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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
The Observer

Walsh Hall rector unexpectedly departs

Kate Palko, the rector of Walsh Hall, “will no longer serve” in that position, according to an email sent to residents on Wednesday evening by Bre Tornifolio, a director of residential life who supervised Palko and Walsh Hall. Residents reported Palko had already left the dorm.

“I write tonight to share the news that effectively immediately Kate will no longer serve as Rector of Walsh Hall,” Tornifolio wrote. “Please know Residential Life is grateful for Kate's service, and is fully committed to supporting the Walsh community during this transition.”

The Observer learned from a reliable source the move is “not related to any kind of wrongful or inappropriate activity.”

The email to residents also announced that the position will be temporarily filled by former rector Carol Latronica.

“Carol will not move into the hall but will be present in different ways, including supervising the staff and offering a rector’s expertise through the rest of the semester,” Tornifolio said.

Tornifolio's email also said the office of residential life will be hiring a new rector, who will begin in January.

Palko began her term in Walsh Hall this year, and has departed with less than a semester serving in the position. Three months ago, she told The Observer that she was excited to serve as a rector.

“I've always wanted to go to Notre Dame, so this is a really cool moment for me. I applied there during high school, and I didn't get in, and I thought that was like the end of the world,” she explained. “I applied [to be a rector] in the spring of my final year in grad school, and when I got the interviews, I was just flying because it was such an out of body experience.”

She had also expressed her mental preparation for the job.

“I've been purposely setting my mind to be open-minded because I can't imagine all of the things that I'm not even aware that I'm going to encounter yet.”