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To Maria and Maddie

| Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I write to praise two students, both of whom excelled in my Literature University Seminar in their first year. In singling out Maria Burgess, now a junior, and sophomore Maddie Penn, I am also reaching out to all those who serve the idea(l) of God, Country, Notre Dame in ways that go beyond the academic. While I am not in a position to address the God part, I will speak of Maria and Maddie in terms of Country and Notre Dame. I arrive on campus early in the morning. Often, Maria and her Army ROTC sisters and brothers, are already well into drills that have them doing push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, etc. on the very wet ground. This never fails to strike me as uncomfortable at the very best. That the discomfort seems purposefully part of the program, and that the students show no reluctance, amplifies the admiration I have for them. We will be well-served by these future soldiers.  As if book-ending my day, at least during the “season,” I am treated to rehearsal of the marching band as I hack my way around the Warren Golf Course in the evening. Although I can neither see her nor pick out her French horn, I silently “cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame” and for Maddie, the band, all the ensembles and soloists who enhance life here at Notre Dame. They imbue the place with the beating heart that is music. At the risk of redundancy, I want to thank not only Maria and Maddie, but all those who, through their investment of time, energy, talent and resolve, bring added value to the University and, in the long haul, to the country.

Louis MacKenzie
associate professor of French
Sept. 24

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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