Holy Cross women’s basketball coasts past Roosevelt, men fall in overtime

On a snowy South Bend night, Holy Cross men’s and women’s basketball took on Roosevelt University in a double header at McKenna Arena. The women glided past Lakers, while the men fell just short in overtime.

Sophomore forward Grace Adams won the 5:30 p.m. tip, and the Saints didn’t look back from there. Holy Cross jumped out to a 11-0 lead, dominating the opening five minutes of play. At the close of the first quarter, the Saints’ defensive resolve kept the Lakers down 22-8.

Roosevelt junior forward Jayla Turchin built some momentum to start out the second period, leading her team on a 6-0 run before Holy Cross could again crack the scoreboard. The three-point shot of Michiana native and Roosevelt graduate student guard Meghan Urbanski also did not help the Saint’s cause. A timeout, however, helped the Saints kick their offense back on, and Holy Cross trotted off the court at the midpoint buzzer, up 45-28.

In a third quarter that brought many players in Saint gray and Laker black to the foul line, freshman forward Carly Spradling and freshman guard Audrey Tallent were relentless in backing their team up with buckets. Three-fourths way through the matchup, Holy Cross stood assuredly at the helm, up 71-47.

A fourth quarter Laker full-court press proved to be ineffective. A layup from sophomore guard Anna Tallent closed out the affair — Holy Cross the victors, 93-58.

Earlier this season, the Saints came up three points short against the Lakers on the road in Chicago. Head coach Tom Robbins knew that his team had to find a way to stop Urbanski if they wanted a different result this time around.

“We felt like we really needed to get to Urbanski,” Robbins said. “She’s a local girl, played at Mishawaka Marian and she really hurt us the first time around. We just smothered her from three. She ended up with 11, but she had 10 in the first half. To hold her to one point in the whole second half I thought was key for us.”

Anticipating how Turchin might also be a problem, Robbins set the dynamic Adams to the task.

“Turchin is pretty big for them,” Robbins said. “So we had Grace Adams guard her, and she really did a nice job locking her down — held her to 10 points, which is about half of her average.”

The Saints, now 13-10, will carry their momentum into Gary, Indiana Saturday in a 2 p.m. matchup against Indiana University Northwest.

Men fall to top-seeded Lakers in overtime

The Holy Cross men’s team, coming off an upset victory against Olivet Nazarene, took on another top-ranked Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference team in Roosevelt. The battle between the Saints in white and the Lakers in Black was fought through diplomatic timeouts.

Too many missed long balls from the Saints permitted the Lakers to jump out to a 15-9 lead 10 minutes into the game. By the end of half, Holy Cross, though only managing 21 points, clawed back to within 10 points.

The Saints had their work cut out for them in the second half of play. Thankfully, the freshman duo of guard Phil Robles II and forward Tommy Snyder finally started to turn on the heat.

With 10 minutes to go in the ball game, it started to get interesting. Holy Cross cut down Roosevelt’s lead to four points and then down to two with six minutes left on the clock. Robles II nailed a three in the thirty-fifth minute to tie the game back up at 50 — electrifying the McKenna Arena crowd.

Following several bucket exchanges in Roosevelt’s favor, senior guard Storm Cook drained a three to give Holy Cross a 55-54 lead. In a stressful turn of events, which included several Holy Cross missed foul shots and a double technical to head coach Mike McBride and a Roosevelt assistant coach, the Saints held on 61-59 with 37 seconds left on the clock.

The dagger came at 8.5 seconds — Roosevelt notched a fadeaway jumper — tying the score at 61. Holy Cross was unable to respond, sending the game to overtime.

In the five-minute affair, the Saints jumped out first with a layup. Three and a half minutes of even exchanges later, Holy Cross began to slip away. With 30 seconds to go, an errant Saint three-pointer could have tied it again.

At 15 seconds left on the clock, Holy Cross was forced to foul, and Roosevelt knocked their free buckets from the line. The late-game thrill having not fully dissipated, the final score stood at 75-68.

Even with the game’s ultimate outcome, McBride was proud of how his team competed down the stretch.

“We showed some fight, showed some resolve, got back in it, put ourselves in a position to win it and then just weren’t able to pull it off,” McBride said. “They made a few more plays than we did.”

Although it’s frustrating to think how easily things could have gone the other way, McBride said that the team should not get too held up on end game dramtics.

“It’s not those last two minutes,” McBride said. “It’s the 38 that proceeded it. Not the five of overtime … also the 40 that you played with. If we handle things throughout the game, maybe we’re in a better spot at the end.”

