Every week or so, my friends and I invite a professor or a married couple to have dinner with us and share their insights on life, love, marriage and anything else they want.
Last Thursday night I was lucky enough to hear Bill and Elizabeth Kirk speak on Marital Love and Spiritual Fruitfulness over dinner.
Bill Kirk is the Associate Vice President for Residence Life at Notre Dame and one of my favorite people. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1984 with a degree in accountancy. After several years in the workforce he returned to campus as a law student. He has served as Assistant Rector of Sorin Hall, Rector of Holy Cross Hall and Rector of Stanford Hall. He’s also funny, kind and a really good guy.
Elizabeth Kirk, his wife and also one of my favorite people, was a professor at the Ave Maria law school and worked as a lawyer in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and also graduated from the Notre Dame Law School. She is gracious and lovely, and has such impeccable style that it makes me jealous.
Bill and Elizabeth brought their two adorable boys: Will, a laughing redheaded toddler, and Benedict, a chubby and adorable 8-month-old.
They talked about the ups and downs of marriage and the struggles of infertility (both their boys are adopted). They shared funny stories and serious moments that almost had my friends and me in tears. I had never before heard the heartache of infertility discussed so frankly and so gracefully.
Finally, Bill looked at the two smiling, squirming little boys in his and Elizabeth’s arms and said, “I know these boys were meant to be my sons.”
I thought, “That is love. That is a true Christian family.”
One of my favorite things about Notre Dame is that it is full of incredible role models. I will never forget the day I saw my freshman biology professor, Father Tom Streit, on TV discussing his work to end lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis, a horribly disfiguring disease). The man is almost single-handedly eliminating elephantiasis from Haiti and I had him as a teacher.
There are so many professors and administrators at Notre Dame who the students can look up to as examples of virtue. That will always be one of my favorite things about this university.
Which professors were your role models as an undergraduate? What made you look up to them?
Thanks for the comments!