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Crossin announces ‘The Shirt’ winner

Stephanie Yahn | Tuesday, February 24, 2004

While the catchphrase “Here Come the Irish” lingers in the minds of Notre Dame football fans, 2004 represents a new season for football and hope of new promise. It also signals the traditional release of a new design for The Shirt. This year’s design selection has been made, but will not be revealed until a press conference April 23 – the day before the Blue and Gold game -which officially kicks off a new season of football. “Until then, the design is being kept under wraps,” said Kate Crossin, the 2004 President of The Shirt committee. “It’s traditionally a big secret, as there is always going to be a lot of hype surrounding its release.”Crossin was unable to reveal any specific details as to the appearance of the new design, nor could she comment on whether the color selected would continue to create “The Sea of Green,” a term coined by Coach Tyrone Willingham in his first season at Notre Dame in 2002. The 128,000 shirts sold in 2002 set an elevated bar for future year’s sales, breaking previous highs. Although acknowledging that sales won’t “continue to climb exponentially year after year,” Crossin says she holds “high expectations for the 2004 shirt.”Each year a campus-wide contest is held for design submissions. This year, 18 entries were submitted from which eight people were asked to resubmit ideas based on their original design and/or graphic design ability. From the talents displayed, senior Brittany Becker’s design was chosen.”I met and spoke with her and could see she is very talented and that her design fit very well with the direction we saw The Shirt going in 2004,” Crossin said.Although neither can comment on the shirt’s design, Becker, in creating it said, “I wanted The Shirt to really evoke the feeling of unity that is so important to the Notre Dame Stadium experience, plus I wanted it to be fun and vibrant, something everyone would want to wear.”Some tweaking of the original design was necessary, Becker and Crossin said, but both agreed it only changed for the better. Together they collaborated to refine the idea, but the original thought remains the same.”Design is a constant process, and there are always changes being made,” Becker said.”[It is] a huge accomplishment for a designer to have so many people wearing your design, but I am especially happy to just be involved in such an awesome project.” The Shirt Campaign began in 1989 when Sister Jean Lenz encouraged students to buy the shirts in support of Zheng de Wang, a Notre Dame graduate student who was a victim of a hit-and-run. Thus began a tradition of supportive fundraising, which continues 15 years later. Today proceeds benefit several scholarships and charities, in addition to contributing to Student Government.Becker hopes The Shirt can make a significant contribution at football games next season.”I really just want it to be a success, and I hope it creates a great atmosphere in the stadium for our team and our fans,” Becker said. “I really think this is a fun, cool design, and I hope everyone will be excited when The Shirt goes on sale.”