The men’s team, now 11-11, will also be traveling to Gary, Indiana Saturday to take on Indiana University Northwest at 4 p.m.


Clark expresses optimism about Holy Cross’ direction

Holy Cross College President Marco Clark, who began his term last July, described his position as “enviable” due to the College’s relatively strong and stable financial position. 

“In recent years, several Catholic and small, independent liberal arts colleges have closed,” he said. “One of the ones that’s maybe very close to home is St. Joe’s in Calumet, Indiana.”

Clark said Holy Cross’ financial position will enable the College to focus on progressive initiatives, focusing on growth rather than being held up in debt and stress. He also thanked his predecessor, Fr. David Tyson, the College’s board of trustees, its senior leadership team and faculty and staff for having “sacrificed much” to improve its position. 

“We’re not at a point of desperation. We’re at a point of hopefulness. We get a chance now with a very strong foundation to build towards a promising and not only sustainable, but a thriving future,” Clark said.

“Holy Cross College is one of the rare places in the country that is a debt free college and has an endowment that is larger than its operating budget.”

Another strength of Holy Cross which Clark emphasized is its location in the tri-campus, which he considers “the most influential Catholic higher ed zip code in the world.” 

Leaders on both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame’s campuses, he said, have been very helpful in his transition to his own role. Furthermore, he said the College plans to strengthen its ties with the tri-campus with future collaborations.

“I couldn’t begin to extend my gratitude more as the newcomer here and I’m really glad to say that Holy Cross hospitality is alive and well here in South Bend,” he said. “And without getting into any specifics of those at this time, I think that throughout the tri-campus we see some unique opportunities to collaborate even more for the greater benefit of all of our students on the three campuses.”

Leading with availability

Clark began his term with promises to listen to students and said he hopes the College community feels he has lived up to that.

“I also have gone on basically I’ll call it a listening tour,” Clark said. “I’ve been meeting with focus groups. I have monthly meetings with groups of students, we call it ‘Coffee with the President.’ I’ve been visible on campus and at activities.”

Clark reflected on his promise that he made at the beginning of the year, noting his transparency from the beginning of his term.

“I think that students, faculty and staff have found out that from what I said up front, I had been true to my word that I would listen,” Clark said.

Student body president Dion Payne-Miller complimented Clark’s availability and said the College is a strong position to thrive under his leadership.

“He has lived up to pretty much everything he said he would do, which is to listen and have a steady presence on campus,” Payne-Miller said. “You will see Dr. Clark almost every day, at least. Like, that’s just how present he is, whether that’s in the cafeteria, whether that’s just passing in the halls, he is present.”

Payne-Miller also said Clark has been helpful for him in his role as student-body president by working with him to achieve certain goals on campus.

“For me as a student-body president, he has been nothing but gracious in the sense that he makes himself available to me. He truly embodies what it means to be a servant leader,” Payne-Miller said. “Him and I have been able to converse a lot and it’s like a two-way street.”

As part of goals to be available and responsive to student needs, Clark has used several committees focused on co-responsibility for management of the College, aiming to involve student voices for each. 

“One of the biggest messages that I’ve been saying to everyone about me personally and my leadership, is that I really believe that it’s important that today’s leaders are accessible, that they’re transparent, and that they’re willing to be held accountable,” he said. “Being able to be here at Holy Cross College in this role, I see leadership as an act of love and I see leadership as an act of service.”

Contact Liam Price at


Mid-Year Reviews

By Bella Laufenberg
By Liam Price
By Liam Kelly

Payne-Miller, Jarmon administration accomplishes community-building programs, policy making

Holy Cross College student body president Dion Payne-Miller and vice president Oscar Jarmon focused their efforts in the first semester on making student government more responsive to students and instituting policy to bring the community together.

Payne-Miller emphasized that one of his biggest priorities was making student government more efficient and responsive to the students. 

“A lot of what I’ve done this semester has been very structure based, in terms of the structure of [student government association (SGA)], how things run and how proposals are processed,” Payne-Miller said, adding that proposals introduced by senators are now processed faster than before.

The programming board has also become more effective this semester, Payne-Miller argued.

“Our programming board, so our social concerns and entertainment committees, they’ve done a wonderful job at putting together community events on campus,” he said.

Jarmon highlighted the Fall Fest week as one of student government’s biggest accomplishments. Fall Fest consisted of a week of daily events in the beginning of October, including the Holy Cross hoedown dance and an open mic night. 

