First-Year Journey: Emily Fuchs '25 embraces her love of design as an architecture major

When Emily Fuchs received her admission to Notre Dame, her guidance counselor told her not to visit campus—at least, not until she knew for sure financial aid would make it possible for her to enroll. The counselor knew Fuchs would immediately fall in love when she came to South Bend. When Fuchs received notification of a scholarship offer in February of 2020, she visited and found that her counselor had been “totally right.” She fell in love with Notre Dame right away.

Fuchs has long had a passion for art and design and decided in high school that she wanted to pursue architecture. She is a first-year student in Notre Dame’s architecture program and says that the unique character of the architecture school here was one of the major attractions that led to her enrollment.

Emily Fuchs outside the Walsh Family Hall of Architecture

“No other schools that I applied to had anything that can compare to ND’s architecture program,” says Fuchs. “I am so excited to go to Rome my junior year. That kind of experience and learning in a whole new culture will be so cool.”

As a member of both the Suzanne & Walter Scott Scholarship Program and the Glynn Family Honors Program, Fuchs has embraced the challenging workload that comes with being a first-year architecture student and scholar, noting that she particularly loved her Graphics I course.

“I think my professors are very supportive and very considerate with everything that’s been going on,” says Fuchs, noting her math and philosophy professors in particular. Though those two courses were unlike anything she had ever taken at her high school in Levittown, NY, she liked that they helped her to think in completely new ways.

As a high-schooler, Fuchs was a student liaison to the Levittown Board of Education and was president of her high school’s student council. She hopes to become more involved in student government and hall council during her time at Notre Dame.

Though a number of extracurricular activities have been postponed or made virtual this year, Fuchs has joined several architecture organizations, including the Themed Entertainment Association, which holds competitions to design escape rooms and theme park experiences, among other projects.

Fuchs lives in Badin Hall on South Quad, a smaller women’s residence hall that she has loved living in due to its tight-knit community and friendly upperclasswomen who have worked to organize COVID-safe hall events throughout the year.

The overall community originally drew Fuchs toward Notre Dame, but what she loved even more was the service-oriented values of a Notre Dame education.

“What I value about ND is the fact that they put an emphasis on how you use what you learned to help the world, and what research you can do to help other people,” says Fuchs. “You’re not learning things in school just to have it in your head, but to apply to the real world and make a difference.”

Architecture at Notre Dame

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Originally published by Grace McDermott at on March 03, 2021.