Notre Dame selects first female leprechaun for 2019-20 season

NOW: Notre Dame selects first female leprechaun for 2019-20 season

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame announced on Tuesday its ‘most diverse’ leprechaun line up for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Starting next season, junior Samuel Jackson and sophomores Conal Fagan and Lynnette Wukie will ‘don the green suit and Irish country hat,’ according to the university. Jackson and Wukie will become the second and third African Americans to hold the role. 

Wukie will be the first woman to serve as the leprechaun. 

“That’s a door opener, you know,” said Benjamin Harris, a Fighting Irish fan. “Getting to see a black leprechaun that’s amazing, I think the kids will love that I’m going to love that I’m a Notre Dame fan.”

Out in the South Bend community, people said they’re happy to see the university embrace diversity through the face of the Fighting Irish. 

“The more diverse ways in which we can represent the Irish spirit I think the better,” said Beth Ferlic, who lives in South Bend. 

Ferlic said in this day and age, we go beyond color, gender, and creed. When asked if this leprechaun lineup can inspire a younger generation, she said absolutely. 

“If there’s a will, there can be a way,” she said. 

Women in leadership roles is a topic Student Body President Elizabeth Boyle mentioned as what was described as a priority to the university community. Boyle, the 8th female student body president, said after the university started admitting women in the 1970s that women still have barriers to break. 

She said for Wukie to serve as the first female leprechaun is important not only for the Notre Dame community. 

“But for the future Notre Dame community and for the greater South Bend community at large too,” she said. 

Boyle said she Fighting Irish fans should get ready for next season. She called the 2019-20 lineup the ‘strongest and best’ leprechaun class. 

“I’m lucky that I’m friends with the three of them and it’s just been really great to see all their hard work come to fruition,” said Boyle. 

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