“Monday to Friday, we had events and all those events had a really good turnout,” Jarmon said.

Both Payne-Miller and Jarmon noticed that the student body has been much more engaged this semester.

“Our students this year are very vocal,” Payne-Miller affirmed. “And that goes from our senate leaders, all the way to just the general campus community.”

Jarmon added that students have been eager to share their thoughts.

“During our SGA office hours people come in and talk about ideas,” he said. “They’ve been a really good help to us and the SGA.”

Agreeing with Jarmon, Payne-Miller emphasized how important the involvement is to the campus.

“We’re a small campus. And so having those relationships, I think are really important to us,” Payne-Miller stated.

The second semester is slated to be a busy one at Holy Cross, the student body President and Vice-President noted.

“The next semester is the busiest semester because we have spring formal and then our new president inauguration,” Jarmon said.

Payne-Miller introduced a number of policy ideas this semester that he hopes to get through next semester. One important issue for student government is the printing system at Holy Cross.

“We have a certain amount of money that we get to use on printing for each semester,” Payne-Miller said. “What we’re advocating for is to get whatever money that’s left on the account to get that to roll over to the next semester.” 

Trying to get more spices in the dining hall is also a priority for the Student Government Association. One of the biggest possible policy proposals for next semester is the changing over parietal hours at Holy Cross College.

“We’re trying to get parietals moved back on weekends,” Payne-Miller stated, pointing out, “At Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, it’s 2 a.m. and at Holy Cross, it’s 1 a.m. […] Students want to be able to spend more time with friends and develop relationships.” 

Payne-Miller noted that the only reason that parietals are at a different time at Holy Cross is because of a policy instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic that is still in place.

Concluding his remarks, Payne-Miller re-emphasized the role that he wants the community to play in his policy making. 

“I want the government to be a student government-led organization,” Payne-Miller said.

Review: Payne-Miller and Jarmon’s emphasis on student involvement in student government is an inspired idea and should promote a stronger community as well as more popular student events. However, the student government should focus on putting together more events and passing more tangible policy as opposed to only a focus on structural reforms. The planned docket for next semester promises to accomplish this goal.

Contact Liam Kelly at


Holy Cross wins tri-campus face-off

This season’s tri-campus face-off saw the Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross women’s basketball teams play head to head on Tuesday evening. A friendly match between the two schools (who normally play in different divisions and conferences), the game started last year in the 2021-2022 season to create a sense of community at home. This year’s game proved to be just that, with a crowd of family, friends, students and community members at the game. 

The first half of the game was a great watch, with both teams keeping the other on their toes, especially in the first quarter. In the first half, the Saint Mary’s Belles struggled to keep up with the Holy Cross Saints, but they kept the point gap fairly controlled. By the end of the first 20 minutes, the score was 45-31, with Holy Cross in the lead. 

The game took a turning point after halftime, however, as the Saints seemed to gain their footing on the offensive side and the Belles struggled with their defense and their shooting accuracy. By the end of the third quarter, Saint Mary’s was down 82-45 and it was not looking great for them toward the last ten minutes. Ultimately, the Holy Cross women’s offense was too strong for the Belles, who conceded the match in a final score of 106-57, making the game Holy Cross’ highest-scoring match of the season so far. 

Postgame, both coaches were open to talking about their teams’ dynamics. Holy Cross head coach Tom Robbins was pleased with the outcome of the game, not only because of hia team’s high score, but because they successfully addressed what he considers the team’s weakness this season, their defense.

“We’ve been giving up too many points, we lost our last game 90-87, so we’ve been scoring a lot of points, but we’ve been giving up a lot of points,” Robbins said on the match. “We wanted to keep the opponent under 60, which was 15 points a quarter, and I thought we showed some improvement in that today that we need to continue moving forward.”

On the other hand, he recognized his players’ hard work and achievements on the offense.

“Our strength has been our guard play, we only had 11 turnovers today. We get big scoring out of our guards, like [sophomore guard] Jordyn Smith and [senior guard] Jayda Miller. Our guard play has been a huge strength for us all season.” 

Saint Mary’s head coach Melissa Makielski was not as pleased with the outcome, but appreciated her team’s closeness as their greatest strength.

“I’d say our team camaraderie is probably our strongest point right now,” she said. “As far as what’s bettering right now, it’s hard to say anything after that game.”

As for what she tells her players in tough moments, she said she tries to remind them “just why they play, and the fact that basketball can teach them so many different things in life. There’s good times and bad times, and it’s how you respond to the bad times that will truly help you.” 

