After years of letting myself down I resolved this January to ban from my New Year’s forecast any resolutions to change my ways, to improve my life, to make myself better in any way.
The Spirit campaign has reached its lofty goal, but here’s where things really stand.
This isn’t Don Nelson’s final issue. But it’s close.
This afternoon I watched the press conference introducing Brian Kelly as Notre Dame’s next new football coach. I’m on board
A few decades ago, when I began reading seriously about our search for the divine in nature, I ran across a quote from John Stewart Collis in The Triumph of the Tree
So here you are, sitting on a bench by Notre Dame’s Main Building, trying to figure it out.
A few years ago I stuck a peace sign on the back of my car. It was uncharacteristic of me. I’m not a bumper-sticker guy.
I’d never been in the spectator gallery of the Rockne Memorial swimming pool. But there I was, watching my kids take their first-ever swim lesson.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of my all-time favorite movies. Like two of my all-time favorite books, The Catcher in the Rye and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the movie is essentially the story of the individual versus society — a favorite theme of mine.
In 1970, a few weeks before I enrolled as a freshman at Notre Dame, a group of us Louisiana high school friends chipped in on a rudimentary beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama. For two weeks we reveled in a celebration of one of life’s most consequential passages.
It’s a tension that has animated the University for decades: the push toward the upper echelon of American higher education and the pull of Notre Dame’s Catholic character.
An anthropologist who studies the behaviors of that fickle human subspecies — the consumer.
Notre Dame Magazine has launched an experiment. It’s the magazine’s new and improved website. And a whole new way of doing stuff there.
OK, here’s the deal. Some months ago, mapping our plans for the magazine’s revamped website, we thought it’d be good to do blogs, write blogs, find other folks to write blogs for us.
Welcome to the magazine’s new website.
It’s a question I’ve been answering for 30 years: What are students like today?
I am 56 now, and I have come to know that family stories have no endings.
I came to work at Notre Dame 28 years ago because I believed in the place. I’d had a great undergraduate experience, but it was a document written a few years later by Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC, that got me to commit to a career in South Bend, Indiana.
The statement set the University into its historical context and acknowledged the continuity of institutional life as it had evolved from the vision of its founder, Rev. Edward F. Sorin, CSC…
The USC football team came to South Bend in October to play the Fighting Irish, and 45,000 fans showed up in Notre Dame Stadium for . . . the Friday night pep rally.
Any doubt that the new coach had had a seismic impact on the sweeping cultural phenomenon that is Notre Dame football was dispelled that electric evening. Those who saw the next day’s game were treated to one of college football’s most dramatic climaxes in recent memory—and further evidence that something special was taking place this fall. Notre Dame football was back. And for a school that derives much of its identity from the fortunes of its football team, it’s been a grand revival indeed.…
We came from Dallas and Dubuque, Joliet, Bennington, Shreveport and Grand Rapids. Alton, Illinois, and Warren, Ohio. Pittsburgh and Saint Louis and Walla Walla, Washington. These were our hometowns—and the answer to that question asked of all who come to Notre Dame: “Where ya from?”
Some of us had outgrown those places; some of us couldn’t wait to get out of town. We all were filled with the hopes and horizons promised by a new life at Notre Dame. We had left childhood behind. We stood at the threshold of tomorrow, the launch toward dreams, the beginning of the rest of our lives. It didn’t take long for those cities and towns to feel very far away, dropping into the past like booster rockets falling back to Earth—no longer needed—as the spacecraft sails splendidly toward outer space.…
One of the storyteller’s tasks is to know where to begin. It can get complicated sometimes because there are no clear lines of demarcation in life. There’s no set boundary between now and then. We carry the past around with us. Every starting point derives from what came before.
It’s also complicated because each of us is a mixture of ingredients—from our genetic inheritance to memories still fresh in our minds, from the cognitive circuitry of the cerebral cortex to the layers of invisible forces that drive behaviors, guide decisions, touch our souls, make us who we are. And as we try to figure out just who we are, we realize how much of our makeup comes from outside of us. Our parents, our upbringing. The neighborhood we grew up in, the teachers we had, the experiences that affected our lives.…
Richard Sullivan was one of the giants here. He taught English lit and writing classes, and he wrote a book about Notre Dame that he described as a love story, not a history. Published in 1951, Notre Dame: Reminiscences of an Era is a period piece for sure, but I’ve quoted it often.
