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Students make cards for Sullivan family

Megan Doyle | Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Student government delivered more than 200 letters from members of the Notre Dame community to the family of junior Declan Sullivan on Monday, student body chief of staff Nick Ruof said.

“The Notre Dame family is truly a family and it was shown over these past few days,” Ruof said. “Everyone came together to be arm-in-arm together in support.”

Student government wanted to allow students to show their support for the Sullivan family after Sullivan’s death, Ruof said. In a Thursday e-mail, student body president Catherine Soler and student body vice president Andrew Bell invited students to bring notes and cards to their office in LaFortune Student Center.

“As student government we wanted a cohesive effort to send things to the family instead of berating them with mail,” Ruof said. “We wanted a unified student body response to the Sullivan family.”

The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore donated 200 cards that were available at the reception following Thursday’s Mass of Remembrance in honor of Sullivan. The remaining cards were later available in the student government office, and they were all used, according to Bell. Students also placed many other envelopes in the collection box, Bell said.

Student government collected cards throughout the weekend so students had time to reflect, Ruof said.

“We wanted to be a place for students to send their sympathies through us to the family,” Ruof said.

Ruof said the fact that many students who did not know Sullivan wrote letters to his family represents the manner in which the student body has united following Wednesday’s accident.

“We want to let the Sullivan family grieve,” Ruof said. “We want to give them their privacy but facilitate the student body’s sympathies to the family at the same time.”

Bell said the University provided buses to transport students, football players, student athletic managers and videographers from campus to Sullivan’s funeral in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Monday.

Various administrators, deans and representatives of Student Affairs were also present at Monday’s funeral Mass, Bell said.

The University is looking to work with Fisher Hall and the Financial Management Board to create a memorial scholarship in Declan’s name, Ruof said.

“We want to show support for the family as well as for the men of Fisher and the women of Lewis,” Ruof said.

Ruof said student government would also organize a tribute to Sullivan during the home game against Utah on Nov. 13 to show continued support in the Notre Dame community for Sullivan’s family.