Notre Dame College’s centennial celebration continues with shoe drive, fundraising campaign; public tree lighting to be held Dec. 2

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — Notre Dame College continues its centenary celebrations with the opening of a history of science exhibit, two new videos, a shoe collection, a display of items removed from a time capsule in September, a fundraiser and annual Christmas tree lighting event .

The lighting of the Centennial Christmas Tree, which includes carol singing and serving of hot chocolate, begins at 6:30 p.m. in the foyer of the Administration Building (the tallest building in the college). The public is invited to attend the event, which in addition to the tree lighting will feature the NDC’s annual Holiday Choir Concert by performing arts students at 7:30 p.m. in the Christ the King Chapel of the Administration Building.

shoe drive

The college is running its new shoe drive through December 15 in partnership with the City of South Euclid. The campaign grew out of alumna Jeanne Nealon’s 1981 Laces of Love initiative, which is currently taking place in Naples, Florida. The collection will provide sneakers to needy youth from South Euclid. Drop-off locations are located throughout campus at 4545 College Road and at the South Euclid Community Center at 1370 Victory Drive.

“We collect new sneakers — tennis shoes, trainers — for kids ages 5 to 18,” said Karen Poelking, who was vice president of board and community relations at NDC until her retirement in 2020 and now serves as centenary coordinator. “Our goal is to get at least 100 pairs. Shoes for younger children as well as shoes for high school students are all welcome.”

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Notre Dame College is working with three main groups to distribute the shoes and other groups.

The college maintains an ongoing relationship with South Euclid’s Garfield Memorial Church through tutoring and extracurricular activities with the church’s elementary and middle school students/congregational members. NDC Campus Ministry partners with Garfield Church to distribute shoes to families in need.

In addition, the College works with the City of South Euclid to distribute shoes for Christmas and with the Sisters of Notre Dame who established the Lorain Blessing House. Blessing House is a children’s crisis center that cares for children up to age 12 whose parents or caregivers are dealing with a crisis, emergency, or who are experiencing high levels of stress that puts their children at risk of abuse or neglect could.

Finally, NDC will reach out to several Cuyahoga County schools and churches to ensure that every pair of shoes goes to a young child or high school student in need.

“Some kids don’t go to school because they don’t have shoes,” Poelking said. “In some families, children take turns wearing shoes to school. Every child should be able to enjoy a new pair of shoes.”

videos and fundraising

Two videos were recently produced highlighting the impact the college has had on students and the community.

One of these videos was shown at the Centennial opening event on September 18th. It can be viewed on the Centennial events homepage at or accessed at G.

Following the video, the Centennial Campaign was announced to the crowd on September 18 with a goal of raising $14 million, the majority of which will go towards grants. Donations can be made online at To date, just over $2.3 million has been raised.

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The second video was created for One South Euclid’s Hometown Hero program, which took place during the Mingle at Mayfield charitable fundraiser on October 20th. The college was one of three Hometown Hero recipients. One South Euclid is the City of South Euclid’s Community Development Corporation, established in 2009.
The link to the nonprofit’s video is

Exhibition of programs on the history of science

At the east end of the third floor of the administration building is a centennial exhibit that traces the history of science programs at NDC. The public is invited to see a display of old specimens and equipment from chemistry and biology classes, as well as images from science labs over the past 100 years. Stories from notable science alumni will be added throughout the year.

Chemistry and biology were among the first majors offered at Notre Dame.

Time capsule and history walk

The time capsule, which was buried in 1997 during the college’s 75th anniversary, was opened on September 19 at the NDC/community’s centennial celebration. The items contained within the capsule reflect the college’s status as an all-women college at the time.

Some of the items in the capsule contained copies of the student newspaper ND News; Copies of ND Today, the college magazine; 1997 marketing materials for approval; academic calendars; stories and memories from student life; toys from Tot Spot, the college daycare; and a replica of the administration building. The time capsule display is located on the first floor of the administration building.

Visitors to the campus can also take an interactive historical tour. Maps and directions are available at, and printed copies are scattered throughout campus.

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Access to the exhibits and the guided tour is available when classes are in session and the building is open – Monday to Friday from 8am to 9pm. Visitors should stop by the entrance, located on the first floor of the administration building, to let staff know they are on campus.

Community members are also welcome and encouraged to stop by the Falcon Cafe to meet students, faculty and staff. “South Euclid is home to the college community and we want the community to feel comfortable and welcome on campus,” said Poelking.

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