Kevin Brennan | August 14, 2015
It started with a knock on the door of 217 Breen-Phillips Hall.
John Brandt ’65, a freshman, opened up to find the captain of the Irish cheerleading squad staring back at him. The upperclassman had come looking for Brandt, who stood 4-feet-11-inches as he began his first year at Notre Dame. He told Brandt that his size made him a potential fit for a new position with the cheerleaders, and he asked the freshman to report to the Knute Rockne Memorial Gymnasium the next day.
Not sure what he might be getting himself into, Brandt walked to the western edge of South Quad the following afternoon and entered the Rock to find two other short students there to audition for the same role. The cheerleading captain brought out the suit—green cotton pants, a small vest, a green blazer, a green hat, and a pair of green shoes that turned up in the front—and asked each of them to try it on.
“I guess it fit me the best,” Brandt remembers. “They said, ‘You’re the guy.’”
With that, after just a few weeks on campus, Brandt became the Notre Dame leprechaun.