A message from Notre Dame President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Author: Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Dear Members of the Notre Dame Family,

Today the University of Notre Dame celebrates the launch of a campaign that both builds upon our storied history and seeks to embrace the opportunities of the future.

This is Boldly Notre Dame.

One hundred and seventy-five years ago, Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C., our founder, proclaimed this bold vision: to establish a university dedicated to Our Lady, shaped by the traditions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, that would serve this new land—a ”powerful means for doing good," as he put it. When a great fire in the Main Building reduced that vision to a pile of smoldering bricks some 30 years later, an undaunted Father Sorin again acted boldly, this time vowing to rebuild Notre Dame “bigger and better than ever.”

And he did.

Following in Father Sorin’s footsteps, we remain rooted in our mission. As the preeminent Catholic research university of the 21st century, we are proud both of our unsurpassed commitment to undergraduate education and our pursuit of distinguished research and scholarship aimed at addressing the most consequential issues and questions of our time. In all of this, our identity as a Catholic institution informs and elevates all that we do, animating our education of young people and our search for knowledge and truth.

Of the top universities in the United States, most were founded with religious charters, but few have retained their religious character. Recognizing our unique place in higher education, we recommit ourselves to our core mission: to seek God, study the world, and serve humanity.

With the launch of Boldly Notre Dame, we seek to secure the resources to continue to attract and retain teacher-scholars of exceptional caliber; and to redouble our efforts to recruit those students with the talent and character to lead our nation and the world in the future.

Equally important is our continued focus on those foundational aspects of the campus experience that distinguish Notre Dame: outstanding undergraduate education, vibrant residential life, cherished athletic traditions, and a robust culture of service, all profoundly shaped by our Catholic identity and sense of family. 

The continued growth of research and discovery is fundamental to our aspirations, and Boldly Notre Dame will play a critical role in providing the resources necessary to sustain and expand research programs of global significance. It is ever more the case that our world-class faculty, working alongside our students, are pioneering knowledge that will improve the lives of people around the globe.
Our single largest, and perhaps boldest goal in this Campaign relates to student financial aid. We have committed to raising $1 billion in financial aid, so that the invaluable gift of a Notre Dame education is accessible to all qualifying students regardless of financial means.

More information about these and all of the University’s Campaign priorities can be found on the Boldly Notre Dame website.

This is the Notre Dame of the 21st century: we are a place of higher learning that plays host to world-changing teaching and research, but where technical knowledge does not outrun moral wisdom, where the goal of education has been and always will be to help students live a good human life, where our restless quest to understand the world not only lives in harmony with faith, but is strengthened by it.

This is no easy mission. But its difficulty is not our concern. If we are clear in our purpose, we will excel in our ideals. We invite you to be part of this bold vision.

Know of my great gratitude for all you do in service of Notre Dame.