Both teams seemed to be facing opposite years, with Saints made up of mainly underclassmen and Belles led by a great number of upperclassmen this season. Robbins says he is excited for what is coming for the program.

“The future is really, really bright, especially because there [are] a lot of teams that have fifth -ear players because of an extra COVID year that makes us particularly young compared to those teams. But as soon as those teams start cycling those out, we are gonna be the last old team left while all these other teams are rebuilding.”

Makielski is just as optimistic for the future and the impact that the upperclassmen are having on the younger players.

“I think [an older team] means good things for us, because our upperclassmen are committed to the program and committed to see it get better, and they’ve laid the foundation for that in the offseason stuff that the kids have done,” Makielski said. “They’ve created a great culture that the kids want to be a part of, and that’s something that’s going to last even after they graduate.” 

As for the campus rivalry between both teams in this type of game, there seems to be a shared enjoyment of the challenge — as well as community — made by the game.

“Last year was the first year that we got this matchup going as a regular season matchup, and that’s what I envisioned was a tri-campus matchup,” Robbins. said “They’re playing up in Michigan, we’re playing in Illinois and we hadn’t played each other that much except for scrimmages. I think it’s great for the community for us to play each other, and also it’s a nice timing for us, for the end of the semester, since it’s a short road trip while getting ready for finals and all of that.”

Coach Makielski said her favorite part of playing Holy Cross is the familiarity.

“Even though it’s different divisions playing each other, it’s nice to have something other than conference play to look forward to and to challenge yourself with a rivalry like that,” she said.

In true tri-campus fashion, the night ended with both teams circling up and holding hands in prayer on the court after the final buzzer.


New University program promotes educational initiatives for the incarcerated

In August, leaders of the major college-in-prison initiatives within the tri-campus community gathered to create the Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prison (NDPEP) housed within the Center for Social Concerns (CSC). The program offers a liberal arts education in prisons as well as expanding research geared toward improving prison education initiatives. NDPEP aids participants as they “re-enter their home communities and provide faculty and student opportunities for education and research on issues related to incarceration”, according to a University press release.

“The goal of bringing all these pieces together into NDPEP is to ensure that all the pieces doing similar work can communicate more easily and learn from each other by being housed in one place and being in regular communication,” James Shortall, associate director of the Center for Social Concerns said in an interview with The Observer.

He continued by talking about how the program represents the University’s mission.

“It contributes to the mission of the Center and Notre Dame by doing justice education and by increasing opportunities for justice education and research for the common good, where the idea would be to build up research efforts around all these elements that have just come together under the umbrella of NDPEP,” he said.  

Managing director Michael Hebbeler described how once different project directors decided their roles within the new program, the work was simple.

“It was, frankly, fairly easy, because each of the programs in existence is strong and robust and have been running well, and so it was a matter of understanding how they fit together,” he said.

For instance, assistant regional director for alumni and reentry services Justin McDevitt and research program manager Lindsay Paturalski were brought onto the initiative because of their respective skill sets, according to McDevitt.

“So rather than each program hiring its own independent person to do these things, we thought we could all work together and support the greater group of programs,” he explained.

The innovative aspect of NDPEP also lies in the capacity for the tri-campus students to become involved in the program, McDevitt noted.

“Both Lindsay and I are making it available for students to intern with NDPEP, both with research help for Lindsay and alumni reentry support for me,” McDevitt said. “We’ve had more than a handful of students already serve as interns and there are opportunities for Notre Dame students to get involved in helping in the Moreau College Initiative (MCI) office at Holy Cross.”

However, McDevitt explained such opportunities for undergraduate engagement through MCI specifically are “really limited” because the program encourages students inside the prison to mentor each other.

Nevertheless, Hebbeler noted there will be more opportunities for undergraduates to engage with the project, specifically in the “Inside-Out” program, a three-credit course offered in the spring.

“It is a course inside Westville Correctional Facility, where half the students are incarcerated and half of the students are traditional Notre Dame undergraduates. So we take vehicles out from campus to do class once a week inside a facility.”

The class requires an application which is still available for interested students.

McDevitt summarized the goal of the program by is “exposing undergraduates to inequities in our system and introducing them to the possibility of going inside a space where more marginalized people are compared to the campus.”

McDevitt also described how NDPEP addresses issues of equity and empowerment.

“What Lindsay and I have been doing for years is teaching college in prison as if it were college outside of prison,” he said. “So it’s less about opening people’s eyes to inequity and more of empowering people who wouldn’t normally get a chance to be educated.”

