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The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or simply Notre Dame, ) is a private Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, Indianamarker, USAmarker, just north of the city of South Bendmarker.

It was founded by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also the school's first president. It was established as an all-male institution on November 26, 1842 on land donated by the Bishop of Vincennes. The university first enrolled women undergraduates in 1972. Today, about 47 percent of the student body is female. Notre Dame's Catholic heritage is evident in the architecture around campus, manifested by the ornate Basilica of the Sacred Heartmarker, together with numerous chapels and religious iconography.

The university today is organized into five colleges and one professional school, the oldest of which, the College of Arts and Letters, began awarding degrees in 1849. The undergraduate program was ranked 20th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2009-2010. Notre Dame has a comprehensive graduate program with 32 master's and 25 doctoral degree programs. Additionally, the university's library system is one of the 100 largest in the United States.

More than 80% of the university's 8,000 undergraduates live on campus in one of 29 single-sex residence halls, each of which fields teams for more than a dozen intramural sports. Notre Dame's approximately 120,000 alumni are located around the world.

Outside academe, Notre Dame is best known for its sports programs, especially its football team. The teams are members of the NCAA Division I, and are known collectively as the Fighting Irish, a name it adopted in the 1920s. The football team, an Independent, has accumulated eleven national championships, seven Heisman Trophy winners, and sixty-two members in the College Football Hall of Famemarker. Other ND teams have accumulated 14 national championships, chiefly in the Big East Conference.



In 1840 an effort by the Bishop of Vincennes Right Rev. Célestine Guynemer de la Hailandière, failed to establish a school near the present site. In 1842, the bishop offered the original to Father Edward Sorin of the Congregation of Holy Cross, on the condition that he build a college in two years. Sorin traveled to the site with eight Holy Cross brothers and began the school using Badin's old log chapel. They immediately acquired two students from the day of their arrival, Theodore Coquillard, the son of one of the South Bend's founders, and Clement Reckers, and set about building additions to the campus. Notre Dame began as a primary and secondary school, but soon received its official college charter from the Indiana General Assembly on January 15, 1844 after a push by State Senator John Defrees. Under the charter the school is officially named the University of Notre Dame du Lac, which means University of Our Lady of the Lake. Although the university was originally only for male students, the female-only Saint Mary's Collegemarker was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross near Notre Dame in 1844.

Early history

More students attended the college and the first degrees were awarded in 1849. Additionally, the university was expanded with new buildings allowing more students and faculty to live, study, and eat at the university. With each new president, new academic programs were offered and new buildings were built to accommodate these programs. The original Main Building built by Fr. Sorin just after he arrived was replaced by a larger "Main Building" in 1865, which housed the university's administration, classrooms, and dormitories. Beginning in 1873, a library collection was started by Father Lemonnier. By 1879 it had grown to ten thousand volumes that were housed in the Main Building. This Main Building, and the library collection, was destroyed by a fire in April 1879; however, it was rebuilt before the next school year. The library collection was also rebuilt and stayed housed in the new Main Building for years afterwards. Around the time of the fire, a Music Hall was opened. Eventually becoming known as Washington Hall, it hosted plays and musical acts put on by the school. By 1880, a science program was established at the university, and a Science Hall was built in 1883. The hall housed multiple classrooms and science labs needed for early research at the university. By 1890, individual residence halls were built to house the increasing number of students.

William J. Hoynes (1846-1919) was dean of the law school 1883-1919, and when its new building was opened shortly after his death it was renamed in his honor.

Father John Zahm (1851-1921) became the Holy Cross Provincial for the United States (1896-1906), with overall supervision of the university, He tried to transform Notre Dame into a great university, erecting buildings and added to the campus art gallery and library, and amassing what became a famous Dante collection. His term was not renewed because of fears he had expanded Notre Dame too quickly and had run the Holy Cross order into serious debt.


Notre Dame continued to grow over the years adding more colleges, programs, and even sports teams. By 1921, with the addition of the College of Commerce, Notre Dame had grown from a small college to a university with five colleges and a professional law school. The university continued to expand and add new residence halls and buildings with each subsequent president

Hesburgh Era: 1952-87

Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., (born 1917) served as president for 35 years (1952-87) of dramatic transformations. In that time the annual operating budget rose by a factor of 18 from $9.7 million to $176.6 million, and the endowment by a factor of 40 from $9 million to $350 million, and research funding by a factor of 20 from $735,000 to $15 million. Enrollment nearly doubled from 4,979 to 9,600, faculty more than doubled 389 to 950, and degrees awarded annually doubled from 1,212 to 2,500.


