A leading Roman Catholic institution of higher learning, the University of Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame, adjacent to the city of South Bend, Indiana. The university has been ranked among the nation’s top 25 institutions of higher learning by the U.S. News and World Report.
The university was founded in 1842 by Reverend Edward Sorin and French priests, who were members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. On January 15, 1844, it was officially chartered by a special act of the Indiana State Legislature under the name University of Notre Dame du Lac. Initially, it was a university in name only and primarily included religious novitiates, preparatory and grade schools, and a manual labor school.
Strategic changes in the history of the university occurred between 1863 and 1873. During these periods, the university added courses in Physics and Geology (1863) and established the College of Science (1865). It is also credited with the founding of the nation’s first Catholic Law School (1869) and School of Engineering (1873). In 1879, its main building was destroyed by a disastrous fire, and in 1889, Sorin Hall became Catholic higher education's first student residence with private rooms.
After the death of Sorin in 1893, Father John A. Zahm, a brilliant scholar, joined the university. During the 1930s, the university expanded its curriculum by adding programs in Biology, Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics, under the leadership of a series of distinguished European scholars. Later, the university saw tremendous changes during the 35-year tenure of Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C and Father Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C.
Presently, the university is a private, coeducational, national Catholic research university serving over 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It encompasses four under graduate colleges: Arts and Letters, Science, Engineering, and the Mendoza College of Business, School of Architecture, Law School, Graduate School, 10 major research institutes, and more than 40 centers and special programs. Further, the university library system serves the student community with its holdings of two million volumes and three million microform units.
Set on 1,250 acres with two lakes and 137 buildings, the university campus is rated the second most popular tourist attraction in Indiana. Highlights include the 14-story Hesburgh Library with its 132-feet-high mural depicting Christ the Teacher and the 123-year-old Main Building with its famed Golden Dome. The university is also home to a host of cultural events, which are presented in its state-of-the-art Marie P. DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts and the Snite Art Museum with a collection of more than 21,000 works.
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Notre Dame and the CIvil War by James M. Schmidt.
While many institutions of higher education made great sacrifices during the Civil War, few can boast of the dedication and effort made by the Univers...