University of Notre Dame: Fighting for Over a Century

The University of Notre Dame is one of the oldest, most respected universities in Indiana. It’s ranked sixth on the list of the 25 largest Indiana colleges and universities, but its strength isn’t in numbers alone. Notre Dame continues to be an influential force in the academic world, and is one of the most recognizable and respected names in post-secondary education. It may have less students than classic colleges like Purdue University or widespread community colleges like Ivy Tech State College, but Notre Dame continues to be one of the United States‘ most prestigious schools.

Video tour of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana


Campus and Resources

The main Notre Dame campus is just adjacent to South Bend, Indiana, and a couple of hours away from Indianapolis. This campus is known as one of the most beautiful in the nation, showcasing the natural grace of northern Indiana. The visual symbol of the University of Notre Dame, the Golden Dome, is a large gilded structure with an ornate statue of Mary gracing its peak.  The dome can be seen from almost any part of campus and from all the major highways leading out of South Bend, similar to what the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is to Indianapolis.

Video of the Golden Dome at night at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana

In addition to the Golden Dome, the University of Notre Dame occupies over 1,200 acres of scenic paths, malls, trees, and sculpture. The buildings merge seamlessly with the natural beauty all around them. There are two lakes on campus where students can study by the water or throw each other in for kicks, and The Grotto in the center of campus is a peaceful, shaded place to rest your body and mind.

Promotional video for the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana

The University of Notre Dame has a total of twenty-eight residence halls to house its over 10,000 students. Since Notre Dame is a Catholic university, each residence hall has its own chapel where students can experience traditional Mass and contemporary services. In addition, each residence hall has its own culture and sports teams that compete between halls. Each hall also hosts its own yearly social event. These residencies are a great place to experience the college lifestyle and make friends and teammates that will last long after you’ve left the school.

The Hedsburgh Libraries are the University of Notre Dame’s comprehensive library system. This network of ten libraries is the accumulation of decades of research and writing, topping even the Indianapolis Central Library. There are over 3 million volumes of printed text in the Theodore M. Hedsburgh Library and the other nine satellite branches, in addition to thousands of microfilm units, electronic titles, CD’s, and videos. If you need help finding information in this sometimes confusing mass of titles, consult one of the library’s 175-person staff.

Video of “Touchdown Jesus,” a massive mosaic that adorns a wall of the Hedsburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana



In addition to a large campus full of opportunity, the University of Notre Dame is also awash in a surprising amount of culture, much like Indianapolis culture. Notre Dame has a long history of musical innovation, just like the Indianapolis music scene. The university’s Notre Dame Band, founded in 1846, is the oldest continuously running college band in the country.

Video of a halftime show by the University of Notre Dame marching band

Music groups from all over Indiana and the world play at the Marie P. Bartolo Center for the Performing Arts. This massive arena showcases musical productions, Indianapolis performing arts, stage shows, and displays of dance. The DeBartolo Center has hosted the New York Philharmonic, countless Shakespeare plays, and Actors from the London Stage. In addition, the university is home to Washington Hall, a concert hall that’s been around since 1882. The hall puts on both student run drama groups and professional acts.

Video of a piano concerto with the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra at the DeBartolo Center at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana

In addition to the growing music culture at the University of Notre Dame, there’s also a compelling art scene. The Snite Museum of Art can stand toe to toe with many Indianapolis art museums and houses over 20,000 works of art by students and professionals alike. It’s the location for many exhibitions by students who are going for their MFA, much like the galleries at the Herron Galleries. The Snite Museum of Art displays works from major periods of art history as well as contemporary pieces. Mediums include sculpture, ceramics, and paintings.

Video about the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana



Of course, no matter how beautiful a university’s campus is or how diverse and rich its culture is, it’s worthless without good academic integrity to make it all worthwhile. And it’s in academics that the University of Notre Dame really shines. This school is one of the most respected universities in the nation, and Notre Dame graduates are often shoo-ins for high level positions in their chosen focus.
All first year freshmen at the University of Notre Dame are required to participate in a program called “First Year of Studies”. This curriculum is designed to introduce students to the variety of majors, minors, and disciplines that are available to them at Notre Dame. They can take courses in several different subjects before deciding on a major. During this trial period, students have full access to advisors who can help them make the best career decisions possible.
Academics at Notre Dame are divided into five different colleges: College of Arts and Letters, School of Architecture, College of Science, College of Engineering, and the Mendoza College of Business. From these colleges, students can choose from dozens of different majors, including African American studies, anthropology, classical civilization, medieval studies, political science, and much more. Students can also choose to participate in international studies. The university has study abroad opportunities all around the world, including Austria, Japan, Greece, and Uganda. These are great opportunities for students to experience other cultures and see some sights besides Indianapolis attractions.

Promotional video for the University of Notre Dame’s study abroad program to Austria



The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish are some of the toughest teams in all of college sports. The blue and gold are known throughout the country as potential champions each year, and opponents often look forward to games against the Fighting Irish as opportunities for an upset. These teams are just as famous, if not more so, than any team in Indianapolis sports. The school currently has two dozen different athletic teams, including teams for basketball, football, fencing, cross country, lacrosse, and track and field. The University of Notre Dame is a member of the Big East Conference.

Video highlights of the 2008-2009 season for the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team

The Notre Dame men’s basketball team did reasonably well in the 2008-2009 season. Their overall record was 25-8, and their Big East record was an impressive 14-4. They qualified for the Big East Championship and advanced past the first round, but ended up losing in the second to West Virginia. The Fighting Irish football team, unfortunately, hasn’t fared very well in the last year or so. In the 2008-2009 season, the team posted a fairly poor 6-6 record. The Fighting Irish played inconsistently, but in a bright end to the season, they qualified for the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. During that game, they proceeded to rout Hawai’i, 49-21, leaving hope for success in the 2009 season.

Video highlights of the 2008 Hawaii Bowl, in which the University of Notre Dame trounced Hawaii 49-21

The University of Notre Dame has a number of long-standing traditions attached to its athletic programs. The Notre Dame Victory March is one of the most recognizable fight songs in the country, and it’s almost 100 years old. The nickname Fighting Irish came from a derisive newspaper article printed in the 1920’s, but has since become a symbol for the Notre Dame qualities of grit, determination, and elbow grease. In keeping with the Irish name, the mascot for Notre Dame is a leprechaun who whips up the crowd on game days.

A Tradition of Excellence

All in all, the University of Notre Dame is one of the most venerable colleges in Indiana, drawing students from all over the world. The campus has been around for over one hundred years and continues to improve its programs and aesthetics. Their academic programs are nationally recognized as some of the best around, and their athletics have a long history of domination. The school deserves its place among the top Indiana schools.

For more information on the University of Notre Dame, please visit the university’s homepage.

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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