Icons of all kinds have become part of our twenty-first century communication patterns. Whether emojis, signage, photographs, or recognizable graphics, all of these images aim to communicate some meaning -- sometimes in the absence of words and sometimes to summarize the words we might otherwise use. As we prepare for next week's Class of 2020 Baccalaureate Mass, we have been guided by the importance of icons to our Notre Dame spiritual life.
Be it on senior retreat, around the dinner tables of family homes, or even through the various celebrations of our graduates, we inevitably hear the refrains of a Notre Dame graduate through the words she speaks, the values she holds and the choices she makes. As educators, we are keenly aware that this growth happens through the integration of learning experiences that form the whole person within a vibrant community over the course of their Notre Dame education. Even though circumstances may be different in certain respects, students continue to explore new perspectives and broaden their world view.
The qualities that make an effective student leader, such as being a good listener and communicator, encouraging others, and being positive have long been understood. But in these times of distance learning and shelter-in-place, traditional student leadership has had to adapt and change.
In our human experience, we look at various life moments not only for what happened, but perhaps more powerfully, how that moment made us feel and what it meant to us. While the world laments the absence of what we expected, we have the ability to imagine new ways of celebrating the meaningful among us. This is what spiritual seekers do.
Each student has the opportunity to develop her leadership skills within the co-curricular program of her choice. Students develop voice and experience in our empowering environment.
In the midst of a rapidly changing world, Notre Dame's spirit and traditions remain. Whether donning crazy costumes for Spirit Week, walking downtown to attend mass, or swaying arm-in-arm while singing the alma mater, generations of women have upheld these traditions and called Notre Dame home.
Notre Dame's progressive culture of solution-finding, resource-sharing, skill-building and partnerships promotes curiosity and creativity within a unique learning environment.
A Notre Dame education extends well beyond the footprint of our downtown San Jose campus, out into the tenth largest city in the United States and the thriving center of Silicon Valley.
The Notre Dame community consists of truly some of the best students, teachers, and friends for life. Throughout these four years, I have continually been inspired by my peers, who are strong and passionate individuals. Notre Dame has not only allowed me to fall in love with learning, but has also taught me what it means to be a woman of impact. I hope to carry what ND has taught me to UCLA’s similarly diverse community as I begin the next chapter of my life. Go Bruins!
These past four years at Notre Dame have shaped me into a confident and passionate individual who strives to translate her education and resources into a better world. I have seen myself grow amidst an empowering community of thinkers and leaders, and I am so proud of who my fellow sisters and I have become. The myriad opportunities and mentors here at ND have enabled me to discover my niches in research and activism, and I am beyond excited to continue my journey as a life-long learner in the enriching atmosphere of Stanford University. Go Card!
Notre Dame has allowed me to see the potential my peers and I have to create positive change as social justice advocates, leaders, and global stewards. I am so grateful to have been surrounded by such a diverse and encouraging community over the last four years and the life-long friends I have found during my time at Notre Dame. I'm excited about the journey ahead and cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Notre Dame has taught me to seek social justice and empower others. I am so lucky to have been part of such a diverse and caring community. I am forever grateful for the friendships I have made with other students, the opportunities Notre Dame has given me, and the immense support from teachers. The opportunities at ND have allowed me to grow as a leader and discover my passion for biological sciences. I chose Chapman University for its tight-knit community, small classroom sizes, and vast opportunities available to students. Though I will miss ND, I am so excited for what comes next. Go Panthers!
Notre Dame taught me how to be a strong, independent woman and how to advocate for my community and the justice issues I am passionate about. I am so grateful that I got to spend the past four years of my life in such a wonderful place surrounded by an amazing sisterhood that gave me amazing opportunities. I will now carry all that I have learned and the experiences that shaped my high school years to West Valley. Go Vikings!
Thank you Notre Dame for helping me grow as a leader and for constantly providing opportunities for your students. I have learned so much about myself and I feel inspired to be a woman of impact wherever I go. I chose the U of R because of the amount of support they gave my family, their mission to develop responsible citizens, and the abundance of resources they provide for their first-generation students. I am proud to be a bulldog! Och Tamale!
