Irish Legends: Campus Tour III

Now that spring football has wrapped up, Irish Legends resumes the University of Notre Dame campus tour.

In part one, we explored the Golden Dome, Sacred Heart Basilica, The Grotto, and the other dorms and buildings that make up what is known as "God Quad." In part two, we took a tour of the lakes. First we ventured around St. Mary's Lake, and then St. Joseph's Lake, ending our tour back at the Dome. In part three of our tour, we will begin at Corby Hall, and make our way through the legendary South Quad.

It was the summer of 1863. America was at civil war. Just south of Gettysburg, a depleted Irish Brigade, once 3,000 strong, would soon be reduced to just a hair over 500. As the Confederates approached, Fr. William Corby ascended to a small boulder, raised his right hand, and offered absolution to the entire Irish Brigade. Those that survived recalled the emotionally charging effect that Fr. Corby had on them that day. In gratitude, the surviving members of the Irish Brigade had a statue of Fr. Corby placed on the very battlefield where he gave his blessing. It is one of the only statues at Gettysburg that is not of a war general. Wishing to honor their brave priest, Notre Dame erected an identical statue of Fr. Corby, located just outside of Corby Hall. In keeping with the football tradition on campus, Fr. Corby with his right hand raised, has affectionately become known as "Fair Catch Corby."

Built in 1895, Corby Hall is home to many Notre Dame priests, including the most recognizable of all: Fr. Theodore Hesburgh. Ideally placed for the Notre Dame priests, Corby Hall is located between the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and the Grotto. While generally pretty quiet, on football Saturdays the front porch will be a flurry of activity, with alumni coming back to shake hands and exchange stories with the priests that once served as their professors or hall rectors.

To the immediate northwest of Corby Hall, you will find Bond Hall, home to the prestigious Notre Dame Classical Architecture Program. If you hang around Bond Hall long enough, you will likely catch a glimpse of a number of student zombies. No, these aren't the Zahmbies of Zahm Hall, but rather the stumbling, droopy-eyed, creatures known as "Arkies." Their countless hours of hard work in the architecture studios, leaves them with minimal sleep and limited social lives.

Now if you have ever been to Notre Dame for a football Saturday, you will know Bond Hall for something else: The Marching Band's "Concert on the Steps." Each game day, about ninety minutes before kickoff, the 380+ members of the Notre Dame marching band cram together on the steps of Bond Hall and play for a crowd of thousands. The band plays the traditional Notre Dame football songs, as well as a preview of the upcoming halftime show. They then proceed to the Dome where they will step-off across campus and into the stadium. After the concert, but prior to the step-off, the various sections of the band have their own rituals. The trumpets will play inside the dome, and the drum line will perform their exciting drum circle at the base of the steps. However, if you ever want to see a true drum circle, you will need to meet at the base of the dome on the midnight before a big game.

Alongside Bond Hall is the beginning of South Quad. Here is where you will find the most game day activity on campus outside of the tailgating lots. Plan on saving some room in the stomach because you will be walking by the famous Knights of Columbus Game Day Steak Sandwiches, as well as numerous other student-run grilling stations. You will also be able to catch the band marching through on their way to the stadium, and enjoy a game of catch on the large grassy lawn.

At the far Western end of South Quad is the Rockne Memorial Building. Built in 1938, "The Rock" has an old field house aura about it. The inside of the building has a strong scent of chlorine mixed with sweat, which comes from the pool and the various athletic activities one can find inside. From rock climbing to racquetball, squash, swimming, weightlifting, martial arts, and of course pick-up basketball, "The Rock" is your one-stop recreational facility if you live on the West side of campus. Newer facilities are available to students over on the far East side of campus, but they simply do not have the same nostalgia that comes with working out at "The Rock." Notre Dame students and other visitors to "The Rock" will notice a bust of Rockne located just past the front desk. Tradition says that you should rub Rock's nose for good luck. Over the years, Rock has been rubbed so frequently that his nose is completely worn down. A word to the wise: avoid the water fountains at all costs, unless you like the taste of metal deposits in your water.

