As the veil from the top of Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore fell Friday afternoon to reveal the new design for the 2010 Shirt Project, head football coach Brian Kelly stood in front of the large crowd of students with one message to give:“We are the Fighting Irish!”As the crowd cheered back, this classic football phrase was now the theme to the 21st-Anniversary edition of The Shirt Project.With a kelly green backdrop, the phrase is featured on The Shirt’s front in blue letters while an image of Notre Dame Stadium’s student section is shown on the back. “Rally sons of Notre Dame,” the opening line of the Notre Dame fight song, is written above the image. Underneath the image is the song’s final phrase, “Onward to victory.”In an atmosphere bearing similarities to a football Saturday, with food, games, guest speakers, the glee club and the marching band, festivities began at 4 p.m. and continued until the much-anticipated shirt unveiling just after 6 p.m. Following the unveiling, fans and students had the chance to buy The Shirt. “We need to sell these shirts more than ever out there,” Kelly said, “We’ve already had 20,000 pre-sold, and the fans don’t even know what it looks like!”Beginning in 1990 under the leadership of AnTostal chairman Brennen Harvath, The Shirt Project has become in its 21 years one of Notre Dame’s most widely recognized traditions. In its first year, more than $17,000 was raised to support the AnTostal budget and other student clubs on campus.Today, part of the revenue from sales is given to rector funds and to The Shirt Project Fund, which supports students with serious accidents or illnesses.As former Notre Dame football player and ESPN radio show host Mike Golic said, the shirt has raised more than $7 million in its 21 years.“I love when The Shirt comes up,” Golic said, “It’s a new shirt to unveil, a new team to unveil.”Also among the guest speakers on Friday was also Notre Dame fan favorite, officer Tim McCarthy of the Indiana State Police.“Today’s unveiling marks a tradition to be worn with pride,” he said, “So remember, the statement on The Shirt makes a point, and I think that’s pretty sharp.”Besides The Shirt’s design, students also had a preview of next year’s varsity Leprechaun, Dave Zimmer.“How you all doin’ Irish fans?” he said on the stage, “Are you all ready for a new season and a new coach?”His words reflected the growing sense of hope with the start of a new football season in the fall, Kelly’s first as head coach after the firing of Charlie Weis last December.“There’s a lot of anticipation for next year,” sophomore Ronnie Kadykowski said. “Like with Mike Golic saying he likes the team’s offense, it’s kind of like a ‘Let’s get ready and put track shoes on’ kind of feeling. It’s also always exciting when you see a new coach. You want to see him do well.”Growing anticipation came directly from Kelly as well. Speaking of the new Shirt’s design, he said it reflected the need to get back to the roots of tradition of Notre Dame football. “The Shirt exemplifies exactly how we are going to play,” he said.Sophomore Ben Fuja said he also sensed Kelly’s excitement.“He got the fans fired up,” Fuja said of Kelly. “It was very cool. It’s nice to get a taste of what we’re getting next year.”As far as the design went, he said it worked for him, too.“Compared to last year, it’s a lot better,” he said. “I like the color, I like the front.”Other students also noted an improvement from the previous design.“I think last year’s shirt was too busy,” Kadykowski said. “This one is a lot more clean. It’s more stylish because of that.”
Ryan Wigglesworth Sophomore Ryan Wigglesworth collected data on whether students would be willing to buy and sell textbooks prior to launching his service.Wigglesworth realized through the launch that quite a few students were willing to sell their textbooks but don’t simply because there isn’t an efficient method to do so.“You can sell back to Amazon … or you can sell back to the bookstore,” Wigglesworth said. “But the value isn’t great for people, and they would rather see if they could sell to a friend. They feel better about it, and they get a better price.”Wigglesworth believes that the bookstore’s advantage lies in the fact that “it’s easy, and that’s what people like.” He aims to make his service even easier by making it local, with different branches on different campuses.Novitch said he would use the service again not only because it earned him a little extra money, but because he could feel good about the fate of a retired schoolbook.“I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do with it,” he said. “I just figured somebody else would have more use for it than I did.”Tags: Hammes Bookstore, startup, textbooks Sophomore Jacob Novitch had a problem he didn’t know what to do with: his almost brand-new copy of “Theological Foundations for Environmental Ethics.”“I had gotten this book last semester, and I was unable to rent it,” Novitch said. “I just kind of had it, and I didn’t need it anymore.”While the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore offers a renting option for some textbooks, many students find themselves stuck with a textbook they no longer need after the semester finishes.Novitch’s close friend and roommate, sophomore Ryan Wigglesworth, recently started a project creating an on-campus network for buying and selling textbooks. Wigglesworth said the idea was inspired by his own frustrations with buying textbooks.“Last winter break, when I was at home with my parents, we were looking for ways to save money,” he said. “They wanted me to sell my textbooks on an ND mobile service.”Wigglesworth created a survey that canvassed students across the country and received 160 responses, about half from Notre Dame and half from other schools.“I figured if I had this problem then other people probably would, too,” Wigglesworth said.Wigglesworth said his survey showed that people spend an average of around $520 a year on their textbooks. In fact, the average cost of books per year at a private four-year university is $1,240, according to research from the College Board. The University of Notre Dame factors a slightly lower $1,050 into its 2019-2020 cost of attendance.“I learned that there’s kind of a huge need for it. About half the people who responded have tried to sell textbooks, but only half of those actually succeed,” he said. “I figured I could maybe make this more efficient.”With money from the IDEA Center, Wigglesworth created a prototype version of this service, called BookSwap.“Basically, anyone can go on and post their books, and then if somebody else wants to buy it, they can buy it off the site,” he said. “It’s kind of like Craigslist for college.”Wigglesworth launched the service this past fall semester to some success.“I had about 50 postings up there, and five people were able to make sales,” he said, including Novitch, who parted ways with his theology textbook recently.