In the mid-1960's Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College developed a co-exchange program whereby several hundred students took classes not offered at their home institution, an arrangement that added undergraduate women to a campus that already had a few women in the graduate schools. One problem was that prospective students wanted coeducation. Accepting women made the university more attractive to male applicants. Nearly a third of accepted Notre Dame students chose not to enroll because of its single-sex status, and a 1968 poll indicated that nearly three-fourths of all Notre Dame students considered transferring to a coeducational school. In the 1970s other elite schools were admitting women so in 1972 President Hesburgh made the decision to join the movement. After extensive debate about merging with St. Mary's, that alternative was rejected, primarily because of the differential in faculty qualifications and pay scales. "In American college education," explained Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., Notre Dame's Dean of Arts and Letters, "certain features formerly considered advantageous and enviable are now seen as anachronistic and out of place.... In this environment of diversity, the integration of the sexes is a normal and expected aspect, replacing separatism." Reverend Thomas Blantz, C.S.C., Notre Dame's Vice President of Student Affairs, added that coeducation "opened up a whole other pool of very bright students." Two of the male residence halls were converted for the newly admitted female students that first year, while two others were converted for the next school year. The first female student, a transfer from St. Mary's College, graduated in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in marketing.

Malloy Era: 1987-2005

In 18 years under President Edward Malloy, CSC, (1987-2005), there was rapid growth in the school's reputation, faculty, and resources. He increased the faculty by more than 500 professors; the academic quality of the student body has improved dramatically, the average SAT score rose from 1240 to 1360; the number of minority students more than doubled; the endowment grew from $350 million to more than $3 billion; the annual operating budget rose from $177 million to more than $650 million; and annual research funding improved from $15 million to more than $70 million. Notre Dame’s most recent capital campaign raised $1.1 billion, far exceeding its goal of $767 million, and is the largest in the history of Catholic higher education.


Currently Notre Dame is led by John I. Jenkins, CSC, the 17th president of the university. Jenkins took over the position from Father Edward Malloy, CSC, on July 1, 2005. In his inaugural address, Jenkins described his goals of making the university a leader in research that recognizes ethics and building the connection between faith and studies.

Catholic status

In the decade after the Second Vatican Council (1963) the university’s basic Catholicism did not change, but its ways of emphasizing it did. Instead of merely trying to perpetuate the institution and keep its adherents obedient to the institutional church, there was an attempt to develop a laity which is informed and dedicated. Many previously ignored topics such as compulsory celibacy for the priesthood, birth control, and ecumenicity were discussed without limits. Although the faculty was well over 85% Catholic before 1970, search practices have broadened. In recent years about half the new faculty hires have been Catholics, and Catholics now comprise 52% of the faculty.

In a policy statement the university declares that "the Catholic identity of the University depends upon ... the continuing presence of a predominant number of Catholic intellectuals" on the faculty. There is a consensus this means a solid majority. As the provost has explained, the aim is "to have a majority of faculty who are Catholic, who understand the nature of the religion, who can be living role models, who can talk with students about issues outside the classroom and can infuse values into what they do."

In 2009, the University received criticism from many Catholic bishops due to its conferral of an honorary degree on President Barack Obama, whose support of abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research conflicts with Church teachings on the sanctity of life.


Since 1967 it has been controlled by a lay board, and not by the Catholic Church. The trustees are to select presidents from the pool of C.S.C. priests (that is, members of the Holy Cross order). President Hesburgh orchestrated the change to head off too-tight Church control In addition to the president, the university is governed by two groups, Fellows of the University and a Board of Trustees. These groups help to maintain the bylaws of the university and also elect officials for the university. Finally, the provost of the university, currently Dr. Thomas Burish, works under the president to oversee many of the academic activities and functions of the university.


Notre Dame's campus is located in Notre Dame, Indianamarker, an unincorporated community in north Indianamarker, just north of South Bendmarker and four miles (6 km) from the Michiganmarker state line. Development of the campus began in the spring of 1843 when Father Sorin and some of his congregation built the "Old College", a building used for dormitories, a bakery, and a classroom. A year later, after an architect arrived, a small "Main Building" was built allowing for the launch of the college. Today the campus lies on just south of the Indiana Toll Road and includes 138 buildings located on quads throughout the campus.
A number of the buildings that Father Sorin built still stand on the campus, while others have been replaced. The Old College building has become one of two seminaries on campus run by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The current Basilica of the Sacred Heartmarker is located on the spot of Sorin's original church, which became too small for the growing college and the Main Building, after a fire destroyed parts of it, has become home to Notre Dame's administration. There are two lakes located on campus, and near the lakes is the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was built in 1896 as a replica of the original in Lourdes, Francemarker.


University of Notre Dame has made being a sustainability leader an integral part of their mission, creating the Office of Sustainability in 2008 to achieve a number of goals in the areas of power generation, design & construction, waste reduction, procurement, food services, transportation, and water.Currently, four building construction projects are pursuing LEED Certified status and three are pursuing LEED Silver. Notre Dames’ dining services sources 40% of its food locally and offers sustainably-caught seafood as well as many organic, fair-trade, and vegan options. On the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card 2009, University of Notre Dame received a “B-“ grade.