At Notre Dame, physical fitness and participation in athletics is strongly encouraged. With over 50 different team sports offered through intramurals and club sports, it should be no surprise that Notre Dame has a very active and healthy student body. In fact, when Sports Illustrated ranked their top 100 "Jock Schools," Notre Dame came in No. 2, only behind the Bruins of UCLA. Notre Dame also believes in the importance of swimming as a life skill. As freshmen, Notre Dame students must pass a swim test, or enroll in swimming lessons as part of their physical education class. Athletes get no free pass here, just ask some of your favorite football players how they enjoyed their swimming lessons and kickboards.

Behind "The Rock" is Notre Dame's 9-hole campus golf course. At one time an 18-hole course, the public course gave way to the expanding campus and the dorms of West Quad. Notre Dame now boasts the beautiful 18-hole Warren Golf Course, located just North of Campus, across Douglas Road. These days you can't find a better value than the 9-hole course at Notre Dame. Students can buy a season pass for $30 for a semester, or play winter rates at only $3-$5 a round. There is nothing quite like walking down the fairway with the Golden Dome shining through the clearing, and the backdrop of the Notre Dame campus.

Back on South Quad, as you leave the Rock, you will notice Lyons Hall on your left and Pangborn Hall on your right. Today, both are women's dorms. Lyons Hall, known for its famous archway staircase, is home to some of the best views of St. Mary's Lake on campus. Built in 1925, the dormitory was converted to a women's dorm in 1974. Today it houses the Lions of Lyons Hall, and is home to a beach volleyball court and three full basketball courts. Lyons may not have the luxurious interior that new dorms have, but there is certainly no lack hall spirit. Lyons is one of the most active dorms in campus activities and social events.

Pangborn Hall, known for its large rooms and prime location, is home to the Phoxes. Originally built in 1955 as a male dorm, it converted into a female dorm in 1992. According to their website, their most famous residents included former Notre Dame basketball star, Chicago Bull, and current Bulls GM, John Paxson, as well as George Wendt, who played Norm Peterson on the classic television sitcom, Cheers. Pangborn Hall underwent a major renovation in the summer of 2002, yet unfortunately it still does not have air conditioning.

Continuing east down the quad, you will notice Morrissey Manor on your left and Fisher Hall on your right. Morrissey Manor, actually named Morrissey Hall, is one of the more unique dorms on campus. Built in 1925, in an architectural style resembling a castle more than a dormitory, Morrissey is home to approximately 260 of Notre Dame's finest men. Old-timers may remember this area of campus as "The Golden Coast" (Morrissey, Lyons, and Howard), which once marked the far edge of campus. Recent renovations to Morrissey, and athletic domination, have made Morrissey one of the best male dorms on campus. In fact, Morrissey was just recently named the dorm of the year for the 2006-2007 school year. Famous alumni of Morrissey Hall include Troy Murphy, Kelly Tripucka, Julius Jones, Chris Quinn, and Hall of Fame Boston Red Sox outfielder, Carl Yastrzemski.

Across the quad from Morrissey, is Fisher Hall, marked by the Giant Green F mounted above the front entrance. A Notre Dame dormitory since 1952, Fisher was once home to Joe Montana, LaPhonso Ellis, Orlando Woolridge, and Regis Philbin (although Philbin associates himself with his other home, Zahm Hall). Hosts of one of the greatest dorm events on campus, The Regatta, Fisher Hall has made itself a big presence on campus, despite being one of the smaller dorms on campus with fewer than 200 residents. The Regatta, as described in the last edition of Campus Tour, is an annual boat race held on St. Mary's Lake. The race encourages each dorm to design a boat, which dorm members will race for the Regatta Championship. The Regatta itself caps off a week of dorm activities, which eventually end with the Saturday race and subsequent dance. While the Regatta is held in Spring, a new tradition has begun for The Green Wave of Fisher's signature Fall event. Beginning as a way to mark the 50th anniversary of Fisher Hall, the Roof Sit has become one of the biggest dorm fundraisers on campus. Members of Fisher Hall invite residents from all dorms to volunteer to sit atop the roof of Fisher Hall in an attempt to raise money for various charities.