Looking back, I would not expect myself to be where I am today. Four years have gone by so fast and, during those four years, I have come to realize where my passion lies and developed valuable skills. I wish to express my gratitude to my family, friends, and teachers who have all listened and taught me. Thank you for helping me stand up when I fall down. Thank you for shaping me into a better person. As I am about to go to college and experience how big the world is, I hope I can use my gifts to become a person of impact in this society. I look forward to attending UC Irvine as an engineering major and continuing my growth as a person.
I am overwhelmed with appreciation for all the opportunities and experiences that Notre Dame has opened up for me to explore my passions and develop a more globally conscious mindset as I go into this next stage of life. I feel that Notre Dame has given me the tools to succeed as I head off to college and beyond. To my fellow classmates, I am proud of all of our growth and compassion towards each other over these past four years. Each and every one of you has made an impact on my life in one way or another and it really saddens me that we don't get a proper goodbye. Although, I love you all and we have accomplished great things during our time at ND--this doesn't change that! We did it!
I am so grateful to the Notre Dame community for shaping the individual I am today. The supportive environment and endless encouragement from my teachers, mentors, and peers taught me invaluable lessons that I will carry with me forever. The opportunities at ND have allowed me to grow as a leader and discover my passion for engineering. I chose UIUC because of its emphasis on research and their mission to engineer technological advances for solving global challenges and creating an impact in society. I am so excited to continue my journey at UIUC!
These four years at Notre Dame have been some of the most wonderful and transformative years of my life. Being surrounded by such passionate and empowered women has inspired me to work hard and pursue my interests. Notre Dame helped me recognize my love for service and taught me how to use my voice to create change. The ND community has shaped me into the confident and passionate leader that I am today and for that I will be forever grateful. With the values, knowledge and skills that Notre Dame has taught me, I am excited to begin this next chapter of my life at Johns Hopkins! Go Blue Jays!
As a freshman, the idea of choosing a college and declaring a major four years later was extremely daunting. During my years of learning at ND, I have interacted with teachers and taken classes that not only increased my passion for learning, but also gave me confidence in my ability to apply my knowledge to the world around me. As I begin the next phase of my life, I know that my learning will only grow exponentially from here, and I have amazing memories from ND to remind me that I am a woman of impact. I can't wait to grow as a person and a life-long learner in the intellectual and justice-oriented community at UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
I'm glad to have made it out alive after these four years. Just kidding. Although these past years have been the toughest, it's given me invaluable experiences that have shaped me into the person I am now. Do not give up because you will make it out on the other side better than you were before.
Notre Dame has allowed me to become who I am today. It has introduced me to people and experiences I will treasure for the rest of my life. Although the school year did not end the way I hoped it would, Notre Dame has prepared me to face this and any other challenges I may face in the future. I am looking forward to starting the next phase in my life in Norway and am excited to discover all NTNU has to offer.
Notre Dame will always hold a special place in my heart, as I am the youngest of three daughters to graduate from Notre Dame. I am grateful for the time I've had at Notre Dame, where I have grown to become a leader and foster a passion for social justice. I chose University of San Francisco because of its familiar diverse campus and their focus on becoming a community leader and advocate, just like ND. I plan on pursuing my passion for the arts at USFCA and working hard towards art that can make a change in the world. I can't wait for my next adventure in San Francisco!
Notre Dame has taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with a community of supportive and encouraging friends and mentors. I am so thankful to everyone at ND who has made the past four years so memorable. I chose UC Santa Barbara because I know that I am not just going to get a great education, but I am also going to find another wonderful community.
Over the past four years, I have had the pleasure of growing as a leader and individual alongside the diverse Notre Dame community. Though my time at ND is ending, I will always cherish the friendships, memories and traditions that made my experience so special. As I head to college, I will also carry with me the strong affinity I gained for social justice and advocacy. I am beyond excited to continue my journey at USC next fall. Go Trojans!
Notre Dame's community and passionate drive to educate women for their lives inspired me every day as I walked on campus. I want to say thank you to a home who was always there for us and pushed us in more ways than we could think. I not only grew as a student but took many lessons that were learned in the classroom into the real world and I intend to do so as I embark across the globe to attend university in Galway, Ireland. Thank you, Notre Dame.
