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South Bend Homecoming

Where We’ll Be:

Monday, June 9, 2014

5:30 p.m. EST — Bus visit to Main Building, University of Notre Dame

Award presentations to Maritza Robles, Jay Caponigro and Brian and Jeannelle Brady

Award Recipients:

About the Awards

University of Notre Dame Champion for Education Award

Maritza Robles was the director of the Bilingual Services Department of the South Bend Community School Corporation from 1981 until her retirement in June of 2012. Prior to joining the SBSC, Robles taught at the University of Notre Dame and Ivy Tech Community College. She taught Spanish and English as second languages, in addition to science and mathematics. Robles has received three times the U.S. Secretary of Education Initiative Award for her work with programs for migrant families and has participated in many presentations on multicultural issues. She has served on the boards of Memorial Hospital, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, CASIE Center, CONNECT, United Way and AIDS Ministries. She has also served on the St. Joseph County Public Library board, Ivy Tech Community College-North Central’s board of trustees and is active in other community groups.

Robles was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Arts Degree in Linguistics and Spanish from Notre Dame. She adopted and raised five children as a single parent, and was elected to the South Bend Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1998.


Jay Caponigro is a driving force and exemplar for the University’s solidarity with the local community, especially sharing the goal of an excellent education for South Bend-area children from all backgrounds. He is the former director of the University’s Robinson Community Learning Center, and he is now director of community engagement for Notre Dame’s Office of Public Affairs. With the Robinson Center, he has managed violence-prevention, youth entrepreneurship, and educational projects for adults and children in South Bend’s Northeast Neighborhood.

Caponigro’s personal dedication to the cause of quality education locally and beyond has continued to grow. He currently serves as Vice President of the board of the South Bend Community School Corporation. He also serves on the boards of the Center for the Homeless, Family and Children's Services, and the South Bend Education Foundation, as well as a Catholic orphanage in Honduras. In 2004, Michiana YMCA’s Urban Youth Services honored Caponigro as “Man of the Year.”


The University of Notre Dame Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools

Brian and Jeannelle Brady are dear friends of ACE and of the University of Notre Dame. In their philanthropy and civic engagement, and in the raising of their three children, Jeannelle and Brian have tirelessly proven their dedication to Catholic schools. The Bradys have been extraordinarily generous to this great University of Our Lady and the local community, through Brian’s service on the Arts and Letters Advisory Council, Jeannelle’s work with local hospice, and continued service to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. ACE owes a great debt of gratitude to Brian and Jeannelle and their family, as they generously provided the ACE Bus, which brought goodwill and the good news of the Gospel to so many during our journey.

ACE Point of Contact: Bill Schmitt - 

Information confirmed: 5/30/14, 10:00 am