I was working last week with David R., a late 1980′s University of Notre Dame Alumnus, at a mutual client project.
David knew of my passion regarding ND and during one lunch he was filling me in on the ND campus.
It is very different from where I went to college.
I went to St. Michael’s College which is part of the University of Toronto. It is a large university by some standards: three separate campus locations with the St. George campus (approximately 8,000 faculty and staff, 26,000 full time undergraduate students, 12,000 graduate students) situated in downtown Toronto.
Spending my 4 undergraduate years there was like working in the city in the sense that the campus was fully integrated within the city.; several major hospitals are within a 1/2 mile due south of the campus; the financial district another mile or so further south; heck, the Ontario Provincial Parliament is just about smack dab in the middle of the campus.
As David described it to me, the Notre Dame campus is the opposite.
You know the scene in the Rudy movie where the Rudy character arrivesat campus and approaches the security guard at the security station? Well, that is the norm for the campus entrances. It is extremely rare for a car to even be on campus according to David … as well as the University of ND site. Everyone walks to all parts of the campus. U of T, my Alma mater, had a total of 3 subway stations within the campus itself … as well as of course cars everywhere.
No fraternities; 27 single-sex residence halls … 14 male and 13 female dorms; members of the opposite sex are not permitted within individual dorm rooms after midnight Sunday thru Thursday and after 2 am Friday and Saturday. Only students and those with special University activated identification cards are permitted to enter the dorms.
As for alcohol, according to David, the University has very strict discipline code regarding consumption in residences as well as walking around campus …. something which I will just call the 2 strike rule. And, this applies to everyone …. including the athletes.
Of course mostly everyone already knows that Notre Dame, unlike many colleges, does not have an varsity athlete’s only residence; rather, it places the athletes just like any other student when it comes to residences. This would, in my opinion, help to ground the varsity athlete who is on scholarship, into a ‘regular’ life (as much as one can have in being a scholarship athlete), meeting and mingling with ‘regular’ students.
The campus per David is incredibly picturesque with the two lakes, countless trees, varied architecture styled buildings including the Gothic Basilica and of course the Golden Dome. It was one of the many, many found memories which David mentioned as we talked.
From reading up on the campus and talking with David, I can see why parents would feel very comfortable sending their children to attend the university without any hesitation. Since Harvey and I will have lots of free time on our hands during the week leading up to the BC game I look forward to taking walks to soak up all of the campus scenes and serenity. I’m especially interested to visiting the Grotto in person.
Some of the buildings we will not be able to visit. For example, during football season there are no tours of the stadium. That’s OK by me. If this is my mid-life crisis, I can’t think of any place I would rather be even with access restrictions.
Yes, lots of pictures (such as all the pictures in this article from my subsequent first visit) will be taken, just like the countless visitors to the campus, during our visit this fall; heck, some of them might even come out in focus!
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