The Notre Dame Experience
A class meets in the Meštrović Sculpture Park.
Look at a list of the country’s top universities, and Notre Dame immediately stands out because of its religious affiliation.
But as distinctive as we believe Notre Dame’s mission is, distinctiveness alone would not create an education worth moving across the country for. The education itself must also be as strong or stronger than what is available elsewhere.
The longest-serving president in the University’s history, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., spoke to this idea some 50 years ago. In the first sentence of what is known as the Land O’Lakes Statement (1967), he and the 25 other leaders who signed it declared: “The Catholic University today must be a university in the full modern sense of the word, with a strong commitment to and concern for academic excellence.”
Notre Dame California advances the tradition of excellence for which the University, its faculty, its students, and its alumni are known, connecting the world-class education offered on our campus to the sought-after internships, research opportunities, and jobs found across the state.
What’s more, our presence in California ensures there will be new avenues for our students and graduates interning and working here to experience the indescribable spirit that defines Notre Dame, a camaraderie that has long been embodied on the West Coast by the California Notre Dame clubs.
This sense of family proceeds in many ways from the University’s Catholic identity, which is reflected in everything from the high percentage of students who engage in service to the ties that bind our alumni network to research excellence in areas that advance the common good—rare and neglected diseases, business ethics, and climate change, for instance. As a Catholic university, Notre Dame is a place where faith and reason are viewed as complementary, not contradictory, and where we embrace people of all beliefs and perspectives, Catholic or not, as valued members of the Notre Dame community.
We can be both distinctive and excellent; we can value both faith and reason; and we can give the creatively minded and the disruptive thinkers the best of both Notre Dame and California.
That is an education fit for the 21st century.