Irish Legends: Campus Tour IV

Welcome back to another segment of the Irish Legends Campus Tour. It's been a long time in between sessions, but let us pick up where we left off. Last time you may remember that we started our tour at Corby Hall then traveled up and down South Quad. Today we will explore West Quad and DeBartolo Quad as we make our way over towards Notre Dame Stadium.

For those that have been away from campus for the past decade, West Quad will be completely new to you. Officially opened in 1996, West Quad consists of a 24-hour restaurant located on the back of South Dining Hall, and four student dormitories with a fifth opening in fall 2008. The quad became necessary with the conversion of Flanner Hall and Grace Hall into administrative offices, and currently sits on the land which used to be the Notre Dame golf course, before being reduced to nine holes.

In August 1998, the University of Notre Dame introduced the first 24-hour restaurant located on campus. Designed as a modern art café, it became a place for students to use the internet, watch television, play video games, view live music performances, or just hang out. Fittingly, the University named the restaurant Reckers, after Clement Reckers: the first student to enroll at Notre Dame back in 1842. Today, you can find a variety of meals choices, including Reckers' Artisan Sandwiches, Burgers, Brick-Oven Pizza, Starbucks Coffee, Ice Cream, and the overly popular Freshen Smoothies. Reckers offers table seating, lounge chairs, sofas, and a large outdoor patio which is frequently used during warm weather. If you are ever on campus, check out Reckers for some decent food at a reasonable price. Of course, if it happens to be a football weekend, anticipate a line out the front door and potentially down the sidewalk.

Exiting out the front door of Reckers, you will notice Dillon Hall to your immediate left, and the West Quad Dormitories straight ahead. From left to right, they are known as Welsh Family Hall (female), Marilyn M. Keough Hall (male), O'Neill Family Hall (male), and McGlinn Hall (female). To the far right will eventually be another male dorm: Duncan Hall.

Officially named Robert and Kathleen Welsh Family Hall, the dorm opened its doors to students in the fall of 1997. Robert Welsh, a Notre Dame alumnus, is a Trustee Emeritus of the University and at one time served as a member of the Board of Regents of St. Mary's College; the alma mater of his wife, Kathleen. The Welsh Family continues to be active supporters of the hall, participating in several dorm events and fund raisers.

As the 1997 school year begun, Welsh Family Hall welcomed-in the former residents of Siegfried Hall, which was being converted to a male dorm with the closing of Flanner and Grace Halls. Home to roughly 260 young women, Welsh Family Hall has become well known for its athletics, both on the varsity level and the interhall scene. Despite being one of the two newest women's dorms on-campus, "The Fam" is known as a perennial football power, already claiming three interhall football championships, and always in the mix for another. On the varsity level, Welsh Family Hall was home to two members of the 2001 Women's National Championship Basketball team: current Notre Dame assistant coach Niele Ivey and current San Antonio Silver Stars center Ruth Riley.

Like every dorm on campus, Welsh Family Hall hosts their traditional signature events. In the fall, they partner with brother dorm, Keough Hall, to host the Welsh Family Block Party. The carnival-like event, brings support from local vendors to help raise money for charity. The dorm also sponsors Welsh Family Feud, a Notre Dame-version of the famous game show, which encourages teams from every dorm to participate for the championship. Recently, Welsh Family Hall has also started The Welsh Family Dance Show, held in Washington Hall, as a way to show off campus talents and raise money for charity organizations. The sponsored dorm charity for Welsh Family Hall is the Touching Tiny Lives Orphanage in South Africa. The organization, founded by Ken Storen-Notre Dame '92, is committed to helping the young children of Lesotho, South Africa, who have been impacted by the sweeping AIDS epidemic.

Separated only by a small courtyard and a barbecue pit is Welsh Family's brother dorm, Marilyn M. Keough Hall—home to the Keough Kangaroos. Keough Hall was named for the wife of Donald Keough: a Notre Dame Laetare Medal Honoree (the highest honor awarded by Notre Dame), and designated by the University as a life trustee. Donald Keough and his wife donated funds to establish the Irish Studies Program at Notre Dame, which led to partnerships with University College Dublin and Trinity College in Ireland. Outside of Notre Dame, you may recognize Donald Keough as the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Coca-Cola Company, and current Chairman of the Board of Allen & Company Incorporated in New York City. Mr. Donald Keough and his wife Marilyn have remained active participants within the University of Notre Dame. The charity that Keough Hall has sponsored is Camp Kesem: a summer camp for children whose parents have or currently are battling cancer.