I was one of the last to leave Grace Hall that Friday in January when I stopped in my tracks. Sunlight—shielded so often by South Bend’s wintry, gray cloud cover—bloomed over the evening landscape, bathing buildings and bare trees in a rosy radiance. I lingered and looked and took it all in: the western sky, the soft blush of campus, the quiet pause in the descending day. There are moments in life when clarity blooms, when currents converge or when disparate elements align in a moment that seems providential. This was one of those times.
A little more than five years ago a single-story, red-brick building that had housed a grocery and a Goodwill store at the “Five Corners” intersection just south of campus was purchased by the University. There were plenty of suitors for the ample space, but the University decided to use the facility to make a commitment to the Northeast Neighborhood, to establish a community center, educational programs and Notre Dame presence in the residential area whose health and well-being are so interwoven with the school’s.
There are troublemakers among us. They step out of line, go against the grain. They challenge the status quo, do not accept the way things are. They are dissidents, discontents, even malcontents. They do not sit at the back of the bus. They can be instigators, agitators, innovators. Rebels, radicals, revolutionaries, martyrs. They challenge the “group think.” They are a pain in the butt. They make us think. They sit in. They protest and demonstrate and perform outrageous acts for their cause, to get attention, to shake things up. They stare down a tank in the village square. They stand on the lawn of the president’s ranch until they get an explanation. They do not ask why it would be a crazy thing to do—they get in the car and go.…
It’s always a gamble having too much of any subject in one issue of the magazine. You risk losing those readers who aren’t interested in that topic—especially this one, when readers are apt to tune out stories about the plight of Third World nations. Those countries are far away and practically irrelevant to us. We’ve heard about “the starving children” of Africa or India all our lives. We’ve seen so many images of drought, starvation and disease in Ethiopia, Somalia and Rwanda, Bangladesh, Darfur and Haiti to make us jaded, callous or hopelessly overwhelmed.…
So here you are, up on your feet, standing. You do not remember standing. You do not remember the moment you rose from your seat, rose with the thousands of others, clapping, singing, swept into the rhythmic wave of song and chant and arm-waving joy, the guitar-driven music washing over you, lyrics shouted into the nighttime sky. But here you are—with a full moon glowing softly in the hazy summer sky, out over the river, the trees and fields to the west, Indianapolis skyline to your back, sparkling like a giant, jeweled city—and it feels so very good to be here. Better than you thought it would. Better than you had imagined.…
What’s to be done about the impact of 21st century immigration patterns on the American landscape? What can the United Nations do about keeping peace and averting disasters in today’s world? Why did a couple of Notre Dame professors seek the truth about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and how did they become international experts on the effect of sanctions in policing the world? What does Notre Dame’s Catholic character mean to those who work, study and teach here—even the University’s Islamic community?…
One afternoon while we were working on this issue the time seemed right to visit Father Hesburgh. It’s only natural to think of the man who presided over the University for 35 years when you’re asking Notre Dame people to write about what they’re doing here. Hesburgh has spent a lifetime answering that question, and his response has been to combat racism, promote peace, serve presidents and popes, spread justice and determinedly push his school into the front rank of higher education. In doing this (and a whole lot more) Hesburgh became one of the nation’s most prominent leaders and an exemplary citizen of the world simply by performing—he will say time and again—his duties as a Catholic priest.…
We’ve all had them—those panicky predicaments. You’re stuck and don’t want to be.
I call them “Help, Mister Wizard” moments. No one ever gets the literary allusion. No one seems to know what I mean when I punctuate some personal, cliffhanger narrative with, “It was, you know, one of those ‘Help, Mister Wizard’ moments.” Actually, it is not a literary allusion at all. It refers to a long-gone cartoon that was pretty obscure even in its heyday.…