Notre Dame Alumni E-Newsletter
December 2017
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Dear , 

On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, and together with the Notre Dame Alumni Association Board of Directors, I wish you a merry and blessed Christmas, and a healthy and joyous new year!
This was an extremely successful year for the alumni office. The alumni board focused on expanding and now has representation from St. Fred's, Notre Dame High School, Pontiac Catholic and Notre Dame Prep. We are excited to continue to remember our heritage and work together to keep the tradition and legacy going of each of these schools. We realize Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy would not be what it is without our rich history. 

We hope that in this new year, you will connect at an even greater level with the alumni association and continue to be a part of the mission of this great institution. 

Merry Christmas!

Beth Campbell
Director of Alumni Relations

December 26- NDP Class of 2007 Reunion
10th class reunion, from 4 - 6 p.m. at The HUB Stadium located at  2550 Takata Dr, Auburn Hills 48326.  For questions or more information, please contact Sarah Burns, ; 248-840-6391.

December 26- NDP Class of 2002 Reunion
15th class reunion, at 7 p.m. at Rochester Mills. 

December 28 IB Alumni Coffee Break
4-6 p.m. at the Fr. Colin House 1389 Giddings Road

February 8- Alumni Career Speakers Series
Focus on Advertising 

February 14- Alumni Career Speaker Series
Focus on Technology 

If you are interested in sharing your business  career with our students, please contact Mike Kastler at 

On September 4, 2001, Notre Dame alum Tony DeNardo ('90) suffered a hemorrhagic stroke that nearly ended his life. He was completely paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak, which was devastating on many levels, not the least of which was what it could have done to DeNardo's burgeoning musical career with the increasingly popular Detroit band at the time known as the Muggs.

But fellow 1990 Notre Dame alum Danny Methric, who was the lead singer and guitarist for the Muggs, and drummer Matt Rost decided that the group would not continue until DeNardo, who played bass and sang in the band, was well enough to rejoin them. 
Meanwhile, DeNardo was undergoing intensive therapy both in Detroit and in California where his father lived. From January until June of 2003, he worked hard on his recovery and kept in close contact with his buddy Methric. He also quickly found out that defiance was absolutely necessary in order to overcome the effects of his stroke.

"I am Tony DeNardo!" he remembers saying loudly and proudly back then. "I am a stroke survivor! I never would have thought this could happen to me. But now what?!" He said, "Stroke never had a greater adversary!"

To read more of his story, click here.

DeNardo stopped by the Notre Dame Alumni Association office on Dec. 4, 2017, and performed a set of five songs for a small group gathered in the main room of the Fr. Colin House.
DeNardo, who was joined by fellow Notre Dame alum Stephen Garcia ('94) and local session musician Charlie Palazzola, performed as part of the alumni association's recorded "Colin House Concert Series," in which Notre Dame students and alumni are invited to play in an intimate setting on the school's Pontiac campus. DeNardo's video is available below.


At a ceremony honoring alum Kristy Malter ('13) Dec. 4 at NDPMA, a memorandum of understanding was signed by her parents, Tim and Donna Malter, and head of school Andy Guest, to establish the Kristy L. Malter Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has been designed for the express purpose of awarding scholarships to a student or students entering Notre Dame Preparatory School.

Malter, who graduated from Notre Dame Prep in 2013, passed away in July of 2016 after contracting bacterial meningitis. She was 21. Upon her passing, her parents and several family friends decided to honor her memory by working with Notre Dame to create a scholarship in her name. The scholarship fund will provide supplemental support for families who qualify for financial aid to Notre Dame. 

In remarks at the signing ceremony, Tim Malter thanked all who've been involved with getting the scholarship in motion.

"I'd like to start with Ed Belcrest, a friend of mine who graduated from NDHS in Harper Woods in 1981," Malter said. "Ed told me that he has one daughter and can't imagine what I'm going through. He said he saw a picture of Kristy in the paper and he wants that picture to live on." 

Malter said Belcrest on the spot gave him a $2,000 check and told him to start a scholarship fund with it and it all went from there. Malter also said another acquaintance noted that he knew someone else who wanted to start an endowment fund for Kristy and contributed $45,000. 

To read more of the story, click here.

