“The Shirt Project shall endeavor to promote unity…” begins our team’s mission statement. Unity, or perhaps by another name, family.
Meet the Markleys.
Brian, Cathy and their four daughters, Katelyn, Emily, Brianna and Sarah Mae, hail from Broomall, Pennsylvania. Brian Markley says love for Notre Dame has been completely integrated into his family’s life since he attended the University and graduated in 1993.
“I dated my high school sweetheart and home town honey, Cathy, throughout my four years at Notre Dame,” Brian says. “She visited frequently during my time at Notre Dame either to be my date at the annual Grace Hall formal or to go to a football game with my friends and me.
“Our love for Notre Dame and for each other grew together over those four years and we were married in 1994. My buddy Billy from the Notre Dame Glee Club sang at our wedding and serenaded us with the Fight Song as we walked down the aisle.
“We were blessed by Katelyn’s arrival the following year. She and her sisters have grown up to share their parents’ love for Notre Dame. We’ve been blessed to visit the campus with our girls several times and see the Irish play football and basketball both on campus and on the east coast whenever they play nearby.”
Brian Markley says his family uses The Shirt as a way to unite themselves with the Notre Dame tradition of family. This year, the Markleys had a chance to bring their own spin on the Notre Dame tradition into a new light.
“Each and every year we get everyone The Shirt as part of our rite of passage to celebrate another ND football season,” Brian says. “Coincidentally, around the same time we received this year’s Shirts in the mail, we were also scheduled to get our family portrait taken for our parish directory.
“It was Cathy’s idea to scrap the usual Sunday best attire in favor of The Shirt for our family portrait. She thought it would not only be fun for inclusion in the parish directory, but also a creative shot for our Christmas card since we like to use unique photos and sayings in our card each year.”
Brian says the legacy of buying The Shirt will continue even further now that his daughter Katelyn, 18, has a chance to experience what he learned to love as a Notre Dame student in the ‘90s.
“The idea to use our special photos with our Shirts on this year became even more fitting on December 23rd when Katelyn received that long-awaited big envelope from the Admissions Department with her acceptance letter into the Notre Dame Class of 2018,” Brian says. “It was a very merry Christmas, indeed. We look forward to visiting her on campus next year and buying our 2014 Shirts!”
Originally published by The Shirt Committee 2014 at theshirt.nd.edu on January 31, 2014.