Our Stories

Notre Dame is committed to diversity in our University community because it is a moral and intellectual necessity. As a Catholic university, we at Notre Dame believe every human being possesses the dignity of being made in God’s image, and every culture reflects God’s grandeur. Diversity enriches our social interactions and intellectual lives by exposing all of us to approaches and frames of reference that challenge our unexamined assumptions.

Yet our coming together on campus is only the start; we must cultivate community among us if we are to harvest the benefits of diversity. By working together, we come to appreciate how the gifts of each individual enrich the lives of every individual and the community as a whole.

We hope through the stories we share below that you may better understand and appreciate the diversity we strive to foster among our students, faculty, and staff.

Fulfilling her purpose with hands, heart and mind

Carrie Gates Jantzen

In her dissertation research, Abigail Jorgensen found that many women associate motherhood with struggle. It’s something she can relate to. While pursuing her doctoral degree in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, she brought home her newborn in the midst of the pandemic. Then, five months later, she contracted COVID-19 in November 2020

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One whistle changes everything

Sue Ryan

If you follow Notre Dame football, you’ve seen John Sexton on the field for every home game for the past four years. You may not have noticed him much for his first few seasons. He was usually one of the last guys to take the field. As a senior, though, John got his turn at the front of the rotation....

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Toward a more sustainable future

Erin Blasko

Growing up in a suburb of Cleveland, Audrey Miles dreamed of being a writer. Then a high school teacher introduced her to the so-called central science. “I had a really excellent chemistry teacher who made a huge difference,” she said. It may have helped that, like writing, chemistry seeks truth and understanding from within.

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Coming full circle: Blake Ziegler finds politics, God and a good life at Notre Dame

Tracy DeStazio

“The mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart,” said Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. This core University of Notre Dame mission and vision is one that spoke to the heart of graduating senior Blake Ziegler ever since his middle school days at Holy Cross School in his hometown of New Orleans.…

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Blazing a family trail: First-generation student Karen Angeles earns doctoral degree in engineering

Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Not a single member of Karen Angeles’ extended family in southern California had ever attended college. It just didn’t seem like a realistic possibility because it had never been done before. But Angeles didn’t stop at college—she continued onward to Notre Dame to get a doctoral degree in structural engineering.

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Class of 2023: Meet six ND Law graduates who have become a ‘different kind of lawyer’

Denise Wager

Notre Dame Law School’s mission is to educate a “different kind of lawyer.” Our graduates learn to view the practice of law not only as a profession but also as a service to others and the common good. This weekend, we celebrate commencement for our Class of 2023. Each student in the class had their own story when they first...

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