Father Mike Show heads for 30th year of fundraising

Author: Amanda Gray

The Father Mike Variety Show, named for the late Law School Professor Rev. Michael D. McCafferty, C.S.C., returns for its 30th anniversary March 27 at Legends of Notre Dame. The show will run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The show, organized by students and featuring skits, performances, and videos created by students, faculty, and staff, is a great way to break up the stress of the second half of the semester, said Drew Magee, 3L and chair of the Father Mike Variety Show committee.

Patricia O’Hara, Notre Dame Law School professor and former Law School dean, said McCafferty was a fun-loving person who would’ve loved the fact that the decades-old tradition of the variety show now bears his name. While at the Law School, he often participated in the traditional variety show, either through acting as a “roving reporter” in the faculty news skit or by ending the show with an Irish jig. His office was at the epicenter of daily life in the Law School, and his Waterford crystal biscuit jar still sits in Dean Nell Jessup Newton’s office, tempting passersby with its M&Ms – except during Lent, when McCafferty would put it away.

He died in 1987 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 40.

“At his core, he was very influential in building that sense of community that we still have today,” O’Hara said.

Tickets are $12 before the show, $15 at the door, if any tickets remain. Tickets include free food, with a cash bar available. Proceeds from the show and companion silent auction benefit the Student Bar Association and the Women’s Legal Forum, funding scholarships and activities for current law students.

Some of the auction items go for as much as $800 to $1,000, with students banding together to purchase experiences like group whiskey tastings with a professor, rafting down the East Race, or dinner at a professor’s home.

All of this helps students break out of the library for an evening – something that helps make the second half of the semester less stressful and more successful, Magee said. He feels Father Mike would have celebrated the occasion.

“Father Mike represents the person we want our professors to be,” Magee said. “Fun loving with a sense of humor, someone to turn to during stressful times.”