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‘Thank you’ board on South Quad recognizes donors

| Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Notre Dame Development Office will construct a large board on South Quad on Wednesday in an effort to say “thank you” to the many beneficiaries of the University.

Louis Nanni, vice president for university relations, said the idea came from the development team and started last week with the delivery of 29 boards, each 3 feet by 8 feet, to each residence hall.

“The phrase ‘Thank you for the gift of Notre Dame,’ has 29 letters and we have 29 residence halls,” Nanni said. “So we worked with Student Affairs and the rectors [of each residence hall] to get each of the 3-feet-by-8-feet panels into the halls this past week for students to write ‘thank you’ messages.”

The letters will be displayed on a wall on South Quad on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Nanni said.

“We are building a 119-foot-long wall that will stand a little more than 8 feet tall,” Nanni said. “The wall will be featured in a thank-you message we’ll be sending out to all of the University’s donors next week, just prior to Thanksgiving.”

Nanni said the idea for the wall came from a desire to thank Notre Dame’s donors in a more visible way.

“A couple of years ago, we created a 24-foot-long ‘thank you’ card that more than 1,000 students signed,” Nanni said. “We have a lot to be thankful for here at Notre Dame. We want to thank our donors for their generosity in a more visible and meaningful way.”

“We wanted to thank our more than 100,000 donors,” he said. “The goal is to simply say thank you. Our students are the biggest beneficiaries of gifts to Notre Dame, and I think it means a lot to the Notre Dame family to see the gratitude of our students.”

Students will have the opportunity to sign the letters and thank all the members of the Notre Dame family that have donated to the University, Nanni said. Many students have already signed their residence halls’ letters, he said.

“We have already seen more than 2,000 Notre Dame students write a note of thanks on the panels that will make up the ‘thank you’ wall,” Nanni said.

Despite recent adverse winter weather conditions on campus, Nanni said the event will still be held outside on South Quad.

“We are embracing the elements,” Nanni said. “We will have the snow plows and shovels ready and will serve hot chocolate to all who want to visit the wall and write a note of thanks.”

In addition to those that have already signed the letters, Nanni said he hopes for even more students participation Wednesday.

“We hope many more will join us, along with faculty, staff and members of the Notre Dame community, who can visit the wall and write a note of thanks for the gift of a Notre Dame education and all that comes with it,” Nanni said.

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  • I don’t know, this make me feel very uncomfortable. It’s bad enough that many students already feel pressure about attending the University on other people’s money. Now there needs to be public “thanks” for this? What about anonymity, of both donor and recipient? Seems more than just mere “thanks”. Hope this never happens again. Bad idea.

    • Nathan

      This isn’t just talking about financial aid though, is it? This is about the donations that finance new buildings on campus, services and events for students, etc.

      Your last line also makes no sense to me. What do you imagine it to be if not just a mere thanks?

      • Hey Nathan, I don’t know. Even considering the buildings and institutes and events, giant billboards of “thanks” just says to me, in a heavy-handed nuanced way, ‘don’t EVER forget you’re here on someone else’s dime’. Like students don’t already know that? I was taught that all kinds of giving, donation, and charity of money & things is done anonymously. It’s not being ungrateful. More………….beholden, and not in a good way, like an indentured servant. I wonder if places like Duke and Wake Forest and Rice do this, too? If they do, if lots of places do, I’m guess I’m clueless about it. Still, doesn’t make it any less weird to me.

  • Nathan

    A thank you is always nice. Very appropriate in the Thanksgiving season.