University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame


We are ND. But Who Are We?

This is it—the part where you look at the great people and opportunities surrounding you and ask, how am I going to define me? How am I going to define my Notre Dame? Yes, I know. Those are some pretty big questions. But believe it or not, they don’t always require big answers and you most definitely don’t have to discover those answers alone.

You’ve probably heard 1,000 times in your short time here that Notre Dame is a special place but remember that it is not made so by the Harry Potter dinners in the dining hall, or the traditions of football Saturdays, or the miracle that is spring after the never-ending winters, or even magnificent Mary a top her resplendent dome. Notre Dame is a special place because of her special people: The professors who invite you to their homes to cook you dinner; the stranger who emails you to return your lost ID; the friends who will cheer next to you in the student section, sing next to you in Mass, and kneel next to you at the Grotto; the band members who will stop to take pictures with opposing fans on gameday; the senior RAs who will lend you their car or their ear, whatever you need most; the alumni who bring their grandchildren by your room to show them where they used to live; the housekeepers who will take the time to unlock your door or listen when you just want to chat about your family at home; the students next to you in class whose intelligence, passion, and humility amaze you every day.

You cannot leave Notre Dame, four short years from now, without taking the time to meet, spend time with, learn from, and work with these people, these people who make Notre Dame special and different from any other school, these people who mean it with every part of their hearts when they say “We Are ND.” And in four-years, if you strive to absorb all these wonderful people around you have to offer, you will become one of them. Although I’m personally in denial, apparently there is an expectation that you do leave Notre Dame. Notre Dame and her people, however, will never leave you. Class of 2017, you are ND.