Hebbeler also described how the initiative benefits faculty.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for faculty, at Holy Cross College and at Notre Dame who are teaching the courses — in total about 40 — so it’s a robust college degree program, and many faculty will name it not only a rewarding experience but arguably the most powerful teaching experience they’ve had.”

Paturalski shared some of the research efforts to improve the program, emphasizing the ethics involved in the process.

“Our research is about program evaluation,” she said. “I think that’s really important, again for the equity aspect, that students feel empowered and that they do not think we are there possibly with some alternative motive.”

Paturalski noted the goal is to “make sure that they’re getting a quality education that is valuable to them as returning citizens, so we look at a lot of variables related to student success and academic quality and community-building.”

While NDPEP has focused its study on the all-male Westville Correctional Facility, the program hopes to expand its reach to imprisoned women because of the limited research on that demographic, according to Paturalski.

“While mass incarceration numbers have slowly been going down, the numbers of women being incarcerated have slowly gone up, even though men still are by far the highest number of people being incarcerated,” she said. “The fact that we’re going to be able to engage with and support women who are reentering society and getting their education is another really important aspect of what we’re doing and are only possible through the partnership, because Notre Dame can’t take our faculty down to Indianapolis to work with the Women’s College Partnership, together with Marian University and the Bard Prison Initiative.”

Shortall summarized the impact of NDPEP as forming “more and deeper opportunities both for justice education and for research for the common good around education in prison.”

McDevitt added that “even though our students in prison can’t come to campus while they’re incarcerated and our Notre Dame students, except for ‘Inside Out,’ can’t go inside the prison, we are very much the same in this goal.”

In addition, McDevitt stated the program will be a leader among newly emerging programs with similar missions.

“From a historical context, our programs have been around for ten years, in partnership with Holy Cross College, which houses the MCI program, and that’s pretty long compared to a lot of programs in the state,” McDevitt said. “A lot of programs are going to be starting, so NDPEP poises Notre Dame to be a leader in the field, both state-wide and beyond so it’s a really exciting time.”

McDevitt commended the collaboration between all three tri-campus schools.

“Holy Cross College is fundamental to this operation, and without Holy Cross, this does not happen,” he said. And we are excited about the possibility of the Saint Mary’s campus getting more involved. Faculty from all three campuses teach out there.”

James finalized by saying the work of the center, “serves Notre Dame’s mission to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice”. He concluded, “That’s part of the mission that we refer to all the time here, and NDPEP bringing together these programs at the center really does everything that sentence says and more”.

Contact Marcelle Couto at


‘Know that you are never alone’: Community, family mourns loss of ND sophomore

James “Jake” Blaauboer passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 11. Blaauboer was a sophomore at Notre Dame, veteran of the U.S. Army and avid runner, but most importantly, he was a brother, a son and a friend.

Born in December 1995, Blaauboer grew up in upstate New York in a small town called Clifton Park. He lived with his loving parents, Mary and James “Jim” Blaauboer, and younger sister Molly Blaauboer. 

Molly Blaauboer, only 20 months younger than Blaauboer, said she was always the “proud younger sister,” following behind Jake throughout their schooling. 

“Molly is very outgoing and social, and Jake was very reserved and would keenly observe,” their mother, Mary Blaauboer, explained. 

Jake and Molly Blaauboer grew up together in Clifton Park, New York with their parents, Mary and Jim Blaauboer. / Courtesy of Molly Blaauboer.

Right out of high school, Blaauboer enlisted in the U.S. Army, and then spent the next few years of his life in active and reserve duty, during most of which he was stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado. 

After his service, Blaauboer started community college and applied to a myriad of other universities and colleges — one of which was the University of Notre Dame. Although his parents said they had no personal connection to Notre Dame, the family grew up watching Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish win football games. 

Blaauboer first transferred into the University in the fall of 2019, where he was a sophomore English major in St. Edward’s Hall. 

His family explained that although Blaauboer loved to read and write, he didn’t know what he wanted to accomplish with an English degree— which was why he took a leave of absence from the University in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

When he left Notre Dame, Blaauboer went directly into technical school where he learned to be a welder. Working with his hands was something that Blaauboer began during his time as the Army when he was randomly selected to be a mechanic, Molly Blaauboer said.  

“We’re getting outreach now about how great he was at being a mechanic and what a great soldier he was, which we totally believe, but it’s interesting to see the ripple,” she noted. 