New buildings

The university continues to expand and add new buildings each year. Since 2004, many buildings have been built —- the most prominent being the Debartolo Performing Arts Center, the Guglielmino Complex, and the Jordan Hall of Science. Additionally, a new male residence hall, Duncan Hall, began construction on March 8, 2007, and began accepting residents for the Fall 2008 semester. Ryan Hall has recently finished construction and is currently housing undergraduate women for the fall of 2009. A new engineering building, Stinson-Remick Hall, a new combination Center for Social Concerns/Institute for Church Life building and a law school addition are also currently under construction.. Additional plans call for a new hockey arena to be completed by the fall of 2011.

LaFortune Student Center

The LaFortune Student Center, commonly known as “LaFortune” or “LaFun,” is a 4-story building of 83,000 square feet that provides the Notre Dame community with a meeting place for social, recreational, cultural, and educational activities. The building was constructed in 1883 as a science building but was converted to a student center during the 1950's. LaFortune employs 35 part-time student staff, 29 full-time non-student staff, and has an annual budget of $1.2 million.

Many businesses, services, and Divisions of Student affairs are found within. The building also houses national food chains such as Starbucks, Sbarro, and Burger King, with their Subway franchise ranking #1 in Indiana in sales nationwide.

Legends of Notre Dame

Legends of Notre Dame (commonly referred to as Legends) is a music venue, public house, and restaurant located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, just 100 yards south of Notre Dame Stadiummarker. The former Alumni Senior Club opened its doors the first weekend in September 2003 after a $3.5 million renovation and transformed into the all-ages student hang-out that currently exists. Legends is made up of two parts: The Restaurant and Alehouse and the nightclub.

London Centre

The university has had a presence in London since 1968. Since 1998, its London Centre has been based in the former United University Clubmarker at 1, Suffolk Street in Trafalgar Square. The Centre enables the Colleges of Arts & Letters, Business Administration, Science, Engineering and the Law School to develop their own programs in London.


As of fall 2006, Notre Dame has a student body population of 11,603 total students and employs 1241 full-time faculty members and another 166 part-time members to give a student/faculty ratio of 13:1. Named by Newsweek as one of the "25 New Ivies", it is also an Oak Ridge Associated University.


The College of Arts and Letters was established as the university's first college in 1842 with the first degrees given in 1849. The university's first academic curriculum was modeled after the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum from Saint Louis Universitymarker. Today the college, housed in O'Shaughnessy Hall, includes 21 departments in the areas of fine arts, humanities, and social sciences, and awards Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in over 40 majors, making it the largest of the university's colleges. There are around 2,500 undergraduates and 750 graduates enrolled in the college.

The College of Science was established at the university in 1865 by then-president Father Patrick Dillon. Dillon's scientific courses were six years of work, including higher-level mathematics courses. Today the college, housed in the newly-built Jordan Hall of Science, includes over 1,200 undergraduates in five departments of study — biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and pre-professional studies — each awarding Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. According to university statistics, its science pre-professional program has one of the highest acceptance rates to medical school of any university in the United States.

The School of Architecturemarker was established in 1899, although degrees in architecture were first awarded by the university in 1898. Today the school, housed in Bond Hall, offers a five year undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Architecture degree. One year of study is completed in Romemarker by all students enrolled in the school.

The College of Engineering was established in 1920, however, early courses in civil and mechanical engineering were a part of the College of Science since the 1870s. Today the college, housed in the Cushing Hall of Engineering, includes five departments of study — aerospace and mechanical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil engineering and geological sciences, computer science and engineering, and electrical engineering — with eight B.S. degrees offered. Additionally, the college offers five year dual degree programs with the Colleges of Arts and Letters and of Business awarding additional B.A. and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees, respectively.

The Mendoza College of Businessmarker was established by Father John Francis O'Hara in 1921, although a foreign commerce program was launched in 1917. Today the college offers degrees in accountancy, finance, management, and marketing and enrolls over 1,600 students.

All of Notre Dame's undergraduate students are a part of one of the five undergraduate colleges at the school or are in the First Year of Studies program. The First Year of Studies program was established in 1962 to guide incoming freshmen in their first year at the school before they have declared a major. Each student is given an academic advisor from the program who helps them to choose classes that give them exposure to any major in which they are interested. The program also includes a Learning Resource Center which provides time management, collaborative learning, and subject tutoring. This program has been recognized previously, by U.S. News & World Report, as outstanding.

Graduate and professional schools

The university first offered graduate degrees, in the form of a Master of Arts (MA), in the 1854–1855 academic year. The program expanded to include Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Master of Civil Engineering in its early stages of growth, before a formal graduate school education was developed with a thesis not required to receive the degrees. This changed in 1924 with formal requirements developed for graduate degrees, including offering Doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees. Today each of the five colleges offer graduate education. Most of the departments from the College of Arts and Letters offer Ph.D. programs, while a professional Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program also exists. All of the departments in the College of Science offer Ph.D. programs, except for the Department of Pre-Professional Studies. The School of Architecture offers a Master of Architecture, while each of the departments of the College of Engineering offer Ph.D. programs. The College of Business offers multiple professional programs including MBA and Master of Science in Accountancy programs. It also operates facilities in Chicagomarker and Cincinnatimarker for its executive MBA program. Additionally, the Alliance for Catholic Education program offers a Master of Education program where students study at the university during the summer and teach in Catholic elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across the Southern United States for two school years.

