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National Joe Day brings together Joes from across campus

| Thursday, March 28, 2019

Stacked next to piles of pizza boxes and a full box of raffle prizes lie dozens of name tags all labeled the same name: Joe. A celebration of National Joe Day occurred on Wednesday in the Coleman-Morse Center, led by Father Joe Corpora, the priest-in-residence of Dillon Hall. Open to all students named Joe or Josephine, the event aspired to foster a sense of community among students who share the same name.

Junior Joe Drey, a resident of Dillon Hall, said that the event started small but then was inspired to expand due to social media and group chats that exclusively included Notre Dame students named Joe.

“Last year, Fr. Joe and I celebrated National Joe Day on a small scale, just with the Joes in Dillon,” Drey said. “We started a group chat of all the Joes on campus that we call ‘Joe-tre Dame’. We told Fr. Joe that the group existed and he knew we had to have a special celebration.”

The event attracted 21 Joes to come and share their stories with peers who share the same name. Raffle prizes included Cards Against Humanity, a solar-powered Pope figurine, a “Cup of Joe” mug, and a $20 Chick-fil-a gift card. The snacks and prizes created a warm and exciting environment for the event. Every time a new Joe walked through the door, Corpora was quick to make them feel welcome and introduce them to the group conversation.

“He is so open and caring,” Drey said. “One thing that really stands out with Fr. Joe is that he really wants to get to know people and understand their story deeper than just their name. He’s really excited to meet all the Joes and find out what makes each Joe unique.”

Whether each Joe was named after a great-grandfather or a family friend, they all were able to celebrate their special day together at “Joe-mer Fest” over pizza and pop. Corpora made a great effort to discover how each student ended up at this university. Because each Joe comes from various backgrounds and ethnicities, a diverse range of stories were shared at the National Joe Day celebration.

“I love being a Joe,” Drey said. “If you and another Joe have the same name, you get to go through life with at least that shared life experience. Even though we’re all different, we all share something, too.”

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