Once a Fighting Irish, always a Fighting Irish

July 18, 2016
The University of Notre Dame is not a dream school for the majority of prospective college students. However, there are many aspects of the school, often overlooked, that show why it deserves a much higher reputa- tion than it is generally given.

Michael Lee Loyola High School  10th grade

Michael Lee
Loyola High School
10th grade

The most prominent of these are the phe- nomenal sports teams, especially the Fighting Irish football team. As a well-known National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) team,

it has won 11 national championships and has produced seven Heisman winners, an ex- tremely prestigious award granted annually to the best player in college football in the U.S.

In addition to its exceptional athletic de- partment, Notre Dame’ s beautiful campus accommodates numerous locations perfect for both studying and relaxing after a long day of school. Most notably, St. Mary’ s and St. Joseph’ s lakes provide stunning spaces for students to rest, and are even included in the full name of the school: University of Notre Dame du Lac, or University of Our Lady of the Lakes.

However, most opponents of the school criticize the fact that Notre Dame, as a Catho- lic institution, does not draw as distinct of a line between academics and religion as some prefer. Those who attend Notre Dame, on the other hand, learn that the school holds true to its original vocation to educate both the heart and the mind. Its founder, Fr. Edward Sorin, has accurately stated that“the mind shall not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.” This admirable ambition has persisted through the years at Notre Dame, as can be seen by Fr. Theodore M. Hesburgh, the 15th presi- dent of the university, who said that“[Notre Dame is a place] where differences of culture and religion and conviction can co-exist with friendship, civility, hospitality, respect, and love; a place where the endless conversation is harbored and not foreclosed.”

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Lastly, one of the most significant charac- teristics of Notre Dame that separate it from thousands of other schools is the loyalty and fidelity it endows upon its students. Lou Holtz, the football coach from 1986 to 1996, de- clared that to“ those who know Notre Dame, no explanation is necessary. To those who don‘t, no explanation will suffice.” Senior John Lee, Class of 2017, embodies the typical ND student when he says,“ If you wish to merely expand your intellectual prowess, any of the top 50 schools on the US News will suffice. But if you wish to grow as an intellectually responsible and socially conscious citizen of the world, your four years at Notre Dame will become the most defining years of your life.”

Truly, once a Fighting Irish, always a Fight- ing Irish.

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