After he finished technical school, the family said Blaauboer moved to Maine to work as a welder, far away from his hometown in New York. 

While the family was in Maine celebrating Easter 2022, Molly Blaauboer mentioned that Blaauboer announced his intention to return to Notre Dame unexpectedly. 

“This is completely out of the blue,” she said. “[He said,] ‘I have something to tell you guys … I’ve applied to be unparoled from Notre Dame.’”

Jake Blaauboer was only 20 months older than Molly, who said her teachers always liked to have another Blaauboer in their classrooms. / Courtesy of Molly Blaauboer.

Molly Blaauboer noted that this wasn’t unlike Blaauboer and that he often changed his mind about what he wanted to accomplish with his life. 

“I would joke about how I wonder what he wants to do this week,” she laughed. 

Mary Blaauboer explained that Blaauboer wasn’t happy as a welder because he needed something more intellectually stimulating. The family said he loved to debate politics, philosophy and history with anyone who would listen. 

“He’s an intellectual person, you know, he was a deep thinker. He was a reader,” Mary said. 

Blaauboer had to go through an entire re-entry process, Molly said, and finally found out he was retuning in July. So, in August 2022, now 26 year old Blaauboer moved to Notre Dame for the second time but as a history major instead. 

Because adjusting to college life can be hard — especially the second time — Notre Dame’s care and wellness consultants in the Center for Student Support and Care put together a support group filled with re-admitted students, including Blaauboer and fellow sophomore Ua Tom.  

Tom, a theology major and native of the Bronx in New York City, said he was originally a Gateway student, but he took time off from the University because he didn’t want his first semester at Notre Dame to be controlled by the COVID-19 pandemic. While away, Tom returned to NYC and was a teacher in Chinatown. 

“All of us re-admits, we have our mental health issues, for sure, every single one of us. But that’s also what got us close,” Tom noted. 

The support group, colloquially named “we back” by the members, met every Wednesday at 4 p.m., according to Tom. 

“Self-deprecation was the highest form of humor that we have for ourselves in that group. We dropped out but we’re back,” he joked. 

Tom explained that Blaauboer stood out as a natural mentor and leader of the group.

“When Jake spoke, people listened, he was just so earnest and genuine. Jake always checked up on me and was a wonderful influence on myself and the rest of the readmitted students,” Tom said. “He happily and naturally took on the role of an older brother and mentor, and whenever I saw him it would totally make my day. It was clear from the moment that I met him that he had a big heart. His positivity and compassion was contagious.”

Tom said he would never forget one moment when Blaauboer helped Tom during a difficult period of time.

“I’ll never forget when I was really having a tough time [at the beginning of the semester] when I was in the thick of [transitioning] and really struggling to focus on class,” he explained. “Jake gave me a hug. He told me he was there for me, and I wasn’t alone.”

Although he had only known Blaauboer for a short time, Tom noted how much of an impact Blaauboer had on him, saying that he wished they had spent more time together. 

“He really was a light of a human being. He was such an easily likable guy who was really gentle and kind,” he said. “In some ways, he knew us better than we knew ourselves.”

Apart from classes and the support group, Blaauboer was also active in the Notre Dame Running Club. Race coordinator for the club and Stanford Hall junior Jonathan Karr said Blaauboer was an active member of the group and often volunteered to drive the team to and from meets. 

“He was very supportive of the entire team. He took pictures when we ran, he wanted us to succeed, and he cheered for all the runners,” Karr said. 

Karr emphasized how deeply grateful he was for Blaauboer’s positive influence on the team and for him personally. 

“I was a very close friend with Jake, and he really helped the team,” Karr noted. “He really, really embodied what it means to be a Fighting Irish.”

The family also emphasized how important running, particularly the routine of the sport, was to Blaauboer.

“He was strict with himself,” Mary Blaauboer said. “Routine and ritual were important to him in every aspect. So, there was a routine for food and exercise and friendships and then the school and work and everything. For him, overlapping those things was uncomfortable.”

They said he also loved comedy and was a huge fan of movies. Overall, the Blaauboers said the outpouring of love they have received from family, friends, teammates and anyone who knew Blaauboer has meant a lot to them. 

“That’s an amazing blessing and comfort — to know that he’s remembered and prayed for,” Mary Blaauboer said.

The family said Jake Blaauboer loved movies, comedy and running. He would also debate politics or philosophy with anyone who would listen. / Courtesy of Molly Blaauboer.

