Weekly Update for Admitted Students and Families: 4/13/20

Author: Enrollment Division

The Notre Dame Family is Real

Kerry Temple

I was 17 the first time my father hugged me. He was looking over my shoulder as I read the letter from Notre Dame—the one in the big, thick envelope that said I had gotten in. He threw his arms around me in a big bear hug, lifted me off the ground. He burst into laughter. I can still feel and hear that jubilant reaction 50 years later.

That night in 1969 I also learned he and my mom had dreamed of sending a son to Notre Dame when they talked about starting a family after getting married after World War II. Neither had gone to college. My mother’s household had no father. My dad was poor, too, shuffling between northwest Louisiana and east Texas before serving in the war.

I was 12 when a local high school sports star signed to play at Notre Dame. “It’s every Catholic boy’s dream to go to Notre Dame,” he announced in the local paper. I was a Catholic boy; Notre Dame became my dream, too.

It wasn’t easy at first. Everyone was smarter than I was; the workload was hard. There wasn’t much of a social life then, and the South Bend winter was tough on a southerner 1,000 miles from home. But I never doubted that I had found my place.

It was a world of ideas and learning, of deep friendships and life being explored all-out. Football weekends, pickup basketball games and thoughtful walks around the lakes, good books, and challenging, mind-illuminating lectures — and late-night conversations in Farley Hall when we’d talk about God and the meaning of life, the mystery and wonder of this amazing universe. And our place in it. What we should do with ourselves.

While I’ve had many blessings since, I can’t recall a time when I was more excited by the verve of every day, and lived with so many good, caring, and committed people—who liked their fun, too. A time when I enjoyed such freedom to chase after ideals and truth, surrounded by so many sharp and dedicated teachers, to find my way through personal solitude and happy camaraderie.

I spent four years here as a student and have worked here for 40 more. I came back and stayed because I believe in what the place is all about. The Notre Dame family is real. That’s never been more obvious than in these stressful days and weeks of coping with the disruptions and threats of COVID-19.

In many ways, I still feel like I did when I was a student, reading, learning, enthusiastically sharing what I find, grateful to be part of it all. But the place belongs to the students. It’s theirs for the brief time they are here. Savor it all—the highs and the lows, the challenges and the triumphs. Though time is fleeting, Notre Dame will live in your heart and mind and soul forever.

Kerry Temple ’74 is editor of Notre Dame Magazine.

Watch videos about clubs and student activities

500+ Student Clubs and Activities

Whether it's something that you have been a part of for many years or something new you would like to try, our Student Activities Office (SAO) gives you the opportunity to get involved, through more than 500 recognized clubs and organizations.

At the start of each campus tour, our student tour guides introduce themselves and talk about the various clubs and organizations they are a part of at Notre Dame and beyond.

Watch the videos to see a sampling of the involvement our students have on our campus.

To see a listing of our clubs and organizations, along with contact information, visit our SAO website.

Watch videos about clubs and student activities

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Every college at the University offers community engaged courses, where students engage outside of the classroom to learn about and address pressing issues.

Experiential learning is an engaged learning process where students “learn by doing” and by reflecting on the experience.

Activities can include hands-on laboratory experiments, internships, community engaged learning, study abroad, undergraduate research, and studio performances, among other activities.

Notre Dame provides many funded opportunities for engaged learning as well.

Learn More

Watch The Spirit of Encounter program Video

The Spirit of Encounter

We know that all students benefit from gaining a global perspective based on first-hand experiences with other cultures. But certain concerns held students back from studying abroad even before the current worldwide health crisis.

One new program through Notre Dame International is providing practical solutions to students' concerns and introducing them to travel in the "spirit of encountering." The program will be available to students once our study abroad programs are up and running again.

Read the full story.

Watch Video on the The Spirit of Encounter program

Office of Student Enrichment

Office of Student Enrichment

From homework help to football tickets, The Office of Student Enrichment is dedicated to supporting under-resourced and first-generation students in the transition to life at Notre Dame.

Click the button to learn more.

You can also watch last week's ND Live event on First-Generation Student Life.

Learn More about the Office of Student Enrichment

Watch Coffe Break with Arienne Thompson Plourde '04

Arienne Thompson Plourde '04

Meet Arienne Thompson Plourde '04, a history graduate and self-proclaimed "Notre Dame nerd." She now works as public relations director for MoKi Media.

Watch the video to hear how she valued "learning in every sense of the word" at Notre Dame.

Alumni News:

Many Notre Dame alumni are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Check out Be the Light to learn how they are making a difference. 

Watch the Faith at Notre Dame Video

VIDEO: Faith at Notre Dame

How can I explore my faith at Notre Dame? 
Do I have to go to Mass?
What if I'm not Catholic?

We know you have questions about faith at Notre Dame. Director of Campus Ministry Rev. Pete McCormick, C.S.C. and student panelists are here to answer them.

Watch the Faith at Notre Dame Video

View ND LIVE Webcasts

Join Us LIVE Online This Week

Tuesday, April 14

Wednesday, April 15

Thursday, April 16

Tuesday, April 21

Thursday, April 23

How to Join:

Watch your email on the date of each event for a link to join.

Click the button to view a full schedule and recordings of past webcasts.

Learn More about ND Live webcasts

Watch the Question(s) of the Day Playlist

Residential Life and Housing

We can't wait to welcome you to Notre Dame! In the meantime, we know you have questions about how housing works for first-year students.

Here, admissions counselors get specific and answer your top three questions on residential life at Notre Dame.

View the full Question of the Day playlist for more Q&A.

Watch the Six Tips for New International Students Video

Take Our Advice: Six Tips for New International Students

Going to college abroad is a big adventure, but there are plenty of resources at Notre Dame for international students.

If you're coming to Notre Dame from a country outside of the United States, check out International Student and Scholar Affairs and watch the video for tips from current international students.

Watch the Six Tips for New International Students video

Wellness Resources

Wellness at Notre Dame

At Notre Dame, we strive to help all students flourish and that starts with helping you stay healthy. Learn about the health and wellness resources that are available to help you stay physically, mentally, and  emotionally well during your time as a Notre Dame student.

Concerned about special dietary needs? From offering nutrition and allergen information to helping students with personalized food safety action plans, Campus Dining will support your nutritional needs.

Check out Sara Bea Accessibility Services for information on accommodations, including those for food allergies and mobility impairments.