Found just east of Fisher Hall is the famous South Dining Hall. Built in 1927 and renovated in 1998, the South Dining Hall at Notre Dame gives that old-time feel of tradition and history. Realizing that some of the all-time greats ate at the same tables and sat in the same chairs that you eat in today is quite the experience. A little known fact is that the chairs in the dining hall are the original chairs ordered way back in 1927. Fr. Matthew J. Walsh, President of the University at the time, wanted nothing but the best quality furniture for the dining hall, so he tested it. The test? Well, Fr. Walsh threw the potential chairs down the steps of the Main Building until he found a chair that would not break. Having deemed it sturdy, Fr. Walsh ordered enough for the entire dining hall, and the chairs are still used today. The dining hall itself is a wonder of a building. With its towering Gothic ceilings and architectural nuances, a first time visitor will spend more time looking around than at the food. Once a large room surrounding a central kitchen, the dining hall was redone in 1998, and several changes were made. While the feel of the dining hall remains the same, a walk-through all-you-can-eat buffet with stations from every corner of the globe was added, and the main dining area was broken into two separate great rooms. The top floor, used for private functions, is home to the Oak Room. This room, decorated with opulence, overlooks South Quad. While the food may not be great, and it is very pricey, every Notre Dame fan should eat at South Dining Hall at least once while they are on campus. Oh, and be sure to stop by the frozen yogurt machine on the way out; just hope they aren't experimenting with some bizarre flavor.

Located across the quad from South Dining Hall are Howard and Badin Hall. Howard Hall, first constructed in 1924, was the first Notre Dame building displaying Gothic architecture: a style found with great frequency across campus today. Architecturally, Howard Hall may be best known for its double arches. The arched walkway provides a picturesque path for those walking between "God Quad" and "South Quad" or also comes in quite handy as a safe haven during a driving rainstorm. The dorm itself was a male dorm until 1987 when it was converted into a women's hall. At that time, Howard became known as the Ducks. While unable to confirm, one can only assume that the name stemmed from the 1986 film, "Howard the Duck." While a relatively small dorm, Howard still is able to bring the campus together, with their traditional marshmallow roast, held after the first snowstorm of each school year. A couple of random tidbits about Howard Hall: frequent male visitors are referred to as "Mallards" and the dorm survived a nearly devastating fire in 1949.

Originally built as an industrial school in 1897, Badin Hall was converted to a male dorm as early as 1917. One of the most unique aspects of Badin Hall is that it is the only dorm to have a balcony. According to the hall website, this was used as a party balcony as the men of Badin would hire bands to play while they danced on the roof. In 1972, Badin became one of the original women's dorms as Notre Dame became a co-educational institution. Today the Bullfrogs of Badin make up the smallest women's dorm on campus. In addition to once housing the barbershop and bookstore, Badin Hall has also been home to some famous residents. Heisman Trophy winner Angelo Bertelli once called Badin home, as did Alan Page, and former Notre Dame President Fr. Monk Malloy.

Directly next to Badin Hall is the Coleman-Morse Center, affectionately known as "CoMo" to current students. Built in 2001, it is home to the Campus Ministry offices, as well as the academic support for student athlete offices. For those just passing through, you will notice the Kugel Fountain on the first floor walkway in the center of the building. The fountain is recognizable by a 30 inch granite sphere that is kept in constant motion through the use of water jets. The sphere is essentially always floating, but because it weighs 1300 pounds, there is no threat to it becoming dislodged. The fountain is meant to represent Baptism, Community, and Service. While the fountain is quite a marvel, Notre Dame parents only wonder how many of their tuition dollars went towards funding a spinning ball of granite. Another feature of Coleman-Morse Center, is the 24-hour social space, which is used primarily as a study hall for Notre Dame students. As a courtesy, Notre Dame offers free fountain drinks and popcorn at all times. According to Notre Dame Magazine writer, Ed Cohen, who also provided information about the Kugel Fountain, Notre Dame students have been helping themselves to approximately 6,000 cups and 1,000 servings of popcorn on a weekly basis.

Prior to Coleman-Morse, stood the Old Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore. The old bookstore, which was one of the highest grossing in the United States, was replaced by a new 70,000 square foot bookstore, which is now one of the largest University bookstore's in the United States. The bookstore is also home to the Notre Dame Bookstore Basketball Tournament: The largest 5-on-5 outdoor tournament in the world. For those unfamiliar with the Bookstore tournament, teams comprised of students and University personalities (such as football coaches), play in a month-long tournament until the Bookstore champions are crowned. No team is allowed to have more than three football players, and scholarship basketball players are only allowed to play once they have exhausted their eligibility. Past MVP's of the tournament include notables: John Shumate, Tom Clements, Bill Laimbeer, Rusty Lisch, Jim Dolan, Justin Tuck, Chinedum Ndukwe and Robbie Parris.