Tom emphasized that anyone, who knew Blaauboer personally or not, can honor his memory by living fully and not being afraid to reach out to others.

“Live with the same spirit that he did,” Tom said. “Reach out and ask someone how they are doing, like he did for us.”

Fr. Pete McCormick, the inaugural assistant vice president for campus ministry, echoed Tom’s sentiment during Notre Dame’s mass of remembrance on Nov. 16.

“Sometimes words fail and can’t always communicate the depths of sorrow,” he said. “Be unafraid to reach out to a member of hall staff, the University Counseling Center (UCC) or campus ministry. Know that you are never alone.”

Contact Bella Laufenberg at


Saints lose to Titans, fall to 1-3

Following a 79-72 Nov. 4 loss to Goshen College the Saints looked to rebound at home against Indiana University-South Bend. The Saints returned to McKenna Arena looking to return to .500 on the season and capture their first victory since Oct. 31 versus East-West University. The game also represented the inaugural conference matchup for the Saints, with pressure mounting to make a statement as a brutal slate of games begins.

The Saints and Titans both opened up hot, running coordinated and organized offenses that thwarted the opposing defense with ease. The Saints experienced early offensive success, thanks in no part to discipline from the players on the floor. They shot 44.4% from the field and a remarkable 33.3% from three in the first half of play. The Titans mostly matched the elite play of the Saints, however. The competitive and aggressive first half ended with the Saints barely ahead at 32-30.

The second half opened with more disciplined and direct play from the Saints, as they hoped to put IU-SB away and repel the Titans’ fervent defense. Despite some shoddy rotations and with a bit of luck, the Titans were allowed to stay in the game. The Saints’ offense continued to hum about, but was thwarted by a poor shooting performance from the three-point range.

The Saints could only manage a 16.7% mark from the line, allowing an opportunistic and unrelentingly committed Titans team back into the game. Deflated, the Saints allowed a motivated Titans squad to take the lead, grabbing their third win of the season with a score of 72-58.

The Saints shot an efficient 46.2% from the field for the game. But they only sunk four three-pointers and six free throws. The Saints recorded the same amount of rebounds (29) as the Titans. But the Titans overpowered them on defense, posting ten steals to the Saints’ four. Tommy Snyder, a freshman forward from South Bend, had an excellent game for the Saints. Snyder went 8-11 from the field, adding eight rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes of hard-fought play.

The Saints and Coach Mike McBride have now fallen to 1-3 on the season and are 0-1 in conference play. In his 10th season of heading the Saints’ ship, Coach McBride hopes to rebound this Saturday and next Wednesday at home against Saint Xavier University and Governors State University, respectively.

Contact Adam Akan at


Notre Dame alumna begins new ministry at Saint Mary’s

Nicole Labadie, who became the new director of campus ministry at Saint Mary’s in October, hopes to find new ways to evangelize and accompany students on their faith journeys during their time at Saint Mary’s College She said the job combines her passions: the charisma of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the focus of an all women’s school and the work of campus ministry.

Labadie, originally from New Braunfels, Texas, studied social work and religious studies at St. Edward’s University in Texas before earning a master of divinity at Notre Dame. She first became involved in campus ministry at St. Edward’s, where she said she appreciated the mentorship she received on profound questions regarding her faith.

When she came to Notre Dame, Labadie was an assistant rector in Pasquerilla East Hall and she worked on liturgical and spiritual programming in the dorm.

“I really loved journeying and walking with women, so, I think in a lot of ways it’s cool that I’m back at Saint Mary’s now,” Labadie said.

Labadie entered her eighth year of campus ministry work when she took the job at Saint Mary’s. Previously, she was the director of campus ministry at University of St. Thomas in Texas and was a campus minister at the Rice University Catholic Student Center. 

She is also married to a Notre Dame graduate and has two sons, who are three years and three months old. Labadie said the job at Saint Mary’s was attractive partly because South Bend was where they wanted to raise their family.

Labadie, who began her term Oct. 17, described adjusting to her new job as “a little bit like trying to drink water from a fire hose,” but has enjoyed getting to know students and learning about their needs since they arrived back on campus from fall break.

“Saint Mary’s has been so welcoming so far,” she said. “I’ve heard a variety of things from the students, like building on the strong community of Saint Mary’s and continuing on the legacy of the sisters, especially since religious communities are declining in numbers and the pandemic really affected the ability for students to be able to connect with the sisters of Holy Cross.”

As director of campus ministry at Saint Mary’s, Labadie hopes to foster productive dialogue on campus for students to grow in their faith. The dialogue, she said, could take shape in the form of small group communities, something which she said students have expressed to her over the past week. 

