The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Students meet Indiana governor during break

Matt Bramanti | Wednesday, March 17, 2004

While many of their classmates jetted off to tropical climes, three Dillon students stayed in the Indiana cold. But don’t feel sorry for them – they were guests at Gov. Joe Kernan’s residence in Indianapolis.The students – juniors Darrell Scott and Brian Toussaint, and senior Dan Boston – were invited to stay in the governor’s guesthouse over spring break after Boston met Indiana first lady Maggie Kernan on a flight from Miami in February.”We just started chatting on the plane,” Boston said. “She told me she was married to Joe Kernan, and I said ‘that name sounds familiar.'”When the first lady – who, like her husband, hails from South Bend – learned that Boston was a Notre Dame student, she said he was welcome to visit the Kernans at their official residence. Gov. Kernan is a 1968 Notre Dame alumnus and played baseball for the Irish. Boston and Mrs. Kernan exchanged contact information, and soon after the flight, Boston emailed her to schedule a visit.Toussaint said the students received celebrity treatment during their brief stay with the Kernans.”They had a kitchen stocked for us, which was nice,” Toussaint said. “It was pretty decked out.”After a tour of the governor’s mansion, the students accompanied Gov. Kernan and his wife to Conseco Fieldhouse to watch the Indiana Pacers take on the Toronto Raptors. Toussaint said traveling by motorcade has its benefits.”Having the state patrol drive was pretty sweet,” Toussaint laughed. “They don’t have much regard for the traffic laws.”Boston said it was remarkable that the Kernans were so accessible.”He actually took time out of his busy schedule to take us to a basketball game,” he said.After the game, the students returned to the mansion, where they continued to speak with the Kernans on subjects ranging from Irish baseball to global politics.”We got a quality, solid hour [with the Kernans],” Toussaint said. “They couldn’t have been nicer and they couldn’t have shown more care.”The students were also treated to a guided tour of Indianapolis, as well as a look at the governor’s private office in the Statehouse.”We actually got to go past the guards,” Toussaint said. “We really got a behind-the-scenes look at his office.”Boston said Mrs. Kernan went so far as to write him a glowing letter of recommendation to recruiters at Hewlett-Packard. Boston also praised the governor’s personable nature.”He’s well-known as a nice, considerate person,” Boston said. “He really listened to everything we said.”