Across from Coleman-Morse, and next to the South Dining Hall, sit Alumni Hall and Dillon Hall. Rivals from the beginning, the two dorms probably have one of the most intense relationships on campus. Only steps away from the South Dining Hall, Dillon Hall is the largest dormitory at Notre Dame with 340 residents. Dillon took over that distinction when Flanner (530) and Grace (520) Halls were converted to administrative and office buildings. Built in 1931, Dillon Hall was a major step in housing Notre Dame students on campus. According to the Notre Dame website, once Dillon Hall opened its doors, the on-campus population increased to 85 percent of the student body.

Perhaps even more famous than the Dillon Hall Big Red football team, a perennial intramural power, the dorm is known for holding the first pep rally of the season. Every year, on the Thursday night before the first home football game, Dillon puts on a production called, "The Dillon Pep Rally." The event is a far cry from Chuck Lennon and the JACC, but is far more entertaining. Dillon Hall residents set up a stage and perform various skits and musical performances. Additionally, Dillon Hall is known for what is called "Rivalry Week." In a weeklong duel between Dillon and Alumni, the two dorms battle it out to see which dorm is better. The winner is announced on Saturday night at the Big Red Dawg Dance, a combination of the Big Red from Dillon and the Dawgs from Alumni. Former alumni include: Tony Rice, Bill Laimbeer, Paul Hornung, and more recently Brady Quinn. The dorm's chapel is also named for Knute Rockne. If you ever need a late night snack, and are short on the dough, stop by Bullwinkles, located in the basement of Dillon. A late night snack shack run by the residents, Bullwinkles offers quite possibly the best value food on campus. All of the history and tradition makes Dillon Hall one of the proudest dorms on campus, which is quite evident in their dorm motto: "It's okay to be jealous."

And so we come to "The Center of the Universe," otherwise known as Alumni Hall. The dorm, which was also built in 1931, was intended to be a lodge for Notre Dame alumni to stay at when returning to campus. However, today it is one of the most storied dorms on campus, and holds approximately 270 Notre Dame men. Until the mid-1960s, Alumni Hall was almost exclusively inhabited by Notre Dame seniors. Originally part of the "Gold Coast," Alumni decided it was superior to the likes of Morrissey, Lyons, and Howard, and upgraded their status to Platinum. It was revered to be one of the top dorms to be accepted to, much like a fraternity. In fact, Alumni Hall is the only dorm on campus that has Greek Letters associated with their hall. The letters, Delta-Omega-Gamma are allowed to be displayed during Freshman Orientation, Rivalry Week, and Wake Week. In case you didn't catch it, the first letters of Delta-Omega-Gamma spell out "DOG."

Much like Dillon Hall, Alumni has a number of architectural subtleties to it in the form of gargoyles, and other sculptures. One such sculpture is of Clashmore Mike, the original Notre Dame mascot. The Irish Terrier, preceded the Notre Dame Leprechaun and is now immortalized in the walls of Alumni Hall. The signature event for Alumni Hall, which has come under recent controversy, is the annual Wake. The Wake, which is said to be a secretive event, modeled after an Irish Wake, consists of Alumni residents parading around campus in boxer shorts and ties, carrying a wooden coffin. Fr. George, rector of Alumni Hall since 1978, was carried in this coffin to the Wake Dance. Recently, the Wake became associated with heavy alcohol consumption and was forced to be toned down and renamed by University Administration. It is now known as "The Funeral."

Alumni Hall has always benefited from its location. Just steps away from Main Circle, Alumni Hall residents have always had certain advantages, whether it be making curfew or becoming a popular party dorm due to its curbside drop-off of the Saint Mary's shuttle bus. One tradition that many Saint Mary's and Notre Dame women enjoy, is the once a semester "bun run" through the 2nd floor of the Hesburgh Library. Each semester during finals week, Alumni selects a date and time to streak through the library, as a way of relieving the stress of finals week. The Dawgs come wearing nothing but masks, usually in a group of around 30 daring individuals. Famous past residents include: Jerome Bettis, Richard Lyng, James Creagan, and James Berges.

