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Malloy authors book on ‘love affair’ with Notre Dame

| Wednesday, October 21, 2020

From 1987 to 2005, Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy served as President of the University of Notre Dame. After 18 years in the position, Malloy, now President Emeritus, takes an introspective and reflective look at the history of the University, as well as his personal part in that story, in his new book: “Monk’s Notre Dame: People, Places and Events.”

“I wanted to do a book that provided a sense of what my experience has already been like through all the years I’ve been here,” Malloy said. “I just love being here. I love the beauty of the campus, the people, the commitment of its graduates. It’s a special place. And my book is an attempt from my point of view to describe some elements of that.”

Malloy has been a member of the University community since 1959 when he first arrived as a student.

“I was recruited to play basketball,” Malloy said. “When I visited Notre Dame I said ‘This is the school for me.’ And when I arrived as a first-semester student, I never looked back.”

Monk said the book reveals his “love affair” with Notre Dame.

“I found a home here,” Malloy said. “And I put my whole self into it, and because of that, all kinds of opportunities opened up.”

In addition to being a student on campus, Malloy said he also found his vocation through a service trip to Latin America, which led him to the rest of his journey at Notre Dame.

A large part of this journey involved several groups of people. In his book, those who make up the Notre Dame family are highlighted.

“Part of the book is historical,” Malloy said. “I trace the role the different presidents have played and what happened during their term of leadership.”

Not only does Malloy cover the presidents that have passed through the University, but also members of the staff.

“I wanted to get people to think about all the units that provide services,” Malloy said. “We can take all these things for granted, but they’re an integral part of what makes Notre Dame kick.”

Malloy’s own experience as University President is included in the history.

“I was really honored to have that role,” Malloy said.

When asked what he was proudest of from his time as President, Malloy said it was the fact that “we made progress on multiple things simultaneously.”

This progress, Malloy said, spanned several areas of the University, including the quality of teaching and the diversity of the campus.

His time in the position also provided the highlights of his experience at the University. One was the way the Notre Dame community responded to an accident in which two members of the women’s swim team passed away, with another seemingly paralyzed.

“That was a major moment,” Malloy said. “It revealed, as so often happens when we have the death of a student, that we are never better as a community of support than when we deal with tragedy.”

Another highlight that stuck out in Malloy’s years was students’ responses in the aftermath of 9/11.

“We could have closed a number of times. Many schools closed when they had tough occasions that they were facing,” he said. “You could say COVID-19, maybe, was another test like that, where we’ve had a sense of what was important, that we’ve rallied together in times of crisis and difficulty.”

Malloy said he tied this spirit to the current generation of students, making his book applicable to people at every stage of their journey at Notre Dame.

“[This] generation is responsible for carrying it to the next level,” Malloy said.

In terms of advice on how to do this, Malloy referred to his own experience.

“Not everything went well all the time for me,” he said. “So what I did is when something didn’t go right, I figured out something else to get involved in.”

He said he believes everyone at Notre Dame has access to their own version of achievement.

“Get a broad education, whatever your major is. Get involved in various activities that you enjoy,” Malloy said. “And then I think you’d be a lot better prepared for what life brings, than if you just focus on one thing or let one thing get in your way and discourage you.”

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