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Alumni rector receives award

Peter Ninneman | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

After 28 years as rector of Alumni Hall, Father George Rozum was honored and surprised with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Notre Dame Alumni Association at a banquet in South Dining Hall Friday.

“It’s very humbling because all I’ve done is continue to say I’d do the job of rector one more year and the years went by,” Rozum said. “I assume they think that I’ve done my job of being rector as the University, the students and the alumni would suppose that I should.”

The award is not given out annually, and Rozum is only the 12th person to receive it.

His 28-year tenure as rector is a University record.

Chuck Lennon, executive director and associate vice president for university relations for the Alumni Association, said letters were sent to former residents of Alumni to let them in on the secret.

Alumni residents and Notre Dame alumni gathered Friday for the banquet to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Alumni Hall’s construction. In attendance were University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh and five Holy Cross priests who had Rozum as a rector when they lived in Alumni Hall as students.

Alumni Board president Tim Brady said nominations for the award are made by “a host of people,” and then the Alumni Association committee on internal activities makes recommendations to the whole Alumni Association, which votes for the recipient.

“It is awarded on occasion of exemplary service to the University or the community,” Lennon said.

Rozum is the first rector to receive the award. Previous recipients of the award include Chris Zorich (1991), Walt Collins (1996), Jen Renola (1997), Father John Wilson (2001), Richard Conklin (2001), Aubrey Lewis (2002), Father Al D’Alonzo (2003), Dr. Donald Diebold (2003), Dr. Robert Perry (2004), Dr. Raymond Holden (2004) and Ken Kwak (2005).