Home to nearly 300 ‘roos, Keough Hall was once voted Notre Dame's "preppiest" male dorm. Collars popped or not, the dorm celebrates three signature events that continue to get bigger each year. The "White Wedding" is a dance that consists of a skit and mock wedding performed by Keough residents. In the spring, the "Aussie Fest" is a celebration of Australia, featuring a beach volleyball tournament, and a barbecue. The main event, however, is the "Keough Chariot Race." Traditionally performed in the fall, the day is highlighted by human chariot races on the McGlinn fields. Each of the twenty-seven dorms, along with each of the seven sections within Keough Hall, is allowed to build a chariot, usually made out of wood and rubber tires. Each dorm designates a number of resident "horses" to pull the chariots, as well as a rider. Most chariots survive a straight-ahead sprint, but the fun comes when taking the first corner of the oval race track. More than a few chariots' wheels have come off over the years, causing some exciting and rather violent crashes. To pass time in between races, there are jousting stations available and mud wrestling pits to entertain the masses.

In addition to the signature events, Keough Hall has gained a reputation for athletics, specifically in baseball, hockey, and basketball. In fact, the dorm won the championship in the latter two sports this past school year. Finally, if you happen to be in Keough Hall late at night and want something other than the nearby Reckers, you will find some of the finest pizza known to man in Keough Kitchen. The student-run pizza parlor, offers students and visitors large pizzas and breadsticks for a bargain of a price. The Kitchen is only open Sunday through Thursday nights, as the guys need to set aside ample time for studying on Friday and Saturday evenings. In case you were wondering, Keough Hall has been home to its share of notable residents in recent years: Shane Walton, Joe Brockington, Travis Thomas, and Dutch Phenom: Tom Timmermans. Keough Hall has also been home to the sons of NBC's Dick Ebersol and actor/comedian Martin Short.

Passing through the Keough courtyard, you will notice a familiar site. It is O'Neill Family Hall, and it looks familiar because it has the same architectural floor plan as Welsh Family Hall. Built in 1996, O'Neill is the rival of Keough Hall. The Angry Mob, or officially just known as "The Mob," the 270 residents of O'Neill Hall are proud and full of dorm spirit. In 2004-2005 and 2006-2007, O'Neill Hall took home Male Dorm of the Year honors. O'Neill and Keough are where the majority of Grace Hall residents matriculated after the school closed the dorm in 1996. In memory, today the two schools battle for the Grace Cup, given to the winner of the section football champion. Rumor has it, the actions of some former Grace residents contributed to how O'Neill Hall got its name. In protest of the University closing Grace Hall, some residents formed together and burned small bonfires to get the University's attention. The scene was described by some as that of an "Angry Mob." The men of O'Neill decided to embrace the name and adopted it as the dorm's nickname.

The signature events for O'Neill Family Hall have varied over the years. What once began as Mardi Gras has now evolved into the Ms. ND pageant. Today, the dorm sponsors a competition in which each female dorm enters a representative into the pageant, in hopes of claiming the crown and status of Ms. ND.

Unique to the dorm is the O'Neill Coat of Arms, unveiled in Spring 2007. The Coat of Arms features two Latin mottos: "Mobilium turba Quiritium" which literally translates into "A crowed of inconsistent citizens" (a mob), and "Fratres in Unum" which translates into "Brothers as One." In addition to the mottos, the Coat of Arms bears the O'Neill Family Crest, the Red Hand of Ireland, and the Scripted "O'" which is the recognized Notre Dame symbol for O'Neill Hall. For those wanting to learn more about the Coat of Arms and the "Bloody Red Hand of O'Neill," feel free to visit the O'Neill Hall Dorm Website.

