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Five new rectors prepare to welcome students

Amanda Gray | Friday, August 20, 2010

 Notre Dame is home to five new rectors this fall.

Students in Cavanaugh Hall, Lewis Hall, Pasquerilla West Hall, Sorin College and Walsh Hall will see new leadership in the dorm this year.
Annie Selak, Walsh Hall rector, said her goals for the dorm include helping the community grow within the dorm’s walls.
“Being able to accompany young women is an honor,” she said. “My overall goal is to be present for the students.”
Selak, who has lived all her life in California except for a year in Detroit, graduated from Santa Clara University and majored in religious studies and political science. She received her Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
“[The past few weeks] have been very busy,” she said. “We’ve had training. It’s been wonderful to meet people at Notre Dame.”
Fr. Robert Loughery, known as Fr. Bob, joined Facebook as part of the effort to lead Sorin College. 
“I want to share what I’ve experienced,” he said. “Faith calls service. I would like to somehow invite residents to continue and expand this awareness in the dorm.”
He also said the dorm’s traditions foster important relationships.
“I’d encourage people to see the entire value of the relationships they build here,” he said.
Loughery was born and raised in Indianapolis and graduated from Notre Dame in 1979 with a degree in architecture. He lived in Sorin as an undergraduate student.
“It feels like coming home,” he said.
The new rector of Pasquerilla West Hall, Sr. Mary Jane Hahner, said she ended up at Notre Dame because she wanted to work in ministry. 
“We’re all different,” she said. “We have to work at being an inclusive community. The girls will appreciate being wonderful and created by God.”
An internship in spiritual direction during her education at the Catholic Theology University in Chicago changed her life, Hahner said. She also wants to work with Campus Ministry.
She said she cries every time she watches Rudy and enjoys riding an all-terrain vehicle with her nephew while on holidays in her hometown of Pottsville, Pa. 
“I always call everyone ‘girls,’ no matter how old. It’s a youthful heart,” she said. “We all want that youthful heart.”
She said the hardest adjustment has been the college culture and time schedule.
“I thought I was a night person — forget about it,” she said.
Maria Hinton, the new rector of Cavanaugh Hall, might have a better idea of the student schedule. A “double domer,” she graduated from the Notre Dame Law School in May and was an assistant rector in Lyons Hall for two years.
“I want to make sure to have the strongest community we can,” she said. “I want to build upon what we already have here.”
Lewis Hall rector Layla Karst also graduated from Notre Dame in May with a Master of Divinity. She said her goal for the year is to learn about the community of Lewis. 
“I want to know who makes up the community and bring out gifts and talents,” she said. 
She said she loves to travel on breaks. Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, she went to Whitworth College — now Whitworth University — in Spokane, Wash. She was an assistant rector in Pasquerilla East Hall for two years before becoming a rector.
“Each dorm is so unique,” she said. “It’s a whole new set of traditions, people and building.”