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The Shirt 2015 to be unveiled Sunday

| Friday, April 24, 2015

The design for The Shirt 2015 will be released at 6:57 p.m. Sunday during an unveiling ceremony at the Hammes Bookstore. This will be the 27th Shirt overall and the 26th year of The Shirt Project, which raises proceeds to fund various Notre Dame causes and groups.

Notre Dame cheerleaders lead the crowd in chants for last year's unveiling ceremony for the 25th anniversary of The Shirt.Michael Yu | The Observer
Notre Dame cheerleaders lead the crowd in chants for last year’s unveiling ceremony for the 25th anniversary of The Shirt Project.

Junior Abbey Dankoff, this year’s President of The Shirt Project, said The Shirt started in 1990, “just as a student-run fundraiser for AnTostal to raise money.” While that first Shirt served only to promote Notre Dame’s 1990 game against Michigan, the second Shirt, produced that same year, served to commemorate the game against Miami and simultaneously raise money for the medical expenses of a graduate student who had recently been injured in a car accident.

“That’s where The Shirt’s mission came from, to support students, help defer medical costs, make sure every student at Notre Dame feels included — to help unify the student section but also the students,” Dankoff said, “Over the past 26 years it’s grown into the single largest piece of college apparel sold annually across the nation; last year we were around 170,000, so that’s our record and we hope to break it this year again.”

According to Dankoff, all proceeds from sales go back to students by funding the Rector Fund, the Shirt Charity and SAO student activities.

This year, The Shirt Project has partnered with Alta Gracia Apparel, “a living wage factory in the Dominican Republic who pays their workers over 300 percent of the legal minimum wage so they can actually support their families, go to school [and] put food on the table. We think that their mission and our mission really connect,” Dankoff said

Dankoff says planning for The Shirt 2015 began in October, when an email was sent out to the entire campus inviting applications to join The Shirt Committee. From these applications, 11 committee members were selected. These members focused on designing, marketing, planning the unveiling of The Shirt and recruiting volunteers for the event. Creating a design for The Shirt began immediately that fall, and in February, the official design was finalized and sent off to manufacturers. Since then, Dankoff said, The Shirt Committee has been working to promote the new Shirt.

“[We’ve been] constantly working on our social media and our marketing, so for the past two months we’ve been preparing for the unveiling and everything that goes into that, getting vendors and entertainment and somebody to unveil the shirt,” Dankoff said. “This year we’re really excited to have Sgt. Tim McCarthy come unveil the shirt.”

This year’s ceremony will be open to all and broadcast live at notredameday.nd.edu, according to Notre Dame’s website.

Entertainment and food will be provided starting at 5:30 p.m. and will prominently feature student groups funded through The Shirt proceeds, including the Glee Club, a capella group Harmonia and Notre Dame swing dancers, the website said. The actual unveiling will be done by retired Indiana state police officer Sgt. Tim McCarthy, recognizable to most as the voice of home football game safety announcements, at 6:57 p.m. Immediately after the unveiling, The Shirt 2015 will be available for purchase.

After the unveiling, The Shirt Committee will pick up work again starting on summer marketing and sales, Dankoff said.

“What we like to emphasize most is our mission, that everything we do is directly impacting the students at this University,” Dankoff said, “The point of The Shirt is to unify everybody, both in apparel but also in Notre Dame. I like to think of that as our own mission, that then benefits the greater mission of the school.”

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About Andrea Vale

Andrea Vale is a freshman at Notre Dame who has previously written for both the Sun Chronicle and the Huffington Post. She plans to major in English with a Creative Writing concentration and a minor in Journalism.

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