The dorm was dedicated in honor of Joseph O'Neill Jr., a member of the Notre Dame class of 1937 and funded by the O'Neill Family. The charity sponsored by O'Neill Hall is none other than Charlie Weis' Hannah and Friends, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with special needs. Over the years, O'Neill Hall has seen its own fair share of famous residents: Darius Walker, David Givens, Geoff Price, Maurice Stovall, and most famous of all…Jason Zimbler, known for his role as the red-headed Ferguson on Nickelodeon's Clarissa Explains It All.

Just West of O'Neill is the home of the McGlinn Hall Shamrocks. The female dorm, sits in an ideal location for recreation, as it is surrounded by four basketball courts, two beach volleyball courts, the Notre Dame 9-Hole Golf Course and practice green, and the open McGlinn Fields, which have been traditionally used to open fall football practice and the site for numerous interhall athletic teams.

McGlinn Hall, a gift of Notre Dame Trustee and Alumnus Terrence McGlinn and his wife Barbara, houses nearly 300 Notre Dame Women. The dorm, whose layout is identical to Keough Hall, first housed students in the fall of 1997. As Welsh Family Hall welcomed the former members of Siegfried Hall, McGlinn was opening its doors to the former residents of Knott Hall, which was also transitioning to a male dorm.

Rich in spirit, the girls of McGlinn have started plenty of their own traditions over the past decade. While most dorms attend pep rallies in their dorm t-shirts, McGlinn girls go a different route, sporting green togas to the Friday night festivities. The togas periodically show up at various events throughout the year, and wearers are immediately recognized as McGlinn girls. Another tradition which has become an annual signature event, is Casino Night at McGlinn. The event, traditionally held in South Dining Hall, is an excuse to socialize, gamble, and simply have fun. The proceeds of the event always go to charity, which for McGlinn is the Catholic Worker House in South Bend. The Catholic Worker House provides aide to poor and homeless families in the South Bend area, and is located just blocks from campus.

Just under construction, and to the west of McGlinn Hall, will soon be Duncan Hall. The dorm, a gift from Ray Duncan—a Notre Dame alumnus from the class of 1952 and one of a long line of Notre Dame alumni in the Duncan family—is set to open in the fall of 2008. While many students look with envy upon the residents of West Quad for their large rooms, air conditioning, new furniture and prime location, it is without question that Duncan Hall will be looked at as the most luxurious of all Notre Dame dormitories. The dorm will be home to approximately 232 young men, who will be spread out between singles, doubles and triples. However, the lucky residents to find themselves in one of the dorm's quads, will be greeted with bay windows and private bathrooms within their suite. To fully appreciate the grandeur of a bay window and private bathroom, you just have to spend a few minutes in one of the older dorms, where the sunlight is all but blocked by furniture crammed up against windows and mornings begin with a journey in flip-flops to the dank restrooms used by generations of past Notre Dame students and visitors. Then again, Duncan residents will not be able to claim that they may share the favorite stall as some Notre Dame Football Legend many years before them.

Just a short walk from West Quad is the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. The typical West Quad resident gives out directions to lost bookstore seekers about two or three times a day during football weekends, so feel free to ask. Compared to other colleges and universities, Notre Dame's might be considered more of a department store than a campus bookstore. Yes, they still sell books at the bookstore, along with just about everything and anything that can be branded with a Notre Dame logo. You can try to resist it, but inevitably you will find yourself walking out with multiple items just about every time you visit campus. The 68,000 square foot, two-floor shopping Mecca is designed in traditional Gothic architecture, and accented with multiple archways, two grand staircases, and a cherry trim finish. On football weekends, the bookstore is packed with customers and regularly hosts celebrity book signings in the front foyer. The overlooking second floor balcony provides an ideal photograph opportunity for visitors, or simply an escape for air to those wanting to relieve themselves from the crowded bookstore aisles.

Perhaps more famous than the bookstore itself, is the tournament that shares its name. The Annual Notre Dame Bookstore Basketball Tournament is the largest five-on-five outdoor basketball tournament in the world. Since its inception in 1972, the Bookstore Basketball Tournament has seen almost 15,000 teams made up of students, faculty and staff, participate in the month-long event which crowns a champion in late April of each school year. Tournament rules prevent Division I basketball players from participating in the tournament unless they have exhausted their NCAA eligibility, and even then, they are limited to only one participant per tournament entry. Notre Dame football players may participate in the tournament at a maximum of three players per team, although no more than one football and one basketball player may participate on the same team. Former participants include two U.S.A. Basketball Olympians, Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Brown, and fifteen individuals who have been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated; including Joe Montana, Lou Holtz, and NBA great Bill Laimbeer.

