IBEW Restores Power
to Notre Dame Graduation Visitors


May 28, 2014


South Bend, Ind.,Local 153 journeyman inside wireman Mike Dennert disconnects a generator and restores permanent power to a downtown restaurant after transformer failure threatened to put a curtain over graduation celebrations at Notre Dame University and St. Mary’s College. Credit: South Bend Tribune Photo/MIKE HARTMAN

A power outage… A college graduation. They mix about as well as electricity and water. On Thursday, May 15, as thousands of visitors arrived in South Bend, Ind., for graduation ceremonies at Notre Dame University and St. Mary’s College, a transformer blew and a 25-block area of downtown went dark.


A prolonged outage could have dropped a dark curtain on graduation celebrations and been a certain disaster for local entrepreneurs, were it not for quick work by the Brotherhood’s inside electricians and utility crews, says South Bend, Local 153 Business Manager Mike Compton.

By Saturday morning, electricians working for several signatory contractors had restored power to the whole area with generators. By Sunday afternoon, American Electric Power utility crews and members of Indianapolis Local 1393 had restored the transformer.

“Our members quietly went about their jobs to help visitors and residents enjoy their graduation,” says Compton. Their work did not go unnoticed, though. Local newspapers featured large photos of IBEW members at work and stories thanking members for their quick work. “It took a lot of swift, but safe work by dozens of conscientious IBEW members from two branches to help AEP meet its estimated time for power restoration and it was good to see the recognition.”

“I had two reasons to be very proud that weekend,” says International President Edwin D. Hill who was in South Bend for his grandson’s graduation at Notre Dame.