Dear Notre Dame class of 2026,
Welcome to the campus of Our Lady’s university. I hope that you find this, the first issue of the Irish Rover, amidst your first week of classes, whether you knew about the Rover before arriving or merely happened across it in the dining halls or academic buildings.
As you embark on these next, formative four years of your lives—which for many of you will be your final four years of formal education—I hope you will take a moment to reflect on why you chose to come to Notre Dame.
Each new class is a varied group in many respects—Many of you have been dreaming of attending this university for your whole lives; others of you may have come to watch Clemson lose (yet again) at Notre Dame Stadium. Or, if you are like me, Notre Dame was simply the “best school” you got into, and you know very little about the university.
All of these initial reasons aside, you have now been here for over a week—surviving move-in, orientation, and the first days of classes—and I hope you have already found even more substantive reasons to love this university..
Notre Dame is indisputably one of the premier Catholic universities in the nation. According to national university rankings, she may be a fairly typical top 20 school. But something distinguishes her from the rest: her embrace of the Catholic faith. The goal of all universities is to form the intellect and character of their students. The Catholic Church holds a distinct vision of what this formation means, a vision to which Notre Dame in many ways adheres.
If you have not yet heard it in your Moreau class, you almost certainly are soon to hear the famous quotation of Bl. Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Cross:
“We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven.”
By including this quotation in her mission statement, Notre Dame calls herself to a higher end than secular universities. All that we, the Irish Rover, write throughout the year will assume these two premises: Notre Dame wants each of her children to attain heaven, and the best way to do this is through intellectual and moral formation found in the teachings of the Catholic Church. If our writing is, at times, critical of the university’s actions, it is because of our true love for Notre Dame and for the students entrusted to her care whose good we will.
The Rover was founded in 2003 as a means to articulate and defend Notre Dame’s mission as a place of Catholic higher education. It strives to engage campus life from the perspective of the Catholic faith.
There are two primary ways in which we will do this: through reporting on the peripheral aspects of the university—club events, official announcements, and various aspects of students’ residential life—and through investigating and reporting on the substance of the university: what is actually taught in the classroom.
Notre Dame has the potential to both create a faithfully Catholic environment and to offer her students a faithfully Catholic education. We hope to inform students, alumni, and friends of the university how she is or is not living up to this.
In this “freshman edition” of the Irish Rover, the editorial staff has provided a selection of archived articles from previous years and brief personal bios, and they have invited several campus clubs to write a description of what they provide to campus and why you as a new student might want to join them.
I hope that you enjoy this issue and continue to read the Rover throughout your time at Notre Dame. Do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments, and I hope to see you at the activity fair on August 29th!
W. Joseph DeReuil
Editor-in-Chief, Irish Rover