A place of inspiration

Author: The editors

Inspiration has run through the lifeblood of the University of Notre Dame since its famed conception — when a French priest was moved by Notre Dame, Our Mother. With her as a beacon, Father Sorin, CSC, came to Indiana to build a Catholic school in which young men could be educated both intellectually and spiritually.

Another priest, Father Hesburgh, CSC, was later inspired to bring that same mission to women. He also moved young people everywhere to stand up for civil rights, to join the Peace Corps, to serve impoverished nations.

Knute Rockne stirred a nation, too — a diverse nation of football fans and of immigrants, and proved to them what grit and hard work and persistence could win.

Since then, the University has had Sister Jean Lenz, Emil Hofman, Monk Malloy, Gregory Crawford, Carolyn Woo, Carl Ackerman, and countless more, all who transformed the lives of generations of students.

Photo by Barbara Johnston

Inspiration is sought in all corners of this campus, too. From an evening stroll to the Grotto, to a sunrise run around the lakes, to a misty morning on the quad, this place exudes inspiration in its natural beauty.

But amid the grand and well-known stories of inspiration that have weaved their way into the lore and identity of this University are the smaller strands — the fleeting moments, the unknown people, the little-seen places that change lives.

There are dining hall workers who offer a joke and a candy bar to students struggling with a day’s burdens. There are professors who quietly encourage their students to do more than earn a living. There are rectors who have shed their cloak of authority in order to offer warm support and quiet solace in times of need. And there are seemingly magical places at Notre Dame that transform into what we need when we need them.

Didn’t you have one of those moments? When Notre Dame somehow touched your life?

We want to hear about them. We’re looking for quick insights, 100 words or fewer, that tell of your inspirational moments, places and people. Please send them to thunt5@nd.edu by August 5 and we’ll print a selection of them in the autumn issue.