The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






University of Notre Dame

Not to be confused with the University of Notre Dame Australia

University of Notre Dame du Lac

Motto Vita, Dulcedo, Spes (Mary, our) life, sweetness, and hope
Established 1842
School type private
President Edward A. Malloy, CSC
Location Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
Campus Suburban 1,250 acres (5 km²)
Enrollment 8,261 undergraduate
1,564 graduate
1,486 professional
Sports teams The Fighting Irish
Mascot The Leprechaun

The University of Notre Dame is a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning located in Notre Dame, Indiana, USA adjacent to the City of South Bend. Notre Dame's picturesque campus sits on 1,250 acres (5 km²) containing two lakes and 136 buildings.



The school was founded in 1842 by Rev. Edward Sorin and French priests who were members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Indiana General Assembly incorporated the school on January 15, 1844 under the name University of Notre Dame du Lac.

While the translation of Notre Dame du Lac is "Our Lady of the Lake," the university actually has two lakes on its campus. According to legend, when Father Sorin arrived to found the school, it was November and everything was frozen. He thought there was only one lake, and named the university accordingly.

Rev. Edward A. "Monk" Malloy, CSC, PhD, is the 16th President of the university. He is serving his third five-year term. Malloy is also a full professor in the Department of Theology. Malloy also played varsity basketball for the Irish hoops squad while earning his Bachelor's degree in English (1963). Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, DPhil, will succeed Father Malloy in June 2005.


Colleges and Schools

  • First Year of Studies

Established in 1962, the First Year of Studies is the college to which all incoming first-year students are admitted. Students are not in a major during the first year; rather, students make a declaration of a tentative intended program. Through the structure of the curriculum, the First Year of Studies responds to their uncertainty regarding the choice of college and major that many first-year students experience. The first-year curriculum also accommodates the academic needs of the students who have well-defined interests and have made a commitment to a specific college and major. In addition to the academic advising component of First Year of Studies, the Learning Resource Center provides workshops in learning strategies, time management, collaborative learning, and tutoring.

  • College of Arts & Letters

Established as the University's first and only College in 1842, the College of Arts and Letters is the largest of the four undergraduate colleges. Housing eighteen departments in the fine arts, the humanities, and the social sciences, the College awards the Bachelors of Arts degree in over fifty areas or concentrations, the Masters degree in twenty-three fields, and the PhD degree in ten. The curriculum of the College offers students a contemporary version of the traditional liberal arts education. The faculty and administration of the College are dedicated to the Catholic concept of the unity of knowledge across disciplines, the life of the mind, and the critical engagement with the whole of human experience. Arts and Letters students are encouraged to view themselves as participants in and heirs of a rich intellectual and spiritual tradition.

Established in 1921, the College of Business seeks to advance knowledge through distinguished scholarship and research balanced with inspirational teaching and spirited service. Undergraduate degrees are offered in Accountancy, Finance and Business Economics, Management, Marketing, and Management of Information Systems. The College of Business also offers full-time and part-time MBA programs and is ranked among the Top Tier MBA schools in the United States by US News and BusinessWeek 2004 rankings.

  • College of Engineering

The College of Engineering was established as a distinct unit of the University in 1920, although a program in civil engineering was offered in 1873. It is now organized into the departments of aerospace and mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering and geological sciences, computer science and engineering, and electrical engineering.

  • College of Science

The University of Notre Dame awarded its first bachelor of science degree in 1865. Today, the College of Science offers curricula leading to the degree of bachelor of science in biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, mathematics, physics and preprofessional studies.

  • School of Architecture

Courses in architecture were taught at the University as early as 1869 and the School of Architecture has offered formal instruction in architecture since 1898. Today, a five-year program leading to the degree of bachelor of architecture is offered. The program is accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board and the curriculum conforms to NAAB requirements for the professional degree in architecture.

  • The Graduate School

Founded in 1918, the Graduate School comprises four divisions-engineering, humanities, science, and social sciences-and the School of Architecture, and includes thirty departments and programs offering master's and/or Ph.D. degrees in most of the major humanistic, scientific, and engineering disciplines. The University also offers professional studies leading to the M.B.A. and M.S.A. degrees in the Mendoza College of Business and the J.D., L.L.M., and J.S.D. degrees conferred by the Law School, as well as the M.Div. in the Department of Theology.

  • Law School

Founded in 1869, the Notre Dame Law School is the oldest Roman Catholic law school in the United States. The Notre Dame Law program aims to educate men and women to become lawyers of extraordinary professional competence. Its national program is designed to equip students to practice law in any jurisdiction.


Its athletic teams are known as the Fighting Irish. Exactly where and how Notre Dame's athletic nickname came to be never has been perfectly explained. One story suggests the moniker was born in 1899 with Notre Dame leading Northwestern 5-0 at halftime of a game in Evanston, Illinois. The Wildcat fans supposedly began to chant, "Kill the Fighting Irish, kill the Fighting Irish," as the second half opened. Another tale has the nickname originating at halftime of the Notre Dame-Michigan game in 1909. With his team trailing, one Notre Dame player yelled to his teammates - who happened to have names like Dolan, Kelly, Glynn, Duffy and Ryan - "What's the matter with you guys? You're all Irish and you're not fighting worth a lick." Notre Dame came back to win the game and the press, after overhearing the remark, reported the game as a victory for the "Fighting Irish."

The most generally accepted explanation is that the press coined the nickname as a characterization of Notre Dame athletic teams, their never-say-die fighting spirit and the Irish qualities of grit, determination and tenacity. The term likely began as an abusive expression tauntingly directed toward the athletes from the small, private, Catholic institution. Notre Dame alumnus Francis Wallace popularized it in his New York Daily News columns in the 1920s.

Another such example is that of Father William Corby and the Irish Brigade of the American Civil War, dubbed "The Fighting Irish."

The school has a comprehensive and nationally competitive Division I athletic program, but it is most famous for its football program. Claiming 11 national championships, Notre Dame football is considered one of the most storied college football programs in America. Notre Dame is a member of the Big East Conference in all sports except for football, in which it maintains its status as one of a small handful of Division I-A independents; and hockey, which is not sponsored by the Big East. Its hockey program competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Notable Alumni

Academia and literature

Arts and media


Politics and government



External links

Last updated: 05-18-2005 14:14:03