The past four years at Notre Dame have been special and shaped me into the inquisitive young woman I am today - a confident and fearless leader and thinker. Notre Dame's emphasis on social justice and advocacy has taught me how to use my voice and talents to help the communities around me and has helped me find my passion for community service. The support and mentorship from faculty has helped guide me through the many academic challenges I have faced and has helped me find my passion for STEM. From spirit week rallies to the warm chocolate chip cookies, Notre Dame has given me the best memories that I will forever cherish! I am so excited to enter this new chapter of my life at UIUC! Go Illini!
I never imagined that my time at Notre Dame would be such a transformative experience. Notre Dame has pushed me to grow in confidence and passion, so much so that I don’t know if I would recognize the shy, quiet freshman I was four years ago. My high school experience has yielded positive and multifaceted change, and I am thankful to Notre Dame for introducing me to the people and experiences that have encouraged this exciting change. As I take my first steps in my college journey at UCBerkeley, I can be comforted by the knowledge that Notre Dame has empowered me to strive to be a resilient and confident woman of impact.
As the first person in my family to go to a university, I am very proud to be taking this step in life. Lo hice mamá.
Entering Notre Dame as a freshman, I was completely clueless, especially being first generation American. My family came from a refugee background, so we had no idea what APs or honors were or what to expect for the college process. I was fortunate to have a supportive community at ND who guided me through my academic journey. I was given numerous opportunities that revolved around social justice activism, and I was eventually able to push myself to advocate for issues beyond my school. I have received not only emotional and academic support, but I also created close relations that will last beyond my high school career. The main reason I chose Oxy was because of the tightness of their community and the small class sizes which foster close relationships between the students and the professor; these are qualities I saw in Notre Dame and were the main traits I wanted my future college to have. Ora et labora and io triumphe!
Notre Dame’s supportive and passionate community has encouraged me to be confident in my abilities as a leader and to pursue my interests. Over the years, I have learned to step out of my comfort zone and try new opportunities that I would have never seen myself doing. I found a home at Notre Dame where becoming a Woman of Impact is not a dream, but reality. I chose to attend Northeastern University because of its strong experiential learning program, its connections to businesses for co-ops, as well as its location at the center of Boston.
Notre Dame has given me a community that values diversity and advocacy. Stepping onto campus each day, surrounded by empowered women, inspired me to work hard and recognize my abilities. I developed a love for service that allowed me to advocate for social issues that I am passionate about, such as quality education for all girls. I am moved every day by the hard work of my peers and have no doubt that we will change the world. I am excited to continue my journey as I pursue a degree in nursing!
I am so thankful to Notre Dame for giving me a community that has allowed me to be the best version of myself these past four years. Being surrounded by such passionate and hardworking people has inspired me to not be afraid to follow my dreams and to push past my fears. Learning how to ask the unasked questions and never to blindly accept the status quo has encouraged me to be a more socially-aware individual. I am thrilled to continue my journey at UCLA with its rigorous academic environment and its emphasis on diversity. Go Bruins!
I am really thankful to be surrounded by Notre Dame’s diverse and supportive community, which inspired me to become a woman in STEM. Notre Dame also empowered me to help my community by encouraging me to combine my passion for engineering with social justice. From all the amazing friends I made to Friday downtown trips, I am really going to miss these four years. I chose Waterloo because of the co-op program it offers for my major. Through this, I will be able to apply what I learn and gain work experience in the tech industry. Additionally, I admire Waterloo’s strong engineering focus and innovative atmosphere.
Notre Dame’s supportive and academically challenging community has helped me grow into who I am today. Through its emphasis on social justice, the caring faculty and staff, and the interdisciplinary classes, I’ve acquired skills useful for college and beyond. I chose NYU for its emphasis on community service, its integrated location in the city, and its academically and intellectually challenging curriculum. I can’t wait to bring what I’ve learned at Notre Dame to NYU and collaborate with other students to tell stories through film. Go Bobcats!