Across the quad from Dillon and Alumni sits another building that was built in 1931. The Knights of Columbus building is probably best known for its role on Football Saturdays. Beginning in the late 1950s, the Knights of Columbus members began hosting a tailgate, which included some delicious steak sandwiches. As word spread of their sandwiches, more and more people would attend to the tailgate. Eventually, the members realized that they could raise a great deal of money for charity buy selling steak sandwiches to the public. With traffic pouring in from the bookstore, the Knights of Columbus quickly became one of the most popular pre-game stops for Notre Dame fans on game day. The bookstore has since moved, but the tradition remains strong. If you want to get a steak sandwich these days, you better get there early as the lines can grow quite excessive.

As we come to the end of South Quad, you can see why this is one of the busiest places on campus. The grassy quad lays probably three football fields long, and is one of the more enjoyable places to relax on campus. That is unless you are in the middle of winter. Far too many times students en-route to class or returning home find themselves face-to-face with a snow wave. A snow wave, which is a name that was just made up for this article, is when a gust of wind picks up a small layer of snow and carries it across the quad in a violent fashion. Student can see the wave of snow from across the quad, but there is no way to avoid it, and when it does it hit you, the frigid wave sends a chilling sensation throughout the body.

Now after that brief note, let us continue on the final four buildings on South Quad. There are actually five more, but Hayes-Healy-Hurley was mentioned in the previous Campus Tour, and really has no significance that bears repeating. As we pass the giant flagpole, a popular meeting spot during crowded Football Saturdays, you will find the Notre Dame Law School on your right, separated from Alumni Hall by Main Circle. The Law School, founded in 1869, is the oldest current Roman Catholic Law School in the country. Recently, the University has approved significant expansion of the Law School, which will now extend to where the old Notre Dame Post Office once stood. Essentially the two buildings will be connected by an elevated walkway that will create an arched gateway between Main Circle and DeBartolo Quad. The addition is set to begin in Fall of 2007, with completion targeted for Fall of 2009. Rated one of the top law schools in the nation, Notre Dame Law is highly regarded in the legal world, and has produced several distinguished attorneys. Keeping true to the values and goals set forth by the University, the Notre Dame Law School attempts to live up to their motto: "Educating a Different Kind of Lawyer."

Literally feet away from the Notre Dame Law School is the Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering. Constructed in 1979, the 146,000 square foot building is actually a bit of an engineering marvel itself as the two largest of its five levels are located underground. These underground levels are where you will find many Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Labs. Fitzpatrick, like many of the buildings on South Quad is draped with ivy that blooms as the weather warms. While drab in the winter, when the ivy turns green, the quad comes alive.

Across the quad from Fitzpatrick Hall is Riley Hall and the home to the Industrial and Fine Arts Program at Notre Dame. When the weather is warm, you can walk by Riley and see all of the artwork that goes up for sale produced by Notre Dame students. Not surprisingly, there are many talented artists at Notre Dame, which is quite apparent when the sculptures go on display on the quad.

The last stop on our tour is the eastern bookend of South Quad: O'Shaughnessy Hall, also known as "O'Shag." O'Shag, home of the College of Arts and Letters, was originally built in 1953. Marked by its large clock facing South Quad and ivy covered walls, O'Shaughnessy Hall fits seamlessly in with the surrounding architecture on South Quad. The building, designed with the original blueprints for an elementary school was never adjusted when the building was built. Therefore, the water fountains and specifications were geared towards smaller and shorter people. Over the years these have been altered, but the building still has a very grade school feel to it. When you first enter the main doors of O'Shag, you will sense a familiarity, but you may not be able to place it. In fact, O'Shag played the interior of Holy Cross College in the movie Rudy. The long hallway entrance has since been replaced with the Dean's suite, but the great room foyer still remains the same. Inside, you'll find Waddick's, a Coffee shop which always has a "hasn't showered in a week" smell to it, although that is likely to come from the loyal arts and letters students that frequent the shop religiously. O'Shag is primarily a classroom building, but the front foyer is used to display several class projects throughout the year. Also in the front foyer is a connection to the Snite Museum of Art. The free museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and keeps a good flow of new exhibitions throughout the three floors of collections.

Well, that was certainly a long tour. I thank you if you've made it this far into the article. Next time we tackle Notre Dame's newest quad, West Quad, hit the bookstore and visitor's center, and swing our way through DeBartolo Quad. Hope to see you back for more. As always, check out the Members' Board for visuals to accompany the tour. Top Stories