Mr. and Mrs. Vincent P. And Mary Margaret (Hennessey) Slatt will observe their 70th wedding anniversary on May 17, 2014.
Christopher (Vincent's youngest son) and Jeanine Slatt established the Vincent P. Slatt Fellowship for Undergraduate Research in Energy Systems and Processes at Notre Dame in honor of his father. Since the program began in 2006, cSEND has administered $328,267 to 74 undergraduate students to support their research interests in energy at Notre Dame. Of this, since 2012 and with the approval of Christopher Slatt, cSEND has provided Slatt Fellowships to minority students from Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, we have administered $35,000 to 7 students who have visited Notre Dame throughout the summer to conduct energy-related research with our cSEND faculty.
Originally from Butte, Montana, the couple met in high school during the Great Depression, and have maintained a sweet romance through their college years, World War II, and the postwar decades surrounded by their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Born and raised in Butte, Montana, Vincent P. Slatt and Mary Margaret "Peggy" Hennessey attended separate high schools-he the all-boys school and she the all-girls school-and never met until they'd left for college. After high school, Vince attended the University of Notre Dame (class of 1943) and Peggy St. Mary's in Leavenworth, Kansas. When both were visiting home for the holidays they attended one of the commonly-held social dances--they met at the dance and each discovered a dance partner that would keep them on their toes for years to come. They returned to their respective colleges but kept in touch with letters and the occasional telegram and still met to go dancing whenever staying with family back in Butte. After finishing his engineering studies, in 1943, Vince enrolled in the Navy and was stationed in Boston to coordinate the construction of submarines in support of the war effort. By spring 1944, Peggy had finished her studies and was working in Cincinatti when she received a telegram from Vince: shore leave had been approved for the wedding!
Vince made arrangements at the University of Notre Dame and Peggy travelled to meet him there. They were married in the Old Log Chapel in the heart of campus, on May 16, 1944.
Together, as Mr. and Mrs. Slatt, they traveled by train to Boston where Vince was still in naval service. After the end of the war, the Slatts, with their first of five children, Phil, returned briefly to Butte, Montana. Shortly thereafter, their first daughter, Mary, was born, and the family relocated to Spokane, Washington, when Vince received a job at Inland Power & Light. In Spokane, Vince and Peggy had three more children, Steve, Debbie, and Chris, and were active in many community organizations and charitable societies throughout the years. Vince and Peggy remained loyal fans of Notre Dame and were proud to see all three sons and four of their grandchildren attend the university.
Since his retirement, Vince has been an avid participant in Spokane's annual Lilac Festival Bloomsday 12K Walk/Run. Whenever he passes their apartment, Peggy always greets him on the sidewalk with a kiss of good-luck to help him finish the course. Many of their five children, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren participate in the annual event, surrounding Vince like bodyguards and encouraging the crowds to support him with applause. This year's race, to be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 will be preceded by the traditional family get-together, a trip to church, and a special wedding cake to commemorate Vince and Peggy's 70th anniversary.