Notre Dame College Honors Unassuming Servant Leader as 2018 Alumna of the Year

Notre Dame College has recognized Candy Clemson ’70 as its 2018 Alumna of the Year for her unheralded, untiring efforts in service to the College and in support of its Alumni Association.

Clemson, who has been an elected member of the Notre Dame Alumni Association Board since 2005, received the honor at this year’s Homecoming and Alumni Reunion Mass and Brunch. She was presented with a framed plaque featuring a distinctive image of the iconic Notre Dame Bell Tower by College President Thomas G. Kruczek and Notre Dame Alumni Association Board President Stephanie Glueck ’13. Clemson also was recognized on field during halftime of the College’s homecoming football game.

Nominated by her peers for the award based on diligent volunteer work with the Alumni Board and association-sponsored events throughout the years, Clemson is a fixture at nearly every occasion: from Lenten Days of Service, Alumni Easter Egg Hunts and Spring Celebrations to Homecoming and Alumni Reunions and Breakfasts with Santa.

Clemson also regularly supports activities on campus for future alumni, helping current Notre Dame students select professional attire during Career Closet Pop-up Shop sessions and providing candy donations for residence life Trick or Treat in the Halls events for community families.

“My life has been richer and far more rewarding because I came to Notre Dame College,” Clemson said. “This is a warm, welcoming, wonderful place to step into. It always feels like home.”

Alumni Leader

Clemson also was recognized as Alumna of the Year for serving as a role model for Glueck and other graduates working to revitalize engagement in the recently reformed Alumni Association Board. Clemson was re-elected as a member at large to the newly organized board in 2017.

“Her life reflects the ideals and mission of the College and service to the College and to the Alumni Association. … She goes above and beyond,” Glueck said. “You are an even better mentor in mind, body and spirit.”

Clemson was part of the College committee that helped revamp and reimagine the Alumni Board. She reinforced her affinity for the association in accepting the Alumna of the Year honor, encouraging those in attendance at the Homecoming weekend Alumni Brunch to keep connecting with each other, cultivating new members and answering the organization’s call, especially in support of Glueck as board president.

“When she reaches out to you, I want to see lots of you reaching back to her,” Clemson said.

Alumni Legacy

In remarks during the Alumni Brunch, Glueck, who is the first to serve as president of the newly reformed association board launched just two years ago, called for graduates from all years to, like Clemson, “show love and emotion for this College” by supporting the group as it rebuilds.

“Let’s shake hands, and let’s hold hands,” Glueck said. “Keep us on your radar, and keep us in your prayers. … Our hearts are determined to create a legacy we will continue to be proud of for years to come.”

In accepting the Alumna of the Year award, Clemson thanked her “smart, talented, driven” classmates for the “tremendous amount of love and joy” they gave during their undergraduate years at the College and now share as alumni, especially in working together “behind the scenes” on numerous events at Notre Dame.

In addition, Clemson acknowledged the Sisters of Notre Dame for their tireless efforts and ongoing inspiration of Notre Dame students and alumni across the ages.

“The Sisters of Notre Dame are the most astonishing group of women—of people. They were absolutely brilliant, dedicated, capable, persistent women on a mission and took us along with them,” Clemson said. “They are still the most relentless, hardest-working people I know.”

Alumna of the Year

Clemson received her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame in 1970. She completed graduate work at the University of Akron, Kent State University and Cleveland State University, even earning a certificate in gifted education.

She worked for 35 years in South Euclid-Lyndhurst, Ohio, city schools teaching art and gifted education, particularly at Brush High School. She retired in 2005.

At Brush, Clemson was a Student Congress and class advisor and assisted the drama club with set and costume design. She has worked with the Brush Alumni Association, too, creating a pictorial history of South Euclid-Lyndhurst schools, which is on display at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Board of Education.

Clemson has served as a set, costume and makeup designer for Chagrin Valley Little Theatre and as an instructor with its youth program. She also helped design costumes and sets for two award-winning productions of the Murphy Irish Arts Association Dance Dramas. She is a regular volunteer with the Sisters of Notre Dame Barbecue and Boutique.

October 2018

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or

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