Johnson Family Hall is the University of Notre Dame’s newest women’s dorm on East Quad. In the Fall of 2020, it will begin to house 225 undergraduate women. I have a special relationship with this new community because, in the Fall of 2020, I will be the President of Johnson Family Hall. It is scary but exciting to be a part of a team that will help to strengthen the Johnson Family Hall community.
In the Spring of 2019, the University gave current women the option to move into Pangborn Hall to gain a guaranteed spot in Johnson Family Hall for Fall 2020. Living in Pangborn has been a great experience, and I have met such an incredible community that is going to make the transition to the new dorm completely painless. While Pangborn as a building was lackluster, I would do it all again if it meant I got to live with the same amazing young women. Our rector is Amanda Springstead, formerly of Howard Hall, and she is amazing. Amanda is someone you can talk to about anything, no matter the time. She genuinely cares about all of us, and she has helped to create a great community.
The construction of Johnson Family Hall was made possible by the generous donation of Todd, Susan, Matthew and Hilary Johnson of Minnesota. Both Matthew (‘12 and ‘19) and Hilary (‘15) are Notre Dame graduates, and they were heavily involved in life here at the University. Todd Johnson is the CEO of his family company, Capstan Construction that deals with construction, shipping, and thermal energy. Susan Johnson works for the Duluth Public School System as a speech pathologist. The Johnson family constantly shows their care and generosity, most recently this past holiday season, they gave each girl living in Pangborn a “Johnson Family Hall” quilt. It only helped to strengthen the sense of community that we have been developing and will continue to develop.
For anyone worried about the uncharted territory of living in a brand new dorm, I hope you fear no more! Everyone is ready and willing to strengthen the community that we have started to build in Pangborn and bring it to Johnson because right now we are just Johnson community living, or as we call ourselves, "PB&J." From personal experience, I can confidently say that there is nothing to worry about. The best relationships do not necessarily need to be built in a minimum of three years, the greatness of a relationship should be measured by the quality of the connection made rather than its length. It does not matter what building we are in, what matters most are the women who live there.