All About Breen-Phillips

Author: Catherine O'Leary

Catherine 2

Who are Sir Breen and Sir Phillips?

According to the Internet, William P. Breen and Frank B. Phillips are two alumni benefactors whose financial support facilitated the construction of my current home. Little did these two men know that their donations would lead to one of the strongest women’s hall communities on Notre Dame’s campus today. Before BP could become home to 190 Notre Dame undergraduate women in 2020, it would first serve as a men’s dorm (until 1939, which in my opinion, is too recent), a residence hall for naval officers during WWI, and home to the University’s Athletic department. In fact, former legendary Notre Dame Football Coach Frank Leahy's office used to reside in what is now the BP workout room. I don’t know if this knowledge necessarily motivates me to work out more, but it certainly is a fun fact. 

BP in 2020 certainly looks different than BP did 81 years ago upon its opening. With spacious and inviting common rooms on each floor, community is encouraged to foster within the dorm no matter your major, interests, or class year. BP has six sections among four floors, and each section truly has its own character, as evidenced by the wide variety of fun and elaborate decorating themes. Each December, residents of each section spend countless hours meticulously decorating their section with Christmas decor for BP’s competitive annual Christmas decorating competition. While I am a current resident of the fourth floor, I will always be a 3South resident at heart (351 aka my former one-room triple is my one true home), and 3South is two time reigning champions of the Christmas decorating competition. Keep it up, ladies. 

I love BP for a lot of reasons. One reason is its size. BP is one of the smallest women’s residences, and this allows for a tight-knit community. You’ll know every girl in your year in BP, and you’ll know many upperclassmen as well. Events like Welcome Weekend also allow the older girls in BP to get to know the freshmen. I’ve made some meaningful relationships with students who are the year below me, many of which began when I was an ambassador at Welcome Weekend. Out of all dorms to get placed into randomly, I believe that BP is unique, and this common identity leads the women of BP to feel a sense of commitment to one another, whether they are best friends or looser acquaintances.

BP’s signature event is the Meal Auction, which is an annual charity fundraiser benefiting Meals on Wheels. We auction off both the classic auction items and a few nontraditional ones, such as lunch with Coach Kelly, Coach Brey, and Father Pete. Each year, the auction items get more creative, and these efforts go toward a great cause and result in inner dorm bonding. 

BP is frequently lauded for its optimal location, as it sits in close proximity to buildings where most students frequent such as O’Shaughnessy, Hesburgh Library, and North Dining Hall. I too, love BP’s location, but instead because its a prime spot to witness interesting men’s dorm traditions, such as the ramblers of Siegfried jumping into the fountains of Stonehenge or the men of Knott Hall sporadically leading chants around North Quad. Who’s the Better Pasquerilla? Oh yeah, it’s BP. 

I could not be happier with my randomly assigned residence hall. While BP is truly amazing, I really do believe that your hall is what you make of it. I’ll always be a babe at heart, and I am excited to see the new ways in which BP continues to make our community special.