Support PLS

The Program of Liberal Studies is grateful to its generous and involved alumni for supporting the Program.

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Join us on IrishCompass and become a member of our LinkedIn group to expand your network and support other PLS alumni and students.

Ways to Contribute

General Contributions to the Program of Liberal Studies

These contributions provide PLS with funds for the many faculty and student functions, including the Opening Charge, Christmas Party, Senior Dinner,  Senior Brunch.  They also help defray costs of office equipment, publications, and mailings.

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Scholarships & Financial Aid for Students in the Program of Liberal Studies

Frederick Crosson Scholarship

This fund was established in memory of Professor Frederick Crosson, former director of the General Program of Liberal Studies, dean of the College of Arts & Letters, and longstanding faculty member. In honor of Prof. Crosson's dedication to teaching and care for his students, the Crosson Scholarship provides annual support to one or more PLS juniors with financial need.  

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Stephen Rogers Memorial Fund

The Stephen Rogers Award is named for a student who graduated in 1956. He later became a remarkable asset to our Department faculty. Stephen was physically challenged; he was blind. In 1985, Steve died during the final portion of senior essay time.  The Stephen Rogers Fund helps us assist worthy students facing unexpected financial difficulties.  The fund is given to the PLS student with the greatest financial need. On more than one occasion, the Fund has allowed students to remain in school when otherwise they would have had to withdraw.

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Rev. Nicholas Ayo, C.S.C. Award

A new award has been established to honor Nicholas Ayo after his retirement from teaching in the program.

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Funds to Support Student Awards or Program Activities

Otto A. Bird Award

The Bird Award honors Dr. Otto A. Bird, founder and first Director of the General Program. It is presented each year to that student in the General Program of Liberal Studies whose Senior Essay is adjudged to best exemplify the ideals of liberal learning, Graduates and Faculty established this award in 1975, upon the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Program.

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Community Outreach Programs

In 1998, PLS began a community outreach seminar with students from the South Bend Center for the Homeless. The World Masterpieces Seminar runs for the entire academic year.  Contributions help defray the cost of the books and outings to plays, concerts, and operas. This fund also supports the involvement of PLS faculty in the Moreau College Initiative (previously the Westville Education Initiative), a collaboration between Notre Dame and Holy Cross to offer college degree programs to inmates in the Westville Correctional Facility.

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Susan Clements Fund

Susan was an extraordinary student and a remarkable young woman who graduated in 1990 and met an early and tragic death in 1992. Her classmates hoped to memorialize her with a named scholarship to be awarded annually to a PLS student. The PLS faculty members have since established an endowed “Spirit of Susan Clements” Award to be given to the graduating senior who most embodies the combination of scholarship, industry, and spirit that Susan possessed.

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Edward J. Cronin Fund

Presented annually to the student in the Program of Liberal Studies who has submitted the outstanding piece of writing in that year, honors Dr. Edward J. Cronin whose tireless efforts for good writing distinguished his more than three decades of teaching from the inception of the Program. Alumni, faculty, students and friends established this award in April, 1982, at the time of Dr. Cronin’s retirement.

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Willis D. Nutting Fund

Presented each year to the General Program Senior who has contributed most to the education of his fellow students, honors simultaneously Dr. Willis D. Nutting who for two decades in the General Program was a teacher of the love of wisdom, and a student who became, in turn, a teacher himself. Alumni and faculty established this award in June, 1970, at the time of Dr. Nutting's retirement.

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Richard T. Spangler Fund

This newly established fund in honor of PLS alumnus Richard Spangler (class of 1977) is designated for stipends to cover part of the cost of attendance of our yearly Summer Symposium for alumni/ae, in which Richard has been an enthusiastic and dedicated participant. For more information regarding the stipends, please contact the departmental office at

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