In addition to the programs offered by each of the colleges, the Notre Dame Law Schoolmarker offers a professional program for students. Established in 1869, Notre Dame was the first Catholic university in the United States to have a law program. Today the program has consistently ranked among the top law schools in the nation according to US News and World Report. The Law School grants the professional Juris Doctor degree as well as the graduate LL.M. and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees. Currently, the law school is experiencing an expansion that will double the size of its learning space and is expected to be in operation for the Spring 2009 semester. It is the only accredited American law school to offer a full year of study abroad in Londonmarker.

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame is dedicated to research, education and outreach on the causes of violent conflict and the conditions for sustainable peace. It offers Ph.D., Master's, and undergraduate degrees in peace studies. It was founded in 1986 through the donations of Joan B. Kroc, the widow of McDonald's owner Ray Kroc. The institute was inspired by the vision of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh CSC, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. The institute has contributed to international policy discussions about peace building practices.


The library system of the university is divided between the main library and each of the colleges and schools. The main building is the fourteen-story Theodore M. Hesburgh Library, completed in 1963, which is the third building to house the main collection of books. The front of the library is adorned with the Word of Life mural. This mural is popularly known as "Touchdown Jesus" because of its proximity to Notre Dame Stadiummarker and Jesus' arms appearing to make the signal for a touchdown. The library system also includes branch libraries for Architecture, Chemistry & Physics, Engineering, Law, the Life Sciences, and Mathematics as well as information centers in the Mendoza College of Business and the Kellogg/Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, and a slide library in O'Shaughnessy Hall. The library system holds over three-million volumes and is one of the top–100 largest libraries in the country.


In 2009-2010, Notre Dame ranked 20th overall among "national universities" in the United States in U.S. News & World Report's best colleges. U.S. News and World Report also lists Notre Dame Law School as 22nd overall, and the Gourman Report, which is published by The Princeton Review, ranks the Law School at 18th. BusinessWeek ranks Mendoza College of Business undergraduate school as 2nd overall. It ranks the MBA program as 20th overall. Additionally, The Washington Monthly ranked the university 13th nationally in its 2006 edition. BusinessWeek also ranked the undergraduate business program as 2nd nationally. The Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked Notre Dame's graduate philosophy program as 13th nationally, while ARCHITECT Magazine, ranked the undergraduate architecture program as 12th nationally. Additionally, the study abroad program ranks sixth in highest participation percentage in the nation, with 57.6% of students choosing to study abroad in 17 countries. According to, undergraduate alumni of University of Notre Dame have a mid-career median salary $121,000, making it the 8th highest among colleges and universities in the United States. The median starting salary of $55,300 ranked 41st in the same peer group.


Notre Dame has a long history of scientific and scholarly research.


Father Joseph Carrier, C.S.C. was Director of the Science Museum and the Library and Professor of Chemistry and Physics until 1874. Carrier taught that scientific research and its promise for progress were not antagonistic to the ideals of intellectual and moral culture endorsed by the Church. One of Carrier's students was Father John Zahm (1851-1921) who was made Professor and Co-Director of the Science Department at age 23 and by 1900 was a nationally prominent scientist and naturalist. Zahm was active in the Catholic Summer School movement, which introduced Catholic laity to contemporary intellectual issues. His book Evolution and Dogma (1896) defended certain aspects of evolutionary theory as true, and argued, moreover, that even the great Church teachers Thomas Aquinas and Augustine taught something like it. The intervention of Irish American Catholics in Rome prevented Zahm's censure by the Vatican. In 1913, Zahm and former President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a major expedition through the Amazon.

Other science

In 1882, Albert Zahm built the first wind tunnel used to compare lift to drag of aeronautical models. Around 1899, Professor Jerome Green became the first American to send a wireless message. Also, in 1931, Father Julius Nieuwland performed early work on basic reactions that was used to create neoprene. Additionally, nuclear physics study at the university began with the building of a nuclear accelerator in 1936. The university continues this tradition of nuclear physics research, with one of their endeavors being a partnership in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics.

Lobund Institute

The Lobund Institute grew out of pioneering research in germ-free-life which began in 1928. This area of research originated in a question posed by Pasteur as to whether animal life was possible without bacteria. Though others had taken up this idea, their research was short lived and inconclusive. Lobund was the first research organization to answer definitively, that such life is possible and that it can be prolonged through generations. But the objective was not merely to answer Pasteur's question but also to produce the germ free animal as a new tool for biological and medical research. This objective was reached and for years Lobund was a unique center for the study and production of germ free animals and for their use in biological and medical investigations. Today the work has spread to other universities. In the beginning it was under the Department of Biology and a program leading to the master's degree accompanied the research program. In the 1940s Lobund achieved independent status as a purely research organization and in 1950 was raised to the status of an Institute. In 1958 it was brought back into the Department of Biology as integral part of that department, but with its own program leading to the degree of PhD in Gnotobiotics.