Recently, as the tournament has grown in public interest, the top seeded teams have been offered sponsorships by local businesses, who provide uniforms in hopes that their team will advance deep into the field. In the early rounds, the tournament is as much a social event as it is an athletic competition. Students dressed in the most unusual costumes will show up, often times after a heavy pre-game celebration, and attempt to score twenty-one points before their opponent. The gusty winds and cool temperatures of South Bend in early Spring limit outside shooting and place a premium on inside scoring. For this reason, and the fact that athletes are athletes, football players have traditionally done well in the tournament. Still, for the average Notre Dame student, getting the chance to take Brady Quinn off the dribble, block a shot of Bookstore Behemoth Justin Tuck, or steal the ball from Rocket Ismail, provides students with years of storytelling material, even if their team is walloped by double-digits. Traditionally, nearly every student that passes through Notre Dame will participate in at least one bookstore team, which makes the tournament one of the most unique and entertaining spectacles on any college campus.

If you are tired of reading about the campus of Notre Dame and want to experience it for yourself, the first place you should visit is the Eck Visitors Center. Located opposite the bookstore, the Eck Visitors Center is the starting point for all public and private tours. Tours are available year round and usually run between 75 and 90 minutes long. The trained tour guides provide little known facts and share with you the secrets of Our Lady's University. If the weather is poor or you want to try and interest someone in attending Notre Dame, ask someone at the front desk if you can view the short video in the private movie theatre. The video shares a little insight into the tradition and atmosphere that makes Notre Dame such a special place. Also located in the Eck Visitors Center is the Notre Dame Alumni Office. The venue and outdoor patio is regularly used for various alumni cocktail receptions throughout the school year. Also, if you happen to be lucky, you might find an extra football ticket or two available the day before a home game at the reception desk.

Walking up Notre Dame Avenue, as you approach main circle, you will notice the only hotel on the campus of Notre Dame. The Morris Inn, which is closed to the public on football weekends and commencement weekend, was originally built in 1952 and was renovated last in 1996. Recently each of the 92 guest rooms received a wall-mounted high definition television, to help add a modern feel to the very traditional hotel. The main floor has a very country-club-like feel to it, which is accented nicely by Sorin's Restaurant and Leahy's Lounge. Sorin's provides a fine dining experience within a casual and comfortable setting. Prices are a bit steep for the South Bend area, but an entire meal can still be had for around $40 or less per person. Inside of Sorin's, which was named for Fr. Sorin—founder of Notre Dame—you can find some rare historical items. Framed on the wall, you can view copies of the original contract and blueprints for the construction of the famous Notre Dame Administration building, each drafted on only a single sheet of paper.

If you are looking for something more relaxed, an alternative can be found right next door in Leahy's Lounge. Order yourself a basket of wings, a sandwich, a beer, and soak in the ambiance that celebrates one of the greatest coaching minds in the history of sports: Mr. Frank Leahy. Relive the moments from Leahy's six undefeated seasons at Notre Dame, through audio and visual memorabilia inside the lounge. Talk Notre Dame football at the bar or simply sit back and take in the surroundings. If you feel the need for fresh air, simply take a walk outside to the large patio space behind the Morris Inn. On gamedays this area is used for luncheon and tent parties, but most days it is open to the public.

Back out the front door of the Morris Inn, you will be facing Notre Dame Avenue. To your left is main circle, Alumni Hall and a great view of the Dome. To your right is the Notre Dame Visitors Center, and Cedar Grove Cemetery. The Cemetery, established by Fr. Sorin in 1843, became property of the University in 1970 and marks the southern edge of campus. In 1977, Notre Dame closed the cemetery to the public and limited burials to Notre Dame faculty, staff, and long-tenured retirees. With a limited space to begin with and burial requests higher than ever, Notre Dame had little choice but to place restrictions on those who could be buried in the cemetery. However, recently announced in its "Coming Home" campaign, the University of Notre Dame will once again open up the cemetery to alumni of Notre Dame and members of Sacred Heart Parish, only they will have to be laid to rest above ground. In-ground burials will continue to be offered exclusively to Notre Dame faculty and staff, but above-ground crypts and niches will be available to alumni and parish members that wish to "Come Home" to Notre Dame.

