Along the journey of applying to Notre Dame, it’s almost impossible to go the whole way without hearing about traditions. They are an integral part of what makes Notre Dame… Notre Dame. Zany games, campus-wide activities, feats of crafty nautical engineering – the students of Notre Dame have, over several generations, developed their own dorm-life traditions known as signature events. Each on-campus undergraduate dorm has an event that they host for the benefit of the ND community. Here are six spectacular signature events to satiate your hunger for all things Irish:
1. Keenan Hall’s Muddy Sunday
Every spring, the men of Keenan take it upon themselves to clean up the White Fields behind Moreau Seminary, in preparation for one thing and one thing only – volleyball! Around 150 teams (8-10 people each) around campus sign up to get down and dirty in a casual tournament. All proceeds made from the event are whisked away to a worthy cause – the Habitat for Humanity.
2. Farley Hall’s Pop Farley Week
The ladies of Farley Hall take it upon themselves to plan a whole week’s worth of fun winter events in honor of the great Father John “Pop” Farley, for whom the dorm was named. Events include Skit Night, a visit to Pop’s grave, and adorning Farley Hall with festive decorations just in time for the Christmas season.
3. Fisher Hall’s Fisher Regatta
What better way to pay tribute to your namesake than hosting an outrageous one-on-one boat-racing tournament on St. Mary’s Lake? Students all around campus create their own boats, rafts, barges, or canoes, and race down the lake in the spirit of friendly competition and/or crushing their foes as their makeshift vessels crumble and sink. The even was even ranked as one of ESPN’s Top 100 College Events.
4. Ryan Hall’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
Basketball is challenging enough. Playing it on wheels and creating a tournament out of it ups the ante quite significantly. To support Whirlwind Wheelchair International (a foundation that builds sturdy, sustainable wheelchairs for those in need), the residents of Ryan Hall put on a traditional 5-on-5 bracket style tournament at the Hammes Bookstore Basketball Courts. It’s a great way to prove your skills on the court while contributing to a very worthwhile cause.
5. Carroll Hall’s Carroll Christmas
The entirety of Carroll Hall becomes a souped-up palace of lights and merry wonderment. Horse-drawn carriages make their way to the front, as a giant Christmas tree shines a bright and colorful light beyond the lake. Christmas-themed comedy events, a basement dance party, and a meeting with Santa’s elves are just some of the fun things the men of Carroll have in store for you at the peak of the winter season.
6. Badin Hall’s Polar Bear Plunge
Around late February, students walk down to St. Joseph’s Lake to willingly partake in an excruciatingly cold yet exhilarating plunge into icy cold waters. Badin residents sell tickets and T-shirts to participate, and all proceeds benefit the Hope Initiative. Show off your fun swimsuits, and regret your decisions later!
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do on campus. Every dorm loves to put on their signature event to contribute to Notre Dame’s continuously exciting culture. New traditions form each year, giving every new student a very real chance to make something lasting and great happen right under the Golden Dome.