“We know that God is a mystery, and any way that we want to put limits on that, God is ultimately beyond those,” Labadie said. “It’s one of my great joys in campus ministry is to get to walk with students and accompany them as they sort of ask those big questions.”

Her purpose as the new director of campus ministry, she said, is centered around providing students hope surrounding faith and she is intent on listening to students to find out how best to do that.

“It’d be my desire that every student at Saint Mary’s knows how deeply they are loved by God,” Labadie said. “So whatever we can do to help bring that about, I’m open to hearing.”

Contact Liam at


Holy Cross awards new scholarships

As Holy Cross continues to see record application numbers, interim provost Michael Griffin said the College is turning toward trusted partners to foster student excellence.

Griffin identified the two networks through which the College will offer more scholarships this year: dependents of Notre Dame employees and families who participate in the SAGE scholars rewards program.

Half a decade ago, under former College President Fr. David Tyson, Holy Cross began covering the full cost of tuition and fees for those eligible for Notre Dame’s tuition benefit, Griffin said.

“Covering full tuition for Notre Dame employee children was one of the first things [Tyson] did to strengthen Holy Cross’ bond with Notre Dame,” Griffin said.

Starting this year, Griffin said, Holy Cross College is providing room and board costs for Notre Dame employee children who maintain a certain high school grade point average (GPA).

“Children of those whose parents qualify for the tuition benefit don’t pay anything for tuition and fees. That already exists,” Griffin clarified. “What is new is that for students whose high school GPA is 3.4 or above, we will also cover their housing if they choose to live on campus.”

Griffin said the grant, named the Hesburgh Housing Scholarship, is a recognition of the special relationship found among the tri-campus.

“Fr. Hesburgh was a very good friend of Holy Cross College and always was keen to point families who were interested in a Catholic education to come to the tri-campus,” Griffin said.

The financial source of the housing voucher, Griffin said, is a fund started in Fr. Hesburgh’s name.

“We have a Hesburgh Fund that some friends of Fr. Hesburgh began while he was still alive and that people still donate to,” Griffin said. “That is something that people can donate to kind of honor Father Hesburgh and the role he played at Holy Cross.”

Griffin expects the scholarship to benefit the academic performance of students from Notre Dame employee families, especially first-generation students.

“What we are finding is that living on campus is a real benefit to academic performance, and we want to make that possible,” Griffin said. “The research is clear that for first-gen students, it is a marked difference. It is a marked increase in academic success when they live on campus.”

Director of financial aid Rick Gonsiorek added that the scholarship’s underlying intent is to strengthen the College’s community.

“[The scholarship] removes a financial barrier from students to fully enter into that campus life,” Gonsiorek said. “Holy Cross College wants to offer as holistic an educational experience as possible.”

Though the range of people who qualify for the scholarship is wide, the housing grant will only affect a small percentage of Holy Cross College’s population, Gonsiorek said.

“The total number of Notre Dame dependents going to school here is a little bit less than 20,” Gonsiorek said. “As the word gets out, I expect to see more Notre Dame families take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”

Holy Cross College will also begin offering scholarships this year through the SAGE Scholars FastTrak pre-admission program, Griffin said.

“[SAGE] is a program that is run through employers where families and students can accumulate points by taking steps towards wellness, college readiness [or even] community service,” Griffin said. “We add scholarships to their sage reward points,” he said.

Gonsiorek equates FastTrak to “speed dating.” He said the program flips the whole admissions process around.

“This FastTrak Program is a new program that allows the colleges to reach directly out to the students and identify them on a number of admissible characteristics,” Gonsiorek said. “It’s like a private college search network.”

Gonsiorek said FastTrak is particularly useful for finding students who might otherwise think they would not be able to afford college.

“There’s a whole large group of students out there who are intimidated by the college admissions process,” Gonsiorek said. “They’re first-generation students. They’re scared to even apply to schools let alone a private school. It’s such a large price tag.”

Through SAGE FastTrak, Holy Cross can offer pre-admission and relay guaranteed scholarship packages to prospective students whom the College believes would be a good fit on campus, Gonsiorek said.

“What we also are finding is that, when we identify pockets of really trusted partners like Notre Dame, like SAGE, by giving scholarships, more of them, one of the things is we get is more of the kinds of students who thrive at Holy Cross,” Griffin said. “That’s the win. We continue to increase our student excellence.”

Contact Peter Breen at