A year ago, we embarked on a journey with the magazine, although we didn’t know it at the time.
Last fall, it was just an idea. Let’s feature stories about how our faculty and staff live out the mission of Mendoza in their everyday lives.
Thus, Salt & Light was born, the title invoking Matthew 5:13-16: You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world ... so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
We began with eight profiles that came to our attention in an admittedly disorganized manner — a random conversation in the hallway, an email, a phone call. We were looking for the stories of people who had found ways to shine in the darkest valleys of life; to turn their disappointments, hurts and failures into testimonies of faith; or sometimes to share a quirky idea with others to bring a bit of levity. (We’re looking at you and the Turtle Club, John Weber.)
The first — and what we planned to be the only — installment of Salt & Light was published in the fall 2014 edition. Then an interesting thing happened. We began to get a lot of letters. And requests for reprints.
Ultimately, what was intended to be a single feature expanded into three installments, eventually profiling current students in the spring magazine, and Mendoza alumni in the magazine you hold in your hand. As these stories emerged, an instrument unexpectedly developed that was sure-fire in its ability to sound out the heart of a story.
We call it the Peggy Cry-O-Meter.
Peggy Bolstetter is the managing editor of Mendoza Business. In any given magazine, she is the station master — the person who schedules photo shoots, assigns stories, makes sure we meet deadlines and manages the online magazine.
From the start, Peggy wanted the pieces to be more than stories. She wanted them each to be “The Story” that did justice to the personal journeys shared in intimate detail; “The Story” that would inspire the rest of us with courage and hope. Stories that collectively would add up to “The Story” of Notre Dame and Mendoza, where — as cliché as it can sometimes sound — people truly do want to live lives that serve others.
Peggy talked with each and every person featured in the series. Former football player Arturo Martinez scrunched into her cubicle and sat knee to knee with her while he told his story of surviving cancer. She spent hours in the Notre Dame photo studio reassuring nervous subjects, got poured on during a shoot outside the Log Chapel on a football Saturday, and even chased down children and dogs on a couple of notable occasions.
And she cried. OK, so she’s Italian. Crying is part of her natural way of expressing herself. But in this case, the Peggy Cry-O-Meter became a testimony to how much the story mattered. To her, to us at the magazine, to the College, and hopefully, to you as members of the Mendoza College community.
You may not cry when you read them. But you don’t have to. Peggy has already put in the tears for all of us.