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Four new rectors join campus residence life

Sara Felsenstein | Friday, August 19, 2011

Incoming freshmen are not the only new residents on campus this semester as four new rectors prepare to lead Duncan, Fisher, Howard and Lyons Halls in the fall.

Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Tom Doyle said the biggest factors Notre Dame considers when choosing a new rector include past leadership experience, experience with college-age students and an overall love of learning.

“This is an educational institution [so] we want people who are intrigued and motivated by ideas,” he said. “We look for people who are sort of intellectually engaged and curious.”

Residence halls are the heart of the Notre Dame experience, Doyle said, so a rector should be prepared to remain in the position for a number of years — long enough to welcome an incoming freshman class and then see that same class graduate.

Terence Fitzgibbons, the new rector for Duncan Hall, returns to Notre Dame from his most recent position as Overseas Lay Minister for the Congregation of Holy Cross in Jinja, Uganda. In Uganda, he served as a teacher at an undergraduate Catholic seminary and a primary school.

He said he looks forward to helping Duncan take the next step in building dorm traditions and community.

“Duncan Hall no longer has the excuse that ‘we’re a new dorm.’  Our senior class is the first class of four-year Highlanders,” he said. “My goal is to take Duncan to the next level of our development.  We want to lay stronger connections from our academic lives to our social lives to our liturgical lives.”

The new rector said he had one other essential goal: “I’d like to dominate all men’s interhall sports.”

Fitzgibbons earned a bachelor’s degree in 2004 in political science and Arabic studies from Notre Dame. He was a resident advisor in Alumni Hall during his senior year before serving in the Navy until 2008. Fitzgibbons then received a master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Eastern Civilizations before his time in Uganda.

Fr. Brad Metz, the new rector in Fisher Hall, is also a Notre Dame graduate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theology in 1996 and a master’s degree in divinity in 2001.

“I’m very excited to be here at Fisher Hall, he said. “I think it’s going to be a great year.”

Since being ordained in 2002, Metz served as a hall director at the University of Portland, deacon and associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in South Bend and associate pastor of an Oregon parish.

Metz is the only new rector to hold a religious position. He lived at Moreau Seminary for the past year and is pursuing a master’s degree in non-profit administration from Notre Dame.

New Lyons Hall rector Meghan Brown comes to Notre Dame from the Dewey & LeBoeuf law firm in New York City, where she worked as a litigation and bankruptcy associate since 2007.

Brown served as an assistant rector for two years in Howard Hall while attending law school at Notre Dame.

“As an AR, my favorite part of the job was the casual, day-to-day interaction I had with my residents that, over time, developed into meaningful relationships,” Brown said. “I can’t wait to get to know my residents in Lyons and see what they have in store for me each day.”

Brown earned her undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University.

A “Triple Domer,” new Howard Hall rector Margaret Morgan is no stranger to campus life at Notre Dame. She earned three degrees from the University —her undergraduate degree in theology in 2006, her master’s degree in education in 2008 and her master’s degree in divinity in 2011.

She was a resident assistant in Lewis Hall as a senior.

“[Notre Dame] really has become my home,” she said. “Despite the fact that I have spent such a significant portion of my life here at ND, each phase or ‘round’ has meant something very different to me and has contributed greatly to my own personal formation and growth.”

Whether the new rector is a priest, religious sister or a layperson, Doyle said a dorm’s leader must understand the meaning of Christian community.

“Most of all, we look for people who are great Christian [and] Catholic role models,” he said.

He said a rector’s life can be both challenging and rewarding.

“It’s not uncommon they’re the last ones in the dormitory to go to bed and the first ones to get up in the morning,” Doyle said. “They do it out of a sense of mission.”