Center for History showcases University's past


The cost of a pair of Notre Dame football tickets today would have covered one year’s tuition under the Dome in 1844. The $100 fee (not including $65 for room and board) is what the five members of the student body paid when classes began that fall 160 years ago.

The story of Notre Dame?from a small, struggling frontier school with just a handful of students, to one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning?is chronicled in “Notre Dame: A Place in History,” an exhibition in the Ernestine M. Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History at the Northern Indiana Center for History, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend.

A visual timeline, including photographs and artifacts from the University’s archives, tracks the history of Notre Dame, from its founder, Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., through the remarkable 35-year presidency of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.

A life-size mural of Father Sorin, painted in 1882 and discovered behind a wall during the 1997-to-1999 restoration of the Main Building, stands at the entrance of the exhibit with a crucifix Sorin brought from France.

Trappings of early student life?including schedules with designated “toilet times,” report cards with grades for subjects such as penmanship, and a one-page, 5-by-7-inch admissions application from the late 1890s?offer visitors a glimpse into the dramatic changes of the past 160 years.

A portion of the story of football legend Knute Rockne is shown in advertisements for the Studebaker Corp. that feature Rockne, who served as spokesman for the company during his coaching years, seated behind the wheel of one of the famous autos.

Photographs of Father Hesburgh with Presidents Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Carter, as well as with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., provide a visual testimony to the political and social impact of his tenure as Notre Dame’s president, which included the admission of undergraduate women in 1972.

Architectural renderings, maps and photographs document the growth of Notre Dame’s campus through the years, and include a photo of Father Hesburgh from the early 1960s, examining an architect’s model of a silver space-age chapel encircled by several high-rise dorms.

“Notre Dame: A Place in History” was researched and designed by staff from the University’s archives and the Center for History, with funding provided by Notre Dame and Ernestine M. Raclin, chairman emerita of 1st Source Corp. and 1st Source Bank and a life trustee of the University.

The Northern Indiana Center for History is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission ranges from $3 to $8.

For more information about the exhibit, call 574-235-9664 or go online at .

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