopment and the Housing Allowance office.

From 1978 to 1981, he was president of the St. Joseph Insurance Agency, and was a member of the South Bend Community School Corporation Board of Trustees for 13 years.

In 1991, Lennon became assistant vice president of University Relations in addition to his role with the Alumni Association. He was promoted to associate vice president in 1999.

Lennon taught management at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business for both graduate and undergraduate students.

As executive director, Lennon expanded the involvement of women, senior, young and international alumni within the Alumni Association. He also helped establish the Association’s Hesburgh Lecture Series and Excellence in Teaching program and created a career development program for graduates.

Most recently, he led the Alumni Association’s growth on the Internet through programs such as the Pray@ND website and Irish Online, an alumni networking forum.

During his time with the Alumni Association, Lennon received several awards for his commitment to the University, including the Alumni Association’s Armstrong Award in 1989 and the Notre Dame Presidential award in 1993. The student body presented him with the Irish Clover Award in 1992. In 2001, he received the Professional Development Award for Mentoring Minorities from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

“His life is one of loving service to Notre Dame,” Jenkins said. “We will miss his leadership, insight and infectious enthusiasm but wish him the very best in this next stage in his life.”

Lennon and his wife Joan have five children and 16 grandchildren. Three of their children graduated from Notre Dame.

According to the press release, Lou Nanni, vice president for University Relations, will conduct a national search to fill Lennon’s position.