The University’s intentional, long-standing residential mission arises from its Catholic, Holy Cross tradition to form communities that are inclusive of all members; dedicated to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual development of each individual; and characterized by a collective sense of care and concern for the common good and service to others.
Inspired by visionaries like Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., who grounded a Holy Cross education in the formation of the whole person through the concurrent development of the mind and heart, residential life is perhaps the most distinctive feature of a Notre Dame undergraduate experience and unlike any other in American higher education.
The single-sex, mixed-class system featuring modest-sized halls are critical elements of the residential model as are hall rectors, highly trained professionals called to be, all at once, pastors, administrators, community builders, and university resources to their residents. They are priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people, with varied backgrounds, who share life with students. Assistant rectors, live-in faculty and in-residence priests, many of whom are also on faculty at the University, supply additional layers of pastoral care and assist in the formation of each student. Senior undergraduates serve as resident assistants, providing mature role models and servant leaders dedicated to giving back to a community that shaped them.
Hall life supports students’ formation as they deepen their faith, cultivate moral virtues, develop healthy relationships, become servant leaders, and reflectively and prayerfully discern their future. Importantly, students’ participation in hall life prepares them for their life beyond the University – a reference point for how to form Christian community in their future pursuits and lasting friendships to sustain and support them through life’s journey.