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Alumni Association appoints new director

Observer Staff Report | Friday, February 4, 2011

Elizabeth “Dolly” Duffy, associate director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, has been appointed executive director of the association, as well as associate vice president for University Relations, according to a University press release.

Duffy will succeed Charles F. “Chuck” Lennon in July when he leaves the University after 30 years leading the most extensive alumni network in the nation.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to build on the strong outreach, programs and service that Chuck and this wonderful staff have accomplished over many years,” Duffy said. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with our alumni, parents and friends to deepen their connection to Notre Dame.”

The association connects the University with its nearly 132,000 alumni. Lennon increased the number of clubs from 151 to 276 during his career.

“As we begin this next chapter in the history of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, I have great confidence that Dolly will build upon an organization that is considered a model for excellence in higher education with the wisdom, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence necessary for still further growth and greater good,” said Louis M. Nanni, vice president for University Relations. “Her experience as an entrepreneur, combined with her deep faith and commitment to family, uniquely qualify her to take on this important role in the broader Notre Dame family.”

Duffy is a 1984 graduate of Notre Dame. She was selected for the position after a four-month worldwide search for Lennon’s replacement.

“I am delighted for Dolly and her family,” Lennon said. “She brings a breadth of experience, a knack for relationship-building, a keen understanding of the University and a passion for our University. This array of qualification and abilities will serve her well in her new position. I am confident she has the ability, experience and passion — as well as the support of the University administration, Alumni Board, club and class volunteers and staff — to take the Alumni Association to the next level.”

Duffy earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Notre Dame. She has worked as a press secretary for a U.S. congressman and an account executive for public relations firms in St. Louis and Kansas City. Duffy also purchased Atchison Products in 1990 with her husband and grew it substantially over 17 years before it was acquired by BIC Graphic USA.

Duffy served on the board of directors for Notre Dame clubs in Washington, D.C., St. Louis and Kansas City, and she became associate director of the association in early 2008. She directed the launch of a new online platform and strategy called myNotreDame, designed to help alumni connect more easily with one another and the University. She also supported the creation of ND Women Connect and led a strategic review of the association’s programs and initiatives.

Duffy and her husband live in South Bend with their five children.