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Reverend Michael John Downey was a beloved Notre Dame Belmont teacher, mentor and friend. A natural storyteller with a great sense of humor, Father Downey taught English, literature and writing for more than 20 years at NDB. An ordained Episcopal priest, Berkeley native and California State University at Hayward graduate, he was treasured by all his students and was fondly remembered for his entertaining stories, unique ties, Dr. Marten’s and fun Halloween costumes. Sadly, Father Downey passed away too soon in 1995 after a battle with cancer.

The Father Downey Garden was created in his honor and remains a hallmark area on the NDB campus today where students, faculty, and the community can come together. As an outdoor space, the courtyard was instrumental over the past two years as a COVID-friendly space for students.. 

With this year’s Fund-A-Need, we want to beautify, upgrade and enhance this space while preserving its legacy. Potential improvements include overall beautification as well as a new sound system, sun shades, tables and benches and a movie screen. These enhancements will make the Father Downey Garden an even greater place to gather, celebrate and make lifelong memories for years to come.

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