As Fr. Jenkins noted, the timing of this report coincides with an unprecedented period of physical growth for our University. While these new buildings are clear examples of the remarkable stewardship of our financial resources, it is worthwhile to note not only how these projects come to be, but also why.
Each year, Notre Dame is blessed by the generosity of benefactors whose love for the University manifests itself in providing the means for future generations to come here and receive an unsurpassed educational experience. The level of engagement and support of the University among our alumni, parents, and friends is the envy of many in higher education, and is a major contributing factor in our ability to continue to attract some of the brightest young minds from around the world.
“…an unprecedented period of physical growth for our University.”
Clearly that is the case with the class of 2019, who arrived on campus this fall. These young people are representative of Notre Dame’s strong tradition of bringing students with a combination of scholarship, leadership, and a service-minded outlook to our campus. During their high school careers, 35 percent of the class of 2019 headed a student organization; 45 percent were captains of a varsity sport; and over 90 percent participated in community service. Academically, this class rates among the top 15 in the nation for national research universities. In the past five years, applications at Notre Dame from the academic top one percent of the nation have gone up 67 percent.
Students are attracted to the University in part because we continue to break new ground in a wide array of research endeavors. Two Notre Dame biologists are leading an international project aimed at preventing malaria and dengue fever, after receiving a $23 million grant, the second-largest single grant awarded in our University’s history. We’ll learn more about the formation of our universe as our nuclear astrophysicists begin experiments a mile underground in a remote part of South Dakota. And the University’s work at personalizing medical treatments is garnering national and international acclaim.
These are the hallmarks of the spirit of Notre Dame: the researcher working in a lab, the student studying for an exam, the benefactor supporting the University’s collective work—all do so because they have been compelled by the mission of the University. I am grateful for the perspective they provide as we advance that mission.
John F. Affleck-Graves
Executive Vice President