A letter from the chair

Author: William Evans

Bill Evans preferredWilliam Evans

The past year has been one of highs and lows for our department.  

On the positive side, in June we moved into our beautiful new home in Jenkins Nanovic Halls. We occupy the third floor in the southern portion of the building (Nanovic Hall). In our previous home in Flanner Hall, faculty and graduate students were scattered over five floors. In Jenkins Nanovic, the entire department, including the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economc Opportunities, is now located on the same floor. We have our own classroom for seminars, a space for undergraduate peer tutoring, and a wonderful new conference room overlooking Notre Dame Avenue that routinely serves as a reception space. 

In November, we hosted a daylong conference that attracted recent graduates eager to celebrate our wonderful new space. The conference ended with a cocktail party honoring Bob Nanovic and his family for this wonderful gift to our college and the department. 

However, the first months of 2017 were quite different. Last February, we lost our dear friend and colleague, Tim Fuerst, to cancer. Tim was a respected scholar, a gifted teacher, a loving husband and father, and a wonderful colleague.

As the cancer destroyed his body, Tim remained his buoyant, cheerful self, committed to teaching even through grueling rounds of chemo and constant medical setbacks.  Amazingly, he never let his health struggles shake his faith or trust in the Lord.

You can read some moving tributes to Tim on the Notre Dame websitethe Observer, and the Irish Rover.

One of the blessings of the new building is that there is daily Mass in the All Saints chapel at 12:20 p.m. After Tim was diagnosed, he and his wife Toni started a fund to purchase artwork for the chapel. With the funds, Tim and Toni commissioned some original pieces and the first has been delivered — a beautiful tapestry of the Blessed Virgin Mother.

During these difficult times, Tim was always thinking of others first. Recently, our department had a private Mass in the chapel with the Fuerst family to remember Tim’s life and bless this lovely piece of sacred art. The tapestry is a beautiful reminder of our dear colleague and a testament to the power of faith.  

Please stop by the department to see our new home.