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Mary Ann Sabol Johanek ’52 with Dr. Andrew P. Roth
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Generous Donation Lays Foundation for Heritage Hallway Project

Notre Dame alumna Mary Ann Sabol Johanek ’52 returned to the College last week with a generous contribution to NDC’s Heritage Hallway project.

Johanek, the president and CEO of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association (FCSLA), presented an $8,000 check on behalf of her organization to Notre Dame President Dr. Andrew P. Roth. The money will be used to establish the Heritage Hallway, a living testimonial to the recipients of the College’s most prestigious awards.

The Heritage Hallway will be located on the first floor of the College’s English Tudor-Gothic style Administration Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The goal of the project is to create a sense of history and tradition throughout the campus, and pay tribute to the College’s founders and the special individuals who have received prestigious awards bearing their names. 

“As we embark on our 90th year, the College is honoring its rich history and those who have helped to make Notre Dame College a thriving institution, one that has enriched the lives of more than 5,500 alumni and 2,300 current students,” Dr. Roth said.

The major physical components of the Heritage Hallway are a photo gallery of historic milestones of the institution and plaques that will recognize the recipients of:

  1. The Sr. Mary Agnes Bosche Award, presented annually to a traditional undergraduate student who embodies the qualities evident in the life of Sr. Mary Agnes Bosche, the first dean of Notre Dame College;

  2. The St. Catherine of Alexandria Award, given to an outstanding master’s degree candidate;

  3. The Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn Award, presented to an adult student who has demonstrated academic excellence and leadership qualities evident in the life of Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn, founder of Notre Dame’s Weekend College;

  4. The Fidelia Award, bestowed upon those who have rendered distinguished service and demonstrated outstanding fidelity to the College;

  5. The President’s Outstanding Staff Award, given to a staff member who goes above and beyond job expectations.

When completed, the Heritage Hallway will help visitors better understand the history and mission of the College. For visitors, especially alumni, the Heritage Hallway will provide a place for them to meet, talk and cement their connection to the College. Those honored by the awards will have their names prominently displayed, an honor that will forever link them and their families to Notre Dame College.

“The Heritage Hallway will preserve the history and traditions that are woven into the fabric of Notre Dame College,” Dr. Roth said. “We are grateful to the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association for helping us celebrate our past, present and future.”

Founded in Cleveland in 1892, the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association is a fraternal benefit society formed to address the insurance needs of individuals of Slovak decent. Today, FCSLA has grown to over 425 branches in 47 states, representing over 86,000 members and their families.

The association has given generously to Notre Dame College in the past. In 2007, it donated $20,000 to help renovate Christ the King Chapel, for example.

“Notre Dame College has established itself as an institution that provides, in an outstanding manner, for the needs of today’s students,” FCSLA President and CEO Mary Ann Johanek said. “Notre Dame College is an asset to the community, producing leaders who serve here and in other areas of our country.”

One of those leaders is Johanek, who graduated from Notre Dame College with a degree in biology in 1952. She went on to receive her law degree from Cleveland State University in 1979 and passed the Ohio State Bar Exam in 1980. She maintained a private practice for 16 years and currently serves her fourth four-year term with FCSLA.

“The FCSLA is proud to be associated with the College,” Johanek said.