Admissions Social Media Poetry Contest Winners

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Mc 6


Sometimes it's hard to put into words what Notre Dame means to those who love it. 

Our poetry contest participants took on the challenge. From the iconic Golden Dome to our hardworking students, here’s what captured the imagination of our winners:


It Will Be More Than Just “The School I Attend” written by: Karleigh O. '25 of Waukee, IA

On a wintry day in 1842; 
Reverend Edward Sorin took possession of more than an acre or two. 
As a brother of God with a spirited imagination; 
He founded a university built on more than education. 

He named the newborn school after Our Lady; 
She sits atop the Golden Dome as students pray to her daily. 
Whether they are on bent knees at the Grotto, or in the Basilica of the Sacred
Heart; She is spiritually available to all, no matter what sets them apart. 

I lit my first candle at the Grotto when I was four; 
The hot chocolate I spilled on my dad during the football game left his skin a little
sore. After the football game was over, I was confused why we were in such a rush; I grabbed my dad’s hand as we ran across campus in all the slush. 

In one ear I could hear “Notre Dame Our Mother…” and in the other church bells
rang; We kept on running as everyone sang. 
When we arrived at the Basilica, it was then clear; 
We had to thank God for the victory we had just persevered. 

The University of Notre Dame is about tradition; 
I’ve grown up watching my dad’s persistence in living out their mission. It isn’t
just that his ringtone is the Victory March, or his closet is the ND Bookstore; In
fact, it is something beyond that, something much more. 

A wise man once said, “You don’t go to Notre Dame to learn something, you go to Notre Dame to be somebody.” 
That quote shakes down the thunder of this institution’s legacy. 
That man was Lou; 
Someone who went to Notre Dame and offered her something new. 

I will be the first woman from my family to attend Notre Dame; 
There is no other experience that can live up to this one quite the same. 
I will attend Notre Dame as I am: gentle, strong, and true; 
These virtues are ones Mary reflects upon everything I do. 

As I look at Touchdown Jesus, I am reminded that it is all in His hands;
I am ready to contribute my passions and service to whatever He has planned.



Atop the Dome written by: Taylor-Anthony B. '24 of Aurora, CO

Atop the Dome our Lady stands
And welcomes all with tender hands
Gilded in her golden frame
Is love for all and all the same
She smiles at us, her family now
With her there we all learn how
The Irish fight is near and far
A fight for who we truly are
And when we leave our Irish home
That light that glimmers off the dome
Will bring us back, back to our hope
The Lady perched upon that slope
A maiden cloaked with gold and fame
Our loving Mother, O Notre Dame!


Notre Dame written by Mary J. from Boston, MA

Open the dome and you will see 
Minds filled with curiosity 
Luminescence and glow 
The brightest minds the world has known 

Golden awards, trophies, and metals 
A campus that never settles 
For anything less than amazing 
Across the globe: LA to Beijing 

Opportunity and growth 
Networking, the most 
Sports, dorms, Irish Pride
My love cannot hide 

Small campus with a big punch 
Nothing like the rest of the bunch 
A place where you are a part of the flock 
A real treat with Our Lady on top!