Richard Sullivan taught English from 1936 to 1974 and published six novels, dozens of short stories, and various other efforts. Though published by major houses, he never became an important mainstream writer but was known as a regional writer and a Catholic spokesman.

During his long tenure as an English professor during the 1930s-60s, Frank O'Malley emerged as the exemplary American Catholic intellectual. Influenced by Jacques Maritain, John U. Nef, and others, O'Malley developed a concept of Christian philosophy that was a fundamental element in his thought. Through his course "Modern Catholic Writers" O'Malley introduced generations of undergraduates to Gabriel Marcel, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Sigrid Undset, Paul Clandel, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

European émigrés

The rise of Hitler and other dictators in the 1930s forced numerous Catholic intellectuals to flee Europe; President John O’Hara, brought many to Notre Dame. From Germany came Anton-Hermann Chroust (1907-1982) in classics and law, and Waldemar Gurian a German Catholic intellectual of Jewish descent. Positivism dominated American intellectual life in the 1920s onward but in marked contrast, Gurian received a German Catholic education and wrote his doctoral dissertation under Max Scheler.. Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962), a renown sculptor, brought Croatian culture to campus, 1955-62. Yves Simon (1903-61), brought to ND in the 1840s the insights of French studies in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition of philosophy; his own teacher Jacques Maritain (1882-73) was a frequent vistor to campus.

The exiles developed a distinctive emphasis on the evils of totalitarianism. For example the political science courses of Gerhart Niemeyer (1907-97) explained communist ideology and were particularly accessible to his students. He came to ND in 1955, and was a frequent contributor to the National Review and other conservative magazines.

Political Science

The Review of Politics was founded in 1939 by Gurian, modeled after German Catholic journals. It quickly emerged as part of an international Catholic intellectual revival, offering an alternative vision to the failed positivist philosophy. For 44 years, the Review was edited by Gurian, Matthew Fitzsimons, Frederick Crosson, and Thomas Stritch. Intellectual leaders included Gurian, Jacques Maritain, Frank O'Malley, Leo Richard Ward, F. A. Hermens, and John U. Nef. It became a major forum for political ideas and modern political concerns, especially from a Judeo-Christian and scholastic tradition..

Research today

Today, research continues in many fields, as the current university president, Father Jenkins, described his hope that Notre Dame would become "one of the pre–eminent research institutions in the world" in his inaugural address. The university has many multi-disciplinary institutes devoted to research in varying fields, including the Medieval Institute, the Kroc Institute for International Peace studies, and the Center for Social Concerns. Recent research includes work on family conflict and child development, genome mapping, the increasing trade deficit of the United States with China, studies in fluid mechanics, and marketing trends on the Internet.


Notre Dame's financial endowment was started in the early 1920s by then-president of the university, Father James Burns, and increased to $7 million by 1952 when Father Hesburgh became president. By the 1980s it reached $150 million, and in 2000 it returned a record 57.9% investment. For the 2007 fiscal year, the endowment had grown to approximately $6.5 billion, putting the university in the top–15 largest endowments in the country. As of October, 2009, Notre Dame's endowment is valued at $5.5 billion.


The Notre Dame student body consists of 11,733 students, with 8,371 undergraduates and 3,362 graduate and professional students. Around 21–24% of students are children of alumni, and although 37% of students come from the Midwestern United States, the student body represents all 50 states and 100 countries. The Princeton Review ranks the school as the fifth highest "dream school" for parents to send their children. The school has been previously criticized for its lack of diversity, and The Princeton Review ranks the university highly among schools at which "Alternative Lifestyles [are] Not an Alternative". However, it has also been commended by some diversity oriented publications; Hispanic Magazine ranks the university ninth on its list of the top–25 colleges for Latinos, and the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education recognizes the university for raising enrollment of African-American students. With 6,000 participants, the university's intramural sports program has been named by Sports Illustrated as the best program in the country, while The Princeton Review named it as the top school where "Everyone Plays Intramural Sports". The annual Bookstore Basketball tournament is the largest outdoor five-on-five tournament in the world with over 700 teams participating each year, while the Notre Dame Men's Boxing Club hosts the annual Bengal Bouts tournament that raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladeshmarker.

Residence halls

About 80% of undergraduates and 20% of graduate students live on campus. The majority of the graduate students on campus live in one of four graduate housing complexes on campus, while all on-campus undergraduates live in one of the 29 residence halls. Because of the religious affiliation of the university, all residence halls are single-sex, with 15 male dorms and 14 female dorms. The university enforces a visitation policy (known as parietals) on those students who live in dormitories, specifying times when members of the opposite sex are allowed to visit, however, most residence halls have 24 hour social spaces in which parietals are not enforced. Each residence hall also has at least one nun and/or priest as a resident. There are no fraternities or sororities at the university, but a majority of students live in the same residence hall for all four years. Some intramural sports are based on residence hall teams, where the university offers the only non-military academy program of full-contact intramural American football. At the end of the intramural season, the championship game is played on the field in Notre Dame Stadiummarker.

