Marc Burdell named program director, Low Socioeconomic Status support

Marc D. Burdell has been appointed the inaugural program director for LSES (Low Socioeconomic Status) support at the University of Notre Dame, effective Dec. 1.

As program director within the Division of Student Affairs, Burdell will oversee the creation of a student life enrichment program under the Fighting Irish Initiative, a groundbreaking initiative that will fully fund the cost for low-income students to attend Notre Dame — including tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation and personal expenses. University of Notre Dame graduate Sean Cullinan and his wife, Sue, from Glen Ridge, N.J., recently made a $20-million gift to Notre Dame to catalyze the effort. The enrichment program overseen by Burdell will be customized to help students acclimate and adjust to a collegiate environment, helping to ensure they flourish at Notre Dame.

In this new capacity, Burdell will work with many at the University to create a vision and structure of support for students of high financial need, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, first-generation students and students from non-traditional backgrounds. He is charged with identifying priority areas and progress metrics, while simultaneously planning for future expansion of the operation. A liaison to other University departments, he will collaborate across the University, especially within the Division of Student Affairs, the Enrollment Division, the Academy and University Relations to build a comprehensive network of support for students. Burdell will report to Brian Coughlin, associate vice president for student development.

“After an extensive national search, which produced many outstanding and dedicated professionals, Marc became the clear choice,” said Coughlin. “His personal story, which fuels his passion and dedication to serve this population of students, combined with his most impressive professional experience and knowledge and love of Notre Dame uniquely suit Marc to be the perfect person to serve our students and build this program.”

“The moment I heard about this opportunity I felt compelled to explore it,” said Burdell. “Since the day I set foot on this campus as a student with very little means and as the first person in my family to attend college, Notre Dame has shaped me and inspired me to be better. To be able to create that opportunity for others is exciting and humbling. I welcome the chance to work with other areas on campus to build this program.”

Burdell was most recently director of alumni programs at the Notre Dame Alumni Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1987 in the Arts and Letters Program for Administrators at Notre Dame and joined the Alumni Association team in 2006. Before returning to Notre Dame, Burdell was the acting CEO and vice president of sales and marketing of Humana, Inc., of Arizona. Prior to Humana, he was a national vice president of PhDx e-systems, a spine and orthopedic outcomes measurement company and held various positions with major health care insurers during a 15-year period. He has served as vice chairman of the board for the AK Foundation in Phoenix, Ariz., a group dedicated to serving uninsured single mothers and their children; he also served on the board of the Suns Nite Hoops Organization, an affiliate of the Phoenix Suns that focuses on getting troubled teens back on the right track. Burdell and his wife, Jeanette, a 1987 Saint Mary’s College graduate, have three children: Michael, ND ’10; Courtney, ND ’13; and Geoffrey, ND ’15. 

Contact:  Marc Burdell 574-631-8467 or

Originally published by Ann Hastings at on November 05, 2015.