The University of Notre Dame is a special place for countless people on campus and around the world! Beyond the beautiful golden dome and other amazing sites around the campus, Notre Dame students find their place here in many ways. This series shares their stories and illustrates the many ways that people find their home under the dome! This week Liam Franz shares his home under the dome as a Notre Dame basketball manager.
Whether it’s the beautiful sunshine reflecting off the Golden Dome or the Word of Life Mural mirrored on the reflecting pool, or perhaps the rich history that lives everlasting in the football stadium, each of these elements are key factors that contribute to the beauty of Notre Dame’s campus. These three locations are seen on every postcard, they are used in every advertisement, and they are the main backdrop in the majority of every Notre Dame student’s Instagram posts; however, after a difficult day of classes, I don’t find myself going to those places to find peace, rather, I seek my own “Home Under the Dome”: Rolf’s Athletics Hall.
What was once known as Rolf’s Student Recreation Center, but is now known as Rolf’s Athletic Hall, is where I spend most of my time on campus. During my time at Rolf’s, I am not consumed by my schoolwork, or engaged in a club meeting, but instead, I have the amazing opportunity to work alongside the Men’s Basketball team as a student manager. Growing up I had a deep love for basketball and I knew that I wanted to pursue it at a collegiate level. As my senior year of high school approached, I quickly realized that playing basketball at the next level wasn’t a reality. Despite that letdown, I knew I needed to not give up on my passion, which led me to where I am today. During my time at Rolf’s, I am usually participating in a few activities, such as rebounding for players who are working on their game, filling up water bottles before practice, assisting with anything needed throughout the duration of practice, working on schoolwork, or even taking some time to myself to get some shots up. Regardless of what the task is, I am loving every moment of it. While at Rolf’s I feel at home, I feel a sense of belonging, and I feel a supportive environment around me. Being a part of the manager program gives me the opportunity to work in a collaborative team environment alongside a group of my best friends. Coming into this role I only knew one person, but now, I see myself holding lifetime friendships with the group I people I get to work with on a daily basis.
Rolf’s Athletics Hall isn’t my “Home Under the Dome” due to the architecture, or any part of the building itself, but instead, it’s the community of people that I see on a daily basis that makes this place my home. On my lowest lows and my highest highs, I can always count on each and everyone there to pick me up when I feel down, to encourage me when times are tough, and to congratulate me when I have succeeded. For this reason, that’s my “Home Under the Dome”.