Religious life

With the university affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross, its Catholic identity permeates into student life. More than 93% of students identify as Christian, with over 80% of them being Catholic. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is on campus and each residence hall has a chapel. Collectively, Catholic Mass is celebrated over 100 times per week on campus. There are multitudes of religious statues and artwork around campus, most prominent of which are the statue of Mary on the Main Building, the Notre Dame Grotto, and the Word of Life mural on Hesburgh Library depicting Christ as a teacher. Additionally, every classroom displays a crucifix. There are many religious clubs at the school, including Council #1477 of the Knights of Columbus (KOC), Baptist Collegiate Ministry , Jewish Club, Muslim Student Association, Orthodox Christian Fellowship and many more. The Notre Dame KOC are known for being the first collegiate council of KOC, operating a charitable concession stand during every home football game and owning their own building on campus which can be used as a cigar lounge.

Student-run media

Like most universities, Notre Dame's students run a number of media outlets. The nine student-run outlets include three newspapers, both a radio and television station, and several magazines and journals. The newspapers have varying publication interests, with The Observer published daily and mainly reporting university and other news. The Observer is staffed by students from both Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College, the women's college located nearby. Unlike Scholastic and The Dome, The Observer is an independent publication and does not have a faculty advisor or any editorial oversight from the University. In 1987, when some students believed that The Observer began to show a conservative bias, a liberal newspaper, Common Sense was published. Likewise, in 2003, when other students believed that the paper showed a liberal bias, the conservative paper Irish Rover went into production. Neither paper is published as often as The Observer, however all three are distributed to all students. The television station, NDtv, grew from one show in 2002 to a full 24 hour channel with original programming by September 2006. The radio station, WVFI, began as a partner of WSND-FM, however, has since been airing independently on the Internet. Begun as a one-page journal in September 1876, the Scholastic magazine is issued twice monthly and claims to be the oldest continuous collegiate publication in the United States. The other magazine, The Juggler, is released twice a year and focuses on student literature and artwork. The Dome yearbook is published annually. Finally, in Spring 2008 an undergraduate journal for political science research, Beyond Politics, made its debut.

Community Development

Eddy Street Commons

The first phase of Eddy Street Commons, a $215 Million dollar development located adjacent to the University of Notre Dame campus and funded by the University broke ground on June 3, 2008. The Eddy Street Commons drew union protests when workers hired by the City of South Bend to construct the public parking garage picketed the private work site after a contractor hired non-union workers. The developer, Kite Realty out of Indianapolis, has made agreements with major national chains rather than local businesses a move that has led to criticism from alumni and students.


Notre Dame alumni number near 120,000, and are members of 275 alumni clubs around the world. Many alumni give yearly monetary support to the university, with a school-record 53.2% giving some donation in 2006. Many buildings on campus are named for those whose donations allowed their building, including residence halls, classroom buildings, and the performing arts center.

Notre Dame alumni work in various fields. Alumni working in political fields include state governors, members of the United States Congress, and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A number of university heads are alumni, including Notre Dame's current president, Rev. John Jenkins. Additionally, many alumni are in the media, including talk show hosts Regis Philbin and Phil Donahue, and television and radio personalities such as Mike Golic and Hannah Storm. With the university having high profile sports teams, a number of alumni became a part of sports teams, including professional baseball, basketball, and football players, such as Joe Theisman, Joe Montana, Tim Brown, Rocket Ismail, Megan Duffy,, Jeff Samardzija,, Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis, current collegiate head football coaches, such as Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, and former football coaches, such as Knute Rockne and basketball coach Digger Phelps and NBA Hall of Fameres Austin Carr and Adrian Dantley. Other notable alumni include prominent businessman Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., and astronaut Jim Wetherbee. .


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Notre Dame's NCAA Division I teams are known as the Fighting Irish. This name was used in the early 1920s with respect to the football team and was popularized by alumnus Francis Wallace in his New York Daily News columns. The official colors of Notre Dame are "madonna blue" and "papal gold," which are worn in competition by its athletic teams. In addition, the color green is often worn because of the Fighting Irish nickname. The Notre Dame Leprechaun is the mascot of the athletic teams. Created by Theodore W. Drake in 1964, the leprechaun was first used on the football pocket schedule and later on the football program covers. The leprechaun was featured on the cover of Time in November 1964 and gained national exposure.