Across Notre Dame Avenue from the Morris Inn, is the future home of the Notre Dame Law School expansion. For many years, this spot was home to a small building that served as the Notre Dame Post Office. When the Post Office relocated, the building transitioned into the University Counseling Center. Now the building is gone, but great post office memories, such as those standing in line behind an angry and sweaty Digger Phelps (who just wanted to buy stamps) will remain forever.

A little further down Notre Dame Avenue, sitting on the edge of DeBartolo Quad, you will find the 48,000 square foot McKenna Hall, which is home to the Center for Continuing Education. Built in 1966, the building is designed with every possible type of seating arrangement in mind. The primary objective behind the building was to offer a place for people to come and educate themselves on various topics through the means of discussion. Large discussions are generally held in the auditorium, while smaller discussions are held in one of the thirteen seminar rooms. Want to discuss matters over a meal? Attend a discussion in the large dining room, or feast on one of the catered banquets held in the main reception area.

Now that you are all thinking about food, consider our next stop to be one of the finest dining locations on campus: The University Club. The club, whose members include faculty, staff, alumni and friends, is one of the more revered social organizations in the Notre Dame family. A host to dozens of social gatherings each year, the University Club offers members a forum to discuss families, friends, politics, and of course Notre Dame Football. Inside the Club you will decide between different dining rooms depending on the size and intentions of your gathering. The largest room, known as the Rathskeller, is designed around a large brick fireplace and showcases a vaulted redwood ceiling. Rathskellar is the German term for a restaurant or tavern, generally found below ground, although not in the case of the University Club. On the edge of the Rathskellar room, you will find another German tradition in the Stein room. Located in a large display case, is the 122 stein collection of Mr. Robert H. Gore. Mr. Gore donated the University Club as a memorial to his wife back in 1958, and with it, his collection of steins dating as far back as 1860. If you ever find yourself attending the University Club, be sure to remember that dinners are always formal, and bring your reading glasses because the menu is quite extensive.

One door down from the University Club is the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Named for former Notre Dame President, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the center is home to the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Inside the building, are multiple library collections and some of the finest resources on international studies. In addition to the endless volumes of literature, you will also find Greenfield's International Café. Greenfield's serves both lunch and breakfast, but is probably better known for it breakfasts. It is one of the few places on campus where you can sit down, relax, read the newspaper and have your meal served to you.

For those of you familiar with our next building, you may have heard it referred to as Regis Philbin's building. Well, let us not give Regis too much credit. The building is known as the Marie P. DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, but Regis does in fact have a studio theatre in the center, for which he donated $2.75 Million. Opened in September 2004, the "PAC" as referred to by students, is a state of the art $64 Million, 151,000 square foot gothic-style marvel. Inside, you will find a stadium seating movie theatre with a capacity of 202, a tri-level performing arts theater that seats 360, a concert hall with seating for 952, Regis Philbin's 100 seat studio theater, a tall-narrow organ choral hall that seats 100, and a total of 177 individual rooms each serving a different purpose within the grand spectacle of the performing arts. At the present time, the PAC is probably the most elegant and impressive building on campus. An impressive upgrade from Washington Hall, the PAC has elevated Notre Dame's performing arts facilities to an elite level. While the building may not be as large as other performing art centers, it efficiently utilizes the space that it has, and creates an intimate environment for audiences to enjoy the performances. The main financial contributor for the PAC and the rest of DeBartolo Quad, is of course the DeBartolo family.