The world of nonprofits is one fraught with peril as there is an infinite number of causes worthy of support but a seemingly finite number of those willing to contribute to those causes. Ensuring that aid reaches needy individuals or organizations is a tough job requiring trained development personnel willing to do the hard work that has as its essence the often uncomfortable task of asking others for money.

Working hard, however, doesn't appear to be a problem for 2002 Notre Dame grad Kristen Rossi, who currently is vice president of development and communications at the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Michigan.

She said that despite the sometimes frustrating and difficult work, she loves working for nonprofits because it's challenging and because of its diversity - diversity of people and diversity of need. 

"I've had the great opportunity to step into many different spheres and wear many different hats in the nonprofit sector," she said recently in an interview with the Notre Dame Alumni Association. "Apart from where I work, I'm also engaged in other local nonprofits as a volunteer. I serve on the board of a human-services organization, Community Social Services of Wayne County. I also sit on a committee for the Eastern Market and I'm very active in the Detroit Boat Club Crew.

Wanted to be a teacher

Rossi's interest in development and fundraising actually began back in college while working toward an expected career in education. 

"I went to Western Michigan University and absolutely loved my time there," Rossi said. "Western was a perfect choice for me. I wanted a college on the smaller side, but not tiny. I wanted to be outside of my hometown, but not too far. And I wanted to be a teacher at that time, and WMU had a great teaching program." 

But the path to becoming a teacher ended up being rather short.

"I must have changed my major five times or more at Western," she said. "I wanted something that wasn't quite as scripted but still very action-oriented. I just happened to take a class in nonprofit leadership during my junior year of college and I was immediately smitten. I ended up minoring in that subject and that drove me into a master's program in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management."

To read more on Rossi's story, click   here.

More than 25 students from Notre Dame's upper division gathered November 1 in the school's boardroom for the 7th edition of the Alumni Career Speaker Series, which is sponsored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association. 

Mike Kastler, a Notre Dame alum from the Class of 1975 and a member of the association's board of directors, moderated the discussion between students and three other alums who work on the automotive industry.

Marty Rathsburg ('00), director of purchasing at auto supplier Irvin Automotive; Maria Wasikowski ('06), an automotive product specialist with an automotive OEM; and Andrew Stupeka ('13), who works in purchasing at auto and defense supplier BAE Industries, were on hand to discuss careers in the auto industry in general and their own jobs in particular.

To read the bios of our panel, click

There currently are about 600,000 certified aircraft pilots in the U.S. One of those pilots now flying in and out of the U.S. is Notre Dame alum Nick Bonello, who says he's had a desire to fly airplanes since he was quite young. He also admits that he had zero flight knowledge or experience when he enrolled in Western Michigan University's flight program after graduating from Notre Dame Prep in 2012. 

"Training to fly an airplane could take a wide range of avenues for prospective pilots," said Bonello, who currently flies for a private company at the Oakland County International Airport in Waterford. "You can learn in the military, college or by taking lessons at personal expense. I chose to go the college route and attended the WMU College of Aviation's flight science undergraduate program."

He said the first step for him after college was to receive his basic pilot license. Next, he trained for instrument-rating certification and for a commercial pilot license, which is divided into single-engine and multi-engine licenses. 

"Basically, a commercial pilot license allows a pilot to be compensated for his flight duties," he said. 

However, after graduating in the spring of 2016 from WMU, Bonello chose to pursue a certified flight instructor (CFI) track that allowed him to teach others about flight where they too would eventually receive their own private pilot and commercial pilot licenses, he said.

To read more of Bonello's story, click  here. 

Contractor Frank Rewold's Darin Schafer, who is overseeing the construction of Notre Dame's new science, art and technology wing, said that the innovative facility is on schedule for the 2018-19 school year.

"The building is enclosed and dry and we will be working on the interior of the building throughout the winter," said Schafer, who is a construction superintendent with Frank Rewold and Son, Inc., the company tasked to manage the project. "We just beat winter by getting a roof on and the building sealed up with heat."

He also said that in the coming weeks, they plan on pouring all of the interior floors.

"Once floors are in, we will be installing more ductwork, electrical and water lines as well as fire sprinklers and other utilities in the ceiling," he said. "We will be doing the floors in part of the building starting this week, then the floors in the rest of the building after Christmas. We should be done with the remainder of what concrete floor we can install by mid-January."

