DOMERS: A Year at Notre Dame by Kevin Coyne

DOMERS: A Year at Notre Dame

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From freshman orientation to graduation ceremonies for Notre Dame's Class of '93, Coyne (A Day in the Night of America, 1992) presents a lavishly detailed, day-to-day look at a year under the shadow of the Dome. The school kicked off its sesquicentennial year by welcoming 1,882 freshman, who represented the top 10% of their high school classes. Coyne attended lectures, classes, meetings, parties, rallies, and, of course, football games. Inescapably, a Notre Dame school year revolves around the legendary football program and the ""tightly scripted extravaganzas"" of game weekends. But it's not all football and rah-rah at ol' Notre Dame. Coyne follows the exploits of several students from Keenan Hall, including freshman roommates Patrick Lyons and Steve Sabo, and their live-in rector, Bonaventure Scully. The dorm's annual revue would feature doo-wop singers and skits that, ""like most college humor, tended toward the outer limits of good taste."" There's also Rachel Stehle, a trumpeter with the marching band; Lou Blaum, a senior member of the vaunted Irish Guard, the kilted corps that leads the band into the stadium; Claire Johnson, co-president of a campus anti-abortion group; Chris Setti, a leader of the minority College Democrats, and Joe Carrigan, a boxer favored to win the 150-pound division of the school's annual Bengal Bouts. Coyne also spends time with school president Edward ""Monk"" Malloy and Father Bob Derby, a revered history professor who swears he'll ""die with a piece of chalk in [his] hand,"" and takes a look back at the late Frank O'Malley, ""Notre Dame's Mr. Chips"" and the rare layman buried in the Holy Cross cemetery. Overall looms the Knute Rockne legend, whose influence was felt in 1992 upon the death of longtime athletic director Moose Krause, who first came to Notre Dame in 1931 at Rockne's urging. Coyne captures the spirit and tradition of this unique institution and penetrates the glow of the golden dome with an objective look at the academic, political, and social life of its people.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1995
Page count: 329pp
Publisher: Viking