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President emeritus adjusts to new role

Kate Antonacci | Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Since moving out of his Main Building office in late June, University President Emeritus Father Edward Malloy has been doing just what he said he would before he stepped down last spring – enjoying his sabbatical.

“I’ve always been somebody that actually, by instinct, always looked forward to the next thing that I did,” Malloy said. “It’s a sabbatical year … I just come over [to the new office] every day, basically work from nine to four, then I take off and I go and I walk around the lakes at a fast pace and do whatever else is on the horizon for the day.”

Malloy, whose new office is located on the third floor of DeBartolo Hall, has adapted well to his new role. His new office is located in an area that students frequent, which gives him the chance to interact more with the Notre Dame community than when he was President.

“I really like this new set-up,” he said. “It’s a nice part of the campus, a busy part of the campus.”

While other locations on campus were discussed for possible office locations – such as Hesburgh Library or Malloy Hall – Malloy said his space in DeBartolo was free and proved an ideal location.

“I like that students stop by and say hello,” Malloy said.

Life after the Presidency

Malloy’s average day is much different than it was during the 17 years he served as University president.

“The two biggest changes for me this year is that I’m not teaching and I don’t have to go to a lot of meetings,” Malloy said. “I never thought that my life was a burden. I enjoyed being president, but if you designed the ideal life it wouldn’t be made up of eight or 10 meetings a day or something. It’s just part of the territory, but I have more control over my circumstances now, which I very much enjoy.”

Malloy has also decided not to attend home football games this year, though he will resume next fall.

“I’ll just be watching them on television,” he said.

Relaxation and travel have also been a part of Malloy’s sabbatical. For two weeks this summer, Malloy traveled throughout Italy with his two sisters and brother-in-law.

“That was sponsored by the trustees,” Malloy said. “We went to Rome, then we took a side trip to Pompeii and Naples, then Assisi, then Florence with a side trip to Sienna, then San Gimignano, and then to Venice.”

Thanks to a major gift from the South Bend community, Malloy will be traveling a great deal in the coming months.

“In January I’m going to go to … South Africa, Madagascar, Marisos Islands, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Guam and Hawaii,” Malloy said. “Then in March, I’m going back to Australia for Notre Dame Australia.”

Malloy, a resident of Sorin Hall, said he has become much more invested in the dorm since stepping down as president.

“I’ve been taking the freshmen out to dinner in groups and getting to know them so I can kind of build back a name-face connection,” Malloy said. “I don’t play in Monk Hoops anymore, though it still goes on. I went over the first time they played, but that was more for nostalgia reasons kind of.”

Malloy, an avid reader, has used much of his sabbatical time to catch up on books and movies that he has missed over the years.

“Someone gave me a year’s Netflix subscription,” Malloy said. “They send [DVDs] to me, and I send them back … I’ve enjoyed myself very much.”

Malloy’s days may get a bit more hectic in upcoming weeks, as his new book, “Monk’s Notre Dame,” was released Sept. 12.

“I’m excited my new book just came out,” he said. “It was more or less finished [in May]. It was going through the editorial process … I’m happy not only with the product but it only costs $15, so it should be not too much of a burden on students or anybody else that buys it.”

Additionally, Malloy is in the process of writing two other books.

“One is a memoir, which is like my life story, and the other is a book on higher education,” Malloy said. “So that’s been a lot of fun.”

Inauguration of Father Jenkins

Though Malloy has stayed under the radar for the first few weeks of school, he will have a small role in the inauguration of Father John Jenkins as the 17th President of Notre Dame Friday.

“Both [University President Emeritus] Father [Theodore] Hesburgh and I have minor roles to play,” he said. “But it’s really about him, about celebrating his presidency as it starts and bringing attention to the institution.”

Though Malloy sees Jenkins at Corby Hall, he says they don’t discuss matters of the University.

“He has to be his own person,” Malloy said. “If he wants my advice he can get it, but I don’t expect him to.”

Malloy fondly recalled his own inauguration 17 years ago.

“Looking back on a comparable time in my life, I very much enjoyed the inauguration ceremony,” Malloy said. “It was a nice event for my family.

“But it was a way that Notre Dame, since it doesn’t do this very often, had a special opportunity to talk about what was most important, about the wonderful legacy and heritage that anyone who becomes president enjoys, and I think John’s going to do a great job.”

Malloy said he hopes to see Notre Dame flourish under Jenkins’ presidency.

“The best testimony that I can give to Father Hesburgh is that he left Notre Dame in good shape and that when I took over I was able to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if Notre Dame weren’t in good shape,” he said. “So I want to see John do extraordinarily well because I think the University’s in good shape and I think there’s a lot of good will there, and it’s just a matter of the daily responsibilities and keeping attention to the big picture.”

Malloy also encouraged students to actively participate in the inauguration ceremonies.

“Students are young, and they don’t always appreciate things like this,” he said. “I would urge people to participate because when you look back on your Notre Dame memories in retrospect, this will be one of the things that will stand out.

“It doesn’t happen very often. It’s full of a certain amount of pomp and circumstance, and Notre Dame’s good at that.”

New administrators

In addition to a new University president, there are many new administrators at Notre Dame. Malloy said he was pleased with the choices made, particularly naming the University provost.

“I wasn’t involved in the search, but Tom Burish is a good friend of mine,” Malloy said. “I’ve known him a long time, and he’s a great guy. He was the perfect choice … I told John after the fact, ‘You couldn’t have picked a better guy.'”

Malloy said Burish, a Notre Dame graduate, was a candidate for provost in the search Malloy conducted during his presidency, when Nathan Hatch was hired.

“One of the candidates was Tom Burish, but he had just started at Vanderbilt and he felt an obligation to stay there,” Malloy said. “So he had emerged before as a Notre Dame grad, a Catholic, somebody who had a lot of academic credentials, and he had a Notre Dame connection.”

Malloy said he was also pleased by the appointment of Hugh Page as First Year of Studies dean, replacing Eileen Kolman.

“Hugh Page I’ve known a long time,” Malloy said. “He’s an excellent academic, but also a good administrator. “I know he brings a lot of enthusiasm and a desire to be of service to that position, so I think he was an excellent choice, too. I was really pleased about that.”

In terms of advice, Malloy said when he became University president, Hesburgh told him to pay attention to his mother and spend time with his family.

“[Hesburgh] also said be your own person, don’t try to imitate me, and I did that,” Malloy said.

And now, Malloy is doing the same, still saying regular Masses and making occasional classroom visits and speeches. But until he begins teaching again next fall, Malloy said he will keep a low profile and will enjoy just being at Notre Dame.