Father Joseph V. Corpora, CSC | March 5, 2017
“My Notre Dame story began when I was born. I think that my parents took me home from the hospital in a Notre Dame onesie.”
“My Notre Dame story began when I was 6. My mom and my little brother and I laid down in a big wooden crate that was tacked under a tractor-trailer in Tijuana, and that’s how we crossed the border from Mexico to get into the United States.”
“I’m the kid who, on football Saturdays when I was 3 years old, was already dressed up as a Notre Dame cheerleader.”
“Both my parents went to Harvard. Two of my uncles went to Harvard. My heart was all set on going to Harvard and playing lacrosse there. When I didn’t get in, I was crushed. I came to Notre Dame, certainly not my first choice. And now I am so happy and so grateful to be here.”
Acknowledging and accepting diversity is certainly becoming a way of life. You can’t go anywhere and not hear people talking about diversity and inclusion. It’s wonderful. Though I am only 50 percent Italian, I grew up in a very Italian world. We belonged to an Italian national parish and I went to the parish grade school. I always say that I didn’t know anyone whose last name did not end in a vowel until I went to high school. In my parish, “diverse” meant people from different towns in Sicily: Castel di Lucio or Palermo or Acquadolce or Santo Stefano di Camastra.
When I went to Notre Dame as an undergraduate in 1972, the campus was not very diverse. When I returned here in 2009 to work in the Alliance for Catholic Education and live in a dorm, I was surprised and gladdened to find how much more diverse Notre Dame had become. The University has been very intentional about creating a more diverse student body than I had known as an undergraduate.