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McCormick announces charity concert

Sam Stryker | Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saint Patrick’s Day is commonly perceived as a celebration of all things Irish, a reason to drink Guinness and wear green. But student body president Pat McCormick wants to remind the world of the true meaning of the holiday — and in a big way.

Looking to deliver on one of their major campaign goals — to bring a large charity concert to Notre Dame Stadium — McCormick said David Clark Cause (DCC), an internationally renowned events company, has worked with the University to create a proposal for a major social concerns experience. The event is tentatively titled “3.17,” in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

Though the University first received a letter proposing to develop such an event from DCC in May, McCormick said a firm outline developed over winter break.

“This has been [a result] of months and months of contact,” McCormick said. “We have submitted a proposal to the University and so far the response has been very positive.”

The concept of the event is centered on “reclaiming” Saint Patrick’s Day as a celebration of peace and reconciliation, and would be held in partnership with the Republic of Ireland.

“The Irish government has an interest in trying to direct attention to the day itself as not just a celebration of Ireland, but Saint Patrick and trying to draw out what that means,” McCormick said.

To focus on the themes of peace and reconciliation, McCormick said the proposed 3.17 event would have three components.

The centerpiece event would be what McCormick had promised as a major aspect of his campaign platform, a large-scale charity concert. The 3.17 Global Peace Concert, broadcast from Notre Dame and a venue in Dublin, Ireland. McCormick said renowned bands from across the world would be invited to perform for a live streaming global broadcast.

Prior to the concert, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies would host the 3.17 Global Summit on Peace & Resolution. McCormick said dignitaries and celebrities would meet to discuss conflict resolution and reconciliation on both a grass roots and global scale.

“The idea would be [this event] would be a substantive dimension to the day itself,” he said.

In addition to the planned summit, Notre Dame would host the 3.17 Peace Prize, celebrating ordinary people who have become extraordinary through pursuit of peace.

“The prizewinner would be potentially selected by living Nobel Laureates who would like to submit their votes for the three finalists,” McCormick said.

McCormick said he is particularly excited about who the University is working with on this event. DCC is a company solely dedicated to creating cause initiatives for renowned organizations, brands and individuals around the world.

“What I think we are really excited about is this is an internationally recognized consultant, and he has taken an interest in collaborating with Notre Dame on producing a signature human rights event,” McCormick said.

Though the event has no firm date, McCormick said, as designed, the event could be sustainable, with the possibility of becoming a Notre Dame tradition. He said in terms of planning the first installment, the ball is now in the University’s court.

“What’s most likely is questions like the date or the artists that would attend would be decided by the University,” McCormick said.

McCormick said he is particularly excited for the event as he feels it displays a new form of student government he has hoped to achieve.

“When we campaigned, this was in many ways at the heart of our idea of trying to find a way for students to chart a course for Notre Dame,” he said. “We felt students here wanted to not just have a student government that would provide only constituent services, but would also allow students to play a role in charting the course for the Notre Dame project and writing a new chapter in Notre Dame’s history.”

McCormick also noted the fact that student government is the driving force behind the proposal is a significant achievement within the University community.

“Not only have we advocated for the event, but we have obtained the means for the University to pursue the event,” he said.

Though the event is pending approval, McCormick said ultimately it could benefit the entire University community.

“We think it is a significant proposal and would be a significant opportunity for Notre Dame to pursue,” he said.