For Jean Marie Hofstetter ’76, some of her earliest memories include time spent at Notre Dame.
“When I was four and my sister was three, I have recollections of my mom bringing us down on the train to her reunion,” she said. “The nuns babysat us, while my mom went to her reunion. I still remember smelling incense in the chapel.”
Her mother, a 1946 Notre Dame graduate, helped her build a lifelong relationship with Notre Dame community. One of eight children raised in the Catholic Church, Jean Marie always felt a commitment to serving her community. Growing up in Long Island, New York, she had a high school teacher who was a Notre Dame graduate, and a Notre Dame recruitment sister visited her school. She made her choice to attend her mother’s alma mater.
At Notre Dame, she served in student government and worked as an intern teaching local students. After spending 40 years as an educator and administrator, she returned to the School of Education and works with student interns. On her desk sits a picture of Jean Marie as a Notre Dame senior and student intern. Just outside her office, a plaque recognizing the winners of the Dr. Lavinia Wegner Education Award bears her name as the 1976 recipient.
While her annual gifts to Notre Dame have gone to the School of Education, Jean Marie recently decided to make a special gift to support student-athletes. She knows how athletics can instill skills and experiences that will take you beyond your sport.
“My mom was a rock star athlete. She was head of the student athletic association back then. My mom was a leader and a doer,” she said. “When my mother passed, we asked friends and family to donate money toward a scholarship.”