Marcus Freeman to Speak at Notre Dame Event Honoring Asian Americans | News | Notre Dame News

Honoring Heritage, Advancing Representation

Marcus Freeman, Dick Corbett’s head football coach for the University of Notre Dame, will share his perspective on Asian identity and representation as a featured speaker in the Asian American Distinguished Speaker Series, sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and DeBartolo Performing Art Center.

The event, “Honoring Heritage, Advancing Representation,” will focus on Freeman’s personal life and Asian heritage in a fireside chat with Tarryn Chun, Liu Institute faculty member and assistant professor of film, television, and theatre. The free event will take place at 4 p.m. on April 27 (Wednesday) at the Patricia George Decio Theater at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be available in the coming days at

“Coach Freeman speaks regularly in interviews about his mother, Chong, who was born and raised in South Korea, and how she shaped her character and values,” said Michel Hockx, director of the Liu Institute. “We are honored to have Coach Freeman share more about his upbringing and background for this event. The Asian American Distinguished Speaker Series was developed to bring visibility to Asian American experiences, and it is significant that Coach Freeman also finds this important goal.

Notre Dame selected Freeman as its 30th head football coach on Dec. 3. He joined Notre Dame earlier that year as a defensive coordinator, previously serving as a defensive coach at the University of Cincinnati, Purdue University and Kent State University.

A few days after his appointment as head coach, Freeman released the open letter “Dear Notre Dame” which explained his vision for the football team and shared his personal journey. “Having the ability and character to serve others, I think I got that from my mother,” he wrote. “It was a Korean who fell in love with this American [Michael Freeman] who was stationed in Korea. And she left all her comforts at home to start a family with my father in the United States. She taught me so much about sacrifice, how it can be its own reward.

He also writes about the importance of representation as a person of color. “I want to be a representation, but also more than that, I want to be a manifestation. I want to be a demonstration of what someone can do, and the level at which they can do it, given the OPPORTUNITY.

A native of Ohio, Freeman was a four-year letter graduate at Ohio State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 2007 and a master’s degree in 2011.

Launched in 2021, the Asian American Distinguished Speaker Series honors innovative, creative and effective Asian American leaders.

The Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies provides integrated, multidisciplinary research and teaching on Asia. The institute also promotes general awareness, understanding and knowledge of Asia through public events and by supporting scholarships and student and faculty engagement with partners in Asia. The institute, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, was established in 2010 with a gift from the RM Liu Foundation which supports the philanthropic activities of Robert and Mimi Liu and their children, Emily and Justin, both Notre Dame graduates.

Tickets for the Freeman event can be picked up one hour before the show. To secure a reservation, customers must pick up call-in tickets at least 15 minutes before the show. In the event of a full sale, unclaimed call tickets will be used to seat waiting customers.

For media inquiries, contact Colleen Sharkey, Associate Director of Media Relations, at 574-999-0102 or [email protected]

Originally posted by Liu Institute at to April 7.


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