Students, fans travel to Boston for Shamrock Series
Courtney Becker | Friday, November 20, 2015
Notre Dame students, alumni and fans will be shipping up to Boston this weekend for the 2015 Shamrock Series.
The No. 4 Fighting Irish will take on Boston College on Saturday at Fenway Park in Boston in the seventh annual Shamrock Series game. Senior leprechaun John Doran said the series is a great opportunity for fans who might not be able to make it to South Bend to see a Notre Dame football game.
“I think the Shamrock Series does a good job of getting the people that maybe can’t get out to Notre Dame but are huge Notre Dame fans,” Doran said. “We’ll bring it to them. There are thousands of Notre Dame fans in the northeast, so being able to have a Notre Dame game there — when there’s more tickets available than the 5,000 we would get if we played at Syracuse or if we played at BC — it’s pretty nice to be able to fill up a stadium with that and give people more access.”
Because Fenway Park is a smaller venue, there weren’t as many student tickets available this year, and students who did receive a ticket in the lottery were all the more excited.
“I’m a huge Boston sports fan, so being able to go watch Notre Dame play in Fenway Park is going to be awesome,” sophomore Kate Davin said. “As I found out last year that the game was going to be against BC in Fenway I was like, ‘Wow, I’d love to go to that,’ but I didn’t think I’d be able to get tickets. … So [when I did] I was really excited, and I didn’t shut up about it for a couple days. I just love Boston, it’s my favorite city, and so I’m really excited to be able to go back and be in Fenway, see my family and stuff. So just the whole experience, the atmosphere is going to be great.”
Doran also said he’s excited about the atmosphere in Boston.
“It’s a great sports town; they have a ton of passion for their teams, and I think that’s obvious for anyone who’s ever even been to the city,” he said. “The city is going to be insane, and I can’t wait. The atmosphere in the city is going to be buzzing.”
In addition to the football game itself, the Shamrock Series includes several other academic and service events, such as a reimagining of the Boston Massacre trial by Notre Dame and Boston College law students on Thursday night, a Welcome to Boston party and the Alumni Association service project held at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon.
“When the University decided to create this idea of taking our team on the road as a home game — the Shamrock Series — [University President] Fr. John Jenkins said, ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to take all of ND with us, not just the athletics side of our University.’ The motto is, ‘How do we leave Boston a little bit better, a little bit brighter, a little more cared for, because that’s who Notre Dame is,’” Angie Appleby Purcell, the Alumni Association’s Spirituality Program director, said. “The Shamrock Series has always been a very integrated type of weekend, so that really, by the time you hit the football game so much has happened that reflects the University’s larger mission academically, spiritually, in terms of service and care for others.”
According to the Notre Dame Game Day website, the service project was originally limited to the first 85 volunteers, but because of the high interest in the event, Appleby Purcell said that number has been raised to 140 volunteers with a wait list of about 40 more people.
“I am not at all surprised that we have this wonderful situation because our alumni, and our parents and fans very much want to serve, they want to make a difference in the world,” Appleby Purcell said. “I’m always humbled and just so proud that our community has priorities in terms of giving of their time and talent to serve others who are in need.”
The final event before the tailgating begins is a Mass presided over by Jenkins on Saturday morning at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
“This is the heart of the University in terms of who we are as a Catholic University and our spiritual life,” Appleby Purcell said. “The mass is just another appropriate way in which we come together as a community, a community of faith to pray and to worship.”
Appleby Purcell said between the game itself and the activities surrounding it, there is something for every member of the Notre Dame family to enjoy.
“We could just look at this as a football game, but at the end of the day, what’s important to the University is that we come, that we share who we are and we offer our resources — whether that be academic and intellectual resources, spiritual resources, labor resources to help others and to make people feel welcome wherever we go,” she said. “It’s not just about the football, although that’s fun and part of it, but it’s more for us as a University, and we want to make sure it’s experienced by everyone.”