Ruth Riley ’00, Notre Dame basketball legend and retired WNBA star, returned to Notre Dame in the fall of 2014 as an Executive MBA student. Working with the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development(NDIGD) to develop projects for student-athletes over the past year, Ruth also shared her idea of engaging the Notre Dame community to increase awareness both of global development issues and NDIGD’s work. Her ideas grew into NDIGD’s Global Development Challenge.
Held in conjunction with Notre Dame Day on Monday, April 27, the Challenge consisted of six stations located across campus where participants could compete individually and in teams. NDIGD works on projects in areas such as infrastructure, global health, and education in developing countries around the world. The challenges around campus were designed to connect these real-world issues through activities like geography trivia, carrying jerry cans full of water across South Quad, and a scavenger hunt in the Hesburgh Library.
Of particular interest to participants was the Nothing But Nets Challenge, where participants tried to get as many rimless layups, freethrows, and 3-point shots as possible within a three minute time limit. Players received bonus points if they tweeted a picture of themselves under the malaria net, provided by the UN Foundation’s global grassroots campaign.
The Notre Dame Day celebration launched at 18:42 (6:42 p.m. EDT), referencing the University’s founding year, on April 26 and ended at midnight on April 27. The 29-hour live broadcast from LaFortune Student Center shared compelling Notre Dame stories from around the world, live interviews, celebrity guests, musical performances and much more. It also provided the Notre Dame family the opportunity to give back to specific areas of the University they love most through an online fundraising competition.
Notre Dame Day finished with the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development ranked 16th out of over 700 organizations on the leaderboard, garnering an $11,597 share of the $1 million prize.