The university offers 26 varsity sports, 13 each for men and women. 21 of these teams compete in the Big East Conference, while football is Independent, both fencing teams are in the Midwest Fencing Conference, the hockey team is in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, and the men's lacrosse team is in the Great Western Lacrosse League. The university marching band plays at home games for most of the sports. The band, which began in 1846 and has a claim as the oldest university band in continuous existence in the United States, was honored by the National Music Council as a "Landmark of American Music" during the United States Bicentennial. The band regularly plays the school's fight song the Notre Dame Victory March, which was named as the most played and most famous fight song by Northern Illinoismarker Professor William Studwell. According to “College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology” published in 1998, the “Notre Dame Victory March” ranks as the greatest fight song of all time.


The Notre Dame football team has a long history, first beginning when the Michigan Wolverines football team brought football to Notre Dame in 1887 and played against a group of students. In the long history since then, 13 Irish teams have won consensus national championships (although the university only claims 11), along with another nine teams being named national champion by at least one source. Additionally, the program has the most members in the College Football Hall of Famemarker, is tied with the University of Southern Californiamarker(USC) and Ohio State Universitymarker with the most Heisman Trophies won, and have the second highest winning percentage in NCAA history. With the long history, Notre Dame has accumulated many rivals, and its annual game against USC for the Jeweled Shillelagh has been named by some as the second greatest college football rivalry ever.

George Gipp was the school’s legendary football player during 1916-20. He played semiprofessional baseball and smoked, drank, and gambled when not playing sports. He was also humble, generous to the needy, and a man of integrity. It was in 1928 that famed coach Knute Rockne used his final conversation with the dying Gipp to inspire the Notre Dame team to beat the Army team and "win one for the Gipper." The 1940 film, "Knute Rockne - All American," starred Pat O'Brien as Knute Rockne and Ronald Reagan as Gipp.

Today the team competes in Notre Dame Stadium, an 80,795 seat stadium on campus. The team is coached by Charlie Weis who was named as coach on December 12, 2004, and is currently signed to coach until 2015. After four years coaching the Irish, Weis has accumulated a 29–21 record, and led his team to two Bowl Championship Series bowl games. However, the 2007 team had the most losses ever for the school. The football team generates enough revenue to operate independently while $22.1 million is retained from the team's profits for academic use. Forbes named the team as the most valuable in college football, worth a total of $101 million in 2007.

Men's basketball

The men's basketball team has over 1,600 wins, one of only 12  schools who have reached that mark, and have appeared in 28 NCAA tournaments. Former player, Austin Carr, holds the record for most points scored in a single game of the tournament with 61. Although the team has never won the NCAA Tournament, they were named by the Helms Athletic Foundation as national champions twice. The team has orchestrated a number of upsets of number one ranked teams, the most notable of which was ending UCLA's record 88 game winning streak in 1974. The team has beaten an additional eight number one teams, and those nine wins rank second, to UCLA's 10, all-time in wins against the top team. Currently, the team plays in the 11,418 seat, Edmund P.marker Joyce Centermarker, but are going to play in newly renovated Purcell Pavilion which will open for the beginning of the 2009-2010 season, The team is coached by Mike Brey, who, as of the 2006–07 season, his seventh, has achieved a 142–78 record. Just in 2009 they were invited to the NIT tournament. They got to the semifinals but were beat by Penn State who went on and beat Baylor in the Championship.

Other sports

Notre Dame has been successful in other sports besides football, with an additional 14 national championships in various sports. Three teams have won multiple national championships with the fencing team leading them with seven, followed by the men's tennis and women's soccer teams each with two. The men's cross country, men's golf, and women's basketball teams have each won one in their histories.

In the first ten years that Notre Dame competed in the Big East Conference its teams won a total of 64 championships.In 2006-07, Notre Dame's hockey season finished the regular season ranked #1. The women's swimming and diving has won 13 straight conference championships.


The Band of the Fighting Irish is the oldest university marching band in continuous existence. It was formed in 1846. The all-male Glee Club was formed in 1915.

Fight song

The "Notre Dame Victory March" is the fight song for the University of Notre Dame. It was written by two brothers who were Notre Dame graduates. The Rev. Michael J. Shea, a 1904 graduate, wrote the music, and his brother, John F. Shea, who earned degrees in 1906 and 1908, wrote the original lyrics. The lyrics were revised in the 1920s, it first appeared under the copyright of the University of Notre Dame in 1928. The lyrics are, "Cheer cheer for old Notre Dame, wake up the echos cheering her name. Send a volley cheer on high, shake down the thunder from the sky! What though the odds be great or small, old Notre Dame will win over all. While her loyal sons are marching, onward to victory!"

The chorus of the song is one of the most recognizable collegiate fight songs in the United States, and was ranked first among fight songs by Northern Illinois University Professor William Studwell, who remarked it was "more borrowed, more famous and, frankly, you just hear it more."

