Notre Dame awards honorary monogram to Condoleezza Rice
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, September 21, 2017
Notre Dame awarded an honorary monogram to former Secretary of State and member of the class of 1975 Condoleezza Rice, the University announced in a press release Monday.
According to the release, Rice joined former President Gerald Ford and former President Ronald Reagan as an honorary monogram recipient in a “surprise ceremony” Sept. 1. The ceremony took place after Rice spoke at the unveiling of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh’s Forever stamp.
Director of athletics Jack Swarbrick presented Rice with the monogram after she spoke with the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, which Swarbrick said Rice represents.
“This is a program that achieves at a very high level,” Swarbrick said of the women’s basketball team in the press release. “They have an important symbol of when they have success. When they succeed in the classroom and when they succeed athletically, there’s a very special and unique honor they earn that they want to share with you.
“You represent the philosophy of our coach and this program so well. You said once, ‘We have to move past the idea that women can become leaders to the expectation that they will be leaders.’ That is what this program is built on and that is what these young women represent. They would officially like to make you a Notre Dame monogram winner.”
According to the release, the Notre Dame Monogram Club only bestows honorary monograms upon those who “have demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of Notre Dame athletics and the development of Fighting Irish student-athletes and graduates.”
Rice achieved this status by acting as a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2001 before moving on to serve as national security advisor and then secretary of state for former President George W. Bush, the press release said. She was the first African-American woman to hold this position.
In addition to her honorary monogram, the University presented Rice with an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 1995 University Commencement Ceremony, for which she was the Commencement speaker.