Looking across South Quad for the first time, I saw something I never expected to see on a college campus, something I thought had been relegated to the world of elementary school playgrounds: a teeter-totter.
In the middle of the quad, two girls went up and down, all the while shouting into their megaphones.
My tour guide explained that it was one of Howard Hall’s signature events, Totter for Water, a 24-hour affair where Howard girls raise money to help bring clean water to impoverished areas. Anyone can ride the totter and donate to the cause, but the Howard residents gladly take shifts to cover the entire period. (As their next-door neighbor, I can confirm – they really do teeter-totter at 4 a.m.!)
Built in 1924, Howard was the first dorm named after a layperson, Professor Timothy Edward Howard. Its Gothic influences are seen in its distinctive and gorgeous arches. Affectionately known as “the Ducks” after their mascot, Howard residents can be found spending time together in their lounge (the Pond), attending their fall SYR, known as the Howard Hoedown (last year’s theme was Space Hoedown!), or doing amazing things around campus.
Howard hosts many events for the whole Notre Dame community to enjoy. Aside from Totter for Water, they’re also known for Howard Halliday, a Christmas celebration where you can decorate a mini tree for your room, make gingerbread houses, send candy grams to your friends, and more. Every year, the Howard Hall community also holds their beloved Chapel Crawl, attending Mass in every single dorm chapel throughout Lent. Students can live in any dorm to attend the Masses. This helps build community within Howard and across campus!
Seeing Howard Hall’s spirit and energy on my first campus visit encapsulated everything I love about this school – and the Howard girls continue to embody the best of Notre Dame!
They’re some of the sweetest, funniest people I’ve met, and their tight-knit community of 150 residents is a powerful example of the Notre Dame family. One of their favorite sayings, “Ducks fly together,” is true—make friends with a Duck, and she’ll stick by your side!
Howard Hall, thanks for being the best sister dorm (and sisters!) I could ask for.