Michael Rossmann, a double major in theology and economics from Iowa City, Iowa, has been named valedictorian of the 2007 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 20 (Sunday) in the Joyce Center arena.
Rossmann earned a 4.0 grade point average and was a member of the Dean's List each semester. He also is a member of Notre Dame's Arts and Letters Honors Program, International Scholars Program sponsored by the University's Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Theology Honors Program, and Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honors Society.
Michael Rossmann 2007 Valedictory address
Mr. Immelt, Fr. Jenkins, faculty and staff, family, friends, and fellow graduates:
Just under four years ago, we students left this building at the end of freshman orientation unsure of what awaited us at Notre Dame. And parents, you said your goodbyes and returned to our old homes, similarly uncertain of what we would encounter here at school. Some expectations, such as northern Indiana winters, late-night trips to the grotto, and obsessed football fans, were confirmed, but other preconceived notions were later modified.
After reading about students at other universities placing cars on top of buildings, I expected similar rebelliousness here. And, during my freshman year, I heard about students climbing atop our very own Stepan Center. Yet, I soon discovered the uniqueness of rebellion at Notre Dame. Instead of placing large items atop Stepan or any other building, I heard of numerous friends ascending our geodesic and decidedly un-golden dome... to... pray the rosary. "What?" I asked. I likewise was taken aback when I noticed in my dorm that the most popular weekend spot was the chapel for Sunday night Mass. The University's faith foundation was instrumental in my decision to come here, though only after arriving as a student did I start to realize the distinctiveness of this place and the role faith plays in that distinctiveness.