Jana Brown | October 14, 2016
Sometimes Joe Fennessy ’18 forgets about the beard. He’ll be deep in conversation — not uncommon for the outgoing Notre Dame junior — and put a hand to his chin. That’s when he’ll feel it.
“I try to keep the chinstrap trimmed, but it’s a bizarre piece of facial hair,” says Fennessy. “I’ve gotten so used to it, though sometimes I get looks about why I have such an odd-looking beard.”
The reason is simple: Fennessy is the Leprechaun; the mythical, shillelagh-toting symbol of Notre Dame school spirit. On a part-time basis, at least. When he’s not leading the Irish football team onto the field, he is a marketing and English major who takes his studies as seriously as he takes his roles as cheerleader-in-chief and a campus public figure.