Donor Stories and Legacies


Third-Generation Badin Guild Member Richard Skelton Gives Back in Gratitude

Richard SkeltonAt 22, a senior studying business entrepreneurship, Richard Skelton ’12 is a third-generation Badin Guild member—and one of its youngest members ever. He gives back in gratitude for everything he has received from Notre Dame—including a kindness shown during an extremely difficult time.

In August 2006, just at the start of his junior year of high school in Ohio, Skelton was seriously injured in an automobile accident. Initially, his doctors didn’t expect him to live, but multiple surgeries saved his life.

Skelton faced an uphill battle and months of rehabilitation. He had to relearn how to walk and, thanks to memory loss resulting from the accident, remaster tasks as simple as 2 + 2 = 4.

Amid the challenges and frustrations, Skelton received encouragement from Notre Dame: a football autographed with messages of support from several Notre Dame players and a book autographed by then-head football coach Charlie Weis. “Just seeing that they would take time out of their busy schedules to write a kid from Coshocton, Ohio, meant so much to me,” Skelton said.

With hard work and afterschool tutoring by his high school teachers, he managed to graduate on schedule with his class and was named covaledictorian. It was a joyful day indeed when he was accepted by Notre Dame, the alma mater of his father, Joseph Skelton ’71.

Skelton not only learned to walk again, he resumed playing tennis, golf, and soccer. And his education is still on track.

After graduation from Notre Dame next spring, Richard Skelton plans to earn a law degree and then work in either the family-owned law practice or bank in his hometown.

But he isn’t waiting for his diploma to begin giving back to his alma mater. Just like his father and grandfather—who dropped out of school after eighth grade to work and support his family, but loved Notre Dame and knew the importance of education as much or more as his son and grandson—Skelton gives to Notre Dame annually and has included the University in his will.

“I was raised with the idea that whatever I get, I give back tenfold,” Skelton said. “I love Notre Dame and appreciate everything it has done for me. To be able to give and make sure Notre Dame can pass on the same faith-based educational experience to other people—that means the world to me.”