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Class of 2021, Alumni Association host ‘Life Beyond the ND Bubble’ week

| Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Notre Dame Alumni Association hosted “Life Beyond the ND Bubble” from March 27 to March 31, a virtual series of events aimed at helping seniors prepare for life after graduation. Videos were posted to online covering topics such as finding an apartment, choosing an insurance plan, planning for retirement, sticking to a budget and more.

The annual event series began in 2017 and is typically held in the Dahnke Ballroom at the Duncan Student Center. The idea consolidated as alumni grew aware of a need among Notre Dame students for more opportunities to learn life skills outside the classroom.

“We are deeply committed to our students and we show that through the programs and events that we host,” young alumni program director at the Alumni Association Jacqueline Thomas said.

The material in “Life Beyond the ND Bubble” has remained consistent in the past few years the Alumni Association has hosted the event. But because the event was hosted virtually this year, the Alumni Association was able to connect with people from all across the country and provide new material on matters such as etiquette and dining.

The Alumni Association has maintained a partnership with the senior classes throughout the years in order to work together and host events with the seniors. This year, senior class president Sam Cannova delivered the class of 2021 address to kickstart the weeklong virtual event. Senior Lynette Wukie acted hosted the series by giving introductions at the start of each video and so providing viewers with background information about the guests and the day’s topics.

According to Thomas, life administration tasks are just as vital as other skills that students learn in the classroom.

“I learned the most from Professor Ackermann about saving for retirement,” Wukie said, echoing Thomas’ sentiment. Carl Ackermann teaches financial management and personal finance at Notre Dame.

One of Notre Dame’s most well-known attributes is perhaps its robust alumni network, and “Life Beyond the ND Bubble” aimed to emphasize its importance. Alumni Association executive director Dolly Duffy (’84) spoke to this at the end of the event.

Thomas also talked about the long-lasting impacts of the Alumni Association on the life of Notre Dame students, especially upon graduation.

“The Alumni Association is there for you not only when you’re a student, but we’re going to be with you your entire life,” Thomas said.

The video content will remain on Sakai until the end of the year for seniors to access, whether they attended the events in real time or not. Currently, the Alumni Association is working on a way to disseminate all the information from “Life Beyond the ND Bubble” to young alumni so that it can follow graduates throughout their life.

When seniors are all packed up and driving down Notre Dame Avenue — feeling sentimental, scared or excited about leaving the Notre Dame bubble — the Alumni Association wants them to know there’s no need to fear.

“All those emotions, embrace them, but just know that there is support out there for you,” Thomas said. “And if you reach out to a member of the ND family, you reach out to the Alumni Association, we are here to help and guide you through life because it is that four-year-to-forever commitment and that is something the whole University stands by.”

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