A 1932 civil engineering alumnus of Notre Dame, Edward J. DeBartolo may best be remembered as the "Father of the American Shopping Mall." He also purchased the San Francisco 49ers, which he would pass on to his son, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., who later passed it on to sister Denise DeBartolo York, former championship owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Mary's College alumna. Edward Jr. and Denise, donated the Performing Arts Center in memoriam of their late mother, Marie DeBartolo, for whom the center is named. The DeBartolo family has been an integral part in the expansion of Notre Dame, including a $33 Million grant given to the University in 1989. With that grant, the DeBartolos helped fund the entire DeBartolo Quad, including DeBartolo Hall which serves as the primary classroom facility on the campus of Notre Dame.

Whether you have ever stepped foot on Notre Dame's campus or not, you probably know what DeBartolo Hall looks like; you may just not know it yet. DeBartolo Hall is located right next to Notre Dame Stadium. Every time that NBC goes to the blimp shot, you will see what appears to be a row of buildings that look like milk cartons. That row of milk cartons is DeBartolo Hall. Constructed in 1992, DeBartolo Hall is a $24 Million project that contains two-thirds of all classrooms on the campus of Notre Dame. The seventy-seven classrooms include a large 450 seat auditorium, a large 250 seat auditorium, six stadium seating classrooms that hold approximately 100 students each, twenty-four large classrooms that seat 50 students, sixteen medium size classrooms that seat 30 students, and twenty-three seminar-style classrooms that seat approximately 20 students each. In addition, the building provides two computer labs, a 30 person round-table, and an additional but smaller seminar room. While the building is used primarily for classes, it also doubles as a student movie theater on weekends and provides a nice location to watch the marching band file towards the stadium on gameday.

Right next to DeBartolo Hall was the pride and joy of Notre Dame in 2006. The Mendoza College of Business is home to the Notre Dame Business School, whose undergraduate program was ranked #3 in the country, behind only the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia. Despite Notre Dame's reputation at a liberal arts university, its business program has been around since the early 1900s. In 1917, Notre Dame became the first four-year college to offer a program in foreign commerce. Under the direction of Fr. John O'Hara, Notre Dame would establish a School of Business in 1921. O'Hara's belief of commerce is one that is still embraced by the University today. He said, "The primary function of commerce is service to mankind…Business has a code of ethics based very largely on divine principles. When this code is followed, commerce can and does advance civilization. When it is overlooked by selfish interests, individual or national, every sort of injustice, from petty thievery to world war, may result."

The current 155,000 square foot building which holds the College of Business today, was erected in 1996. However, in March 2000, Notre Dame received a gift of $35 Million from Class of '73 alum Tom Mendoza and his wife Kathy. With the generous gift, the Mendozas were given naming rights to the college. In addition, the endowment allowed Notre Dame to pursue top faculty scholars and expand the College of Business' already growing network. One such scholar that was recruited to Notre Dame, was current Dean of the College of Business, Carolyn Woo. Woo, who has become a student favorite and a legend of academia in her ten years at Notre Dame, has placed a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, strategy, and organizational systems. With the contributions of Dean Woo and the financial backing of the Mendozas, Notre Dame's College of Business has escalated to a national power on both the undergraduate and MBA levels in the past five years. Despite the high praise from peers, the Mendoza College of Business will not be satisfied. Graduates of the Class of 2006 were sent home with bumper stickers that read, "We're #3…and we're not done yet."

Well, that brings us to the end of DeBartolo Quad and the conclusion of our tour session. Technically Fitzpatrick Hall is located on DeBartolo Quad, but it was accidentally included in the South Quad portion of the tour, incidentally leaving out Cushing Hall. Next time we will explore Mod Quad and North Quad, which will conclude the Notre Dame dormitory portion of the tour. After that we will explore the Hesburgh Library: home to Touchdown Jesus, Notre Dame Stadium, the Joyce Center and all of athletic facilities. Our final tour session will unveil some of the secrets and myths that are associated with Notre Dame's legendary campus, and we will explore some of the new construction that is underway for Our Lady's soil. Hopefully by the time all of that is wrapped up, football season will be on our doorstep. As always, visuals from the tour will be posted in the members' forum. Until next time….

Note: Much of the information shared in this article was found on the individual dorm and facility websites published on the official website of the University of Notre Dame. Other information was shared from personal experience, and with help from a former Notre Dame tour guide. Top Stories