Special tour in January

Notre Dame Head of School Andy Guest said that the schedule is very favorable not only for the ultimate deadline for the wing, but also for an important event he is planning for the end of January.

"On January 30, Notre Dame will be hosting another big event, which we're calling an 'update party' for those who have made key pledges or donations to the campaign," Guest said. "We plan to show those who've made a significant commitment to the campaign all the progress we've made and to walk them through the facility on a private tour."

To read more about the March Onto Victory Campaign, click here. 

As you gather with friends and family this Christmas, we hope you also remember your impact on the students here at Notre Dame. By giving just once each school year, you are giving the gift of Notre Dame to more than 1100 young people. 

Last month, Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy launched the new edition of The Notre Dame Fund, its annual fund drive.

The Notre Dame Fund ensures the mission of forming Christian people, upright citizens and academic scholars is alive and growing in "every student, every day."

"Notre Dame is truly a special institution," said Notre Dame Fund director Atif Lodhi in a note to donors and prospective donors. "With nearly 1,100 young people entering the school doors each day, your generosity allows to the school to support and enhance academic programming, co-curriculars, athletics, tuition assistance and scholarships, and the fine and performing arts. All of this is made possible through a donation to The Notre Dame Fund."

To learn more or to make your gift, click here.

Please see a message from Director of Advancement, Greg Simon and Director of The Notre Dame Fund, Atif Lodhi.


The Notre Dame upper-division choirs along with the Marist Academy's 6th-grade choir presented their annual Christmas concert at Varner Hall on the Oakland University campus. 

Those in attendance were treated to a beautiful and inspiring concert featuring 
selections from the 6th-grade choir that included an annual crowd favorite, "Go Tell it on the Mountain." The NDP Women's Ensemble regaled the audience with "Mr. Santa" while the Freshmen Choir finished up the first portion of the evening with several favorites including "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and "Last Christmas."  

For the second half of the program, the 35 voices of the NDP Chamber Choir were joined by the Irishmen (21 strong), as well as the Women's Ensemble and the members of The Ninth Hour to present "Joy, Unspeakable Joy," a cantata that featured eight songs interspersed with dramatic readings.

"That song and the readings combined to convey the overwhelming joy that we as Christians feel when the Christ child is born to the world," said Tom Convery, the father of senior Patrick Convery, who is a member of Notre Dame's choir program. 
The evening concluded with the combined high school choirs singing the perennial favorite, "Christmas is Coming," with accompaniment by the Director of Choirs, David Fazzini, with Assistant Director of Choirs Ellie Carter, who stood in as conductor.

To read more, click here.
For more Notre Dame news,  click here.
For a list of upcoming class reunions    


Considering planning a reunion for your class? The alumni office can help you get started. Call (248) 373-2171, ext. 3, or email for details. 

We pray for those who have died:
Jim Corte- '64 (NDHS) Brother of Gary '68 (NDHS) 12-8-17
Joseph Connolly - Father of Joseph '71 (NDHS) and James '73 (NDHS) 12-7-17
Rebecca Motzer- Mother of Olivia '14 (NDP) 12-7-17
Joseph Ciolino - '77 (NDHS) Brother of John '79 (NDHS) and the late Anthony '73 (NDHS) 11-24-17

Matthew Swita - '98 (NDHS) Son of Richard '66 (NDHS), brother of Ryan '96 (NDHS),  nephew of Michael '79 (NDHS) 11-11-17

Thomas Sullivan - Father of Tom '77 (NDHS), John '78 (NDHS) and Jerry '80 (NDHS). Grandfather to Michelle '13 (NDP) and Glenn '11 (NDP) 11-10-17
Charlene "Charlie" Ventimiglia - Wife of Sal '60 (NDHS), sister-in-law of Anthony '74 (NDHS), Jack '74 (NDHS) and Joe '75 (NDHS) 11-4-17
David Wolshon - '65 (NDHS) 11-1-17
Don Carrier- '60 (NDHS) 8-1-17

Prayer List:  click here
Email your prayers and petitions to
NDP = Notre Dame Prep; NDHS = Notre Dame High School; OC = Oakland Catholic; PC = Pontiac Catholic; SM = St. Michael; SF = St. Frederick.