In the film Knute Rockne, All American, Knute Rockne (played by Pat O'Brien) delivers the famous "Win one for the Gipper" speech, at which point the background music swells with the Notre Dame Victory March. Drawing from this reference, the song has been used in mass media in situations that seemed to compel an inspirational "halftime speech". The "Win one for the Gipper" speech was parodied in the 1980 movie Airplane! when, with the Victory March rising to a crescendo in the background, Dr. Rumak, played by Leslie Nielson, urged reluctant pilot Ted Striker, played by Robert Hays, to "win one for the Zipper", Striker's war buddy, George Zipp. The Victory March also plays during the film's credits.The song also was prominent in the movie Rudy, an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, played by Sean Astin, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles.The Dropkick Murphys released an instrumental version of the Victory March, called "Victory" with the single Walk Away and subsequently with their collection, Singles Collection, Volume 2.

The song was used in the 20th season of The Simpsons in an episode called "Double, Double, Boy in Trouble", as a reference to Joe Montana, an alumnus of Notre Dame, who made a brief cameo in that episode.

See also

Further reading

  • Burns, Robert E. Being Catholic, Being American: The Notre Dame Story, 1934-1952, Vol. 2. (2000). 632pp. excerpt and text search
  • Hesburgh, Theodore M. God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh (2000)
  • McAvoy, Thomas T. "Notre Dame, 1919-1922: The Burns Revolution". Review of Politics 1963 25(4): 431-450. in JSTOR
  • McAvoy, Thomas T. Father O'Hara of Notre Dame (1967)
  • Massa, Mark S. Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team. (1999). 278 pp.
  • O'Brien, Michael. Hesburgh: A Biography. (1998). 354 pp.
  • O'Connell, Marvin R. Edward Sorin. (2001). 792 pp.
  • Rice, Charles E., Ralph McInerny, and Alfred J. Freddoso. What Happened to Notre Dame? (2009) laments the weakening of Catholicism at ND
  • Robinson, Ray. Rockne of Notre Dame: The Making of a Football Legend. (1999). 290 pp.
  • Sperber, Murray. Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football. (1993) 634 pp.
  • Yaeger, Don and Looney, Douglas S. Under the Tarnished Dome: How Notre Dame Betrayed Its Ideals for Football Glory. (1993). 299 pp.

Notes and references

  1. ND Alumni Association - Notre Dame Alumni Association
  2. Though the word Lac is singular, the university's campus actually contains two lakes. According to a legend, when Sorin arrived at the school, everything was frozen. He thought there was only one lake and named the university accordingly. {cite web|author=Cohen, Ed|url=|title=One lake or two?|publisher=The Notre Dame Magazine|date=Autumn 2004|archiveurl=|archivedate=2007-07-01|accessdate=2007-12-07}}
  3. Marvin R. O'Connell, Edward Sorin (2001)
  4. Marvin R. O'Connell, Edward Sorin (2001)
  5. Michael O'Brien, Hesburgh: A Biography (1998); Theodore M. Hesburgh, God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh (2000)
  6. Susan L. Poulson and Loretta P. Higgins, "Gender, Coeducation, and the Transformation of Catholic Identity in American Catholic Higher Education," Catholic Historical Review 2003 89(3): 489-510, for quotes.
  7. See Biography
  8. At the top 50 research universities in the U.S. about 6% of the faculty are Catholics. John T. Mcgreevy, "Catholic Enough? Religious Identity at Notre Dame," Commonweal, Vol. 134, September 28, 2007
  9. William H. Dempsey, "How Catholic Is Notre Dame?" First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, No. 183, May 2008.
  10. Michael O'Brien, Hesburgh: A Biography (1998).
  11. History & Mission, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
  12. "Do Elite Colleges Produce the Best-Paid Graduates?", New York Times, July 20, 2009
  13. Ralph Edward Weber, Notre Dame's John Zahm: American Catholic apologist and educator (1961)
  14. See Philip S. Moore, The Story of Notre Dame: Academic Development: University of Notre Dame online
  15. Una M. Cadegan, "How Realistic Can a Catholic Writer Be? Richard Sullivan and American Catholic Literature," Religion & American Culture 1996 6(1): 35-61
  16. Arnold Sparr, "The Catholic Laity, the Intellectual Apostolate and the Pre-Vatican II Church: Frank O'Malley of Notre Dame." U.S. Catholic Historian 1990 9(3): 305-320. 0735-8318
  17. See bibliography
  18. Frank O'Malley, "Waldemar Gurian at Notre Dame," Review of Politics, Vol. 17, No. 1, The Gurian Memorial Issue (Jan., 1955), pp. 19-23 in JSTOR
  19. See Ivan Meštrovic (1883-1962)
  20. See Yves R. Simon (1903-61)
  21. William S. Miller, "Gerhart Niemeyer: His Principles of Conservatism," Modern Age 2007 49(3): 273-284 online at EBSCO
  22. Thomas Stritch, "After Forty Years: Notre Dame and the Review of Politics" Review Of Politics 1978 40: 437-446. in JSTOR
  24. The Observer
  25. The Observer
  26. John U. Bacon, "The Gipper," Michigan History 2001 85(6): 48-55,
  27. University of Notre Dame

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