Amanda Skofstad | August 12, 2020
In new research, Rev. Thomas Blantz, C.S.C., Notre Dame professor emeritus of history, presents the story of America’s premier Catholic university from its inception as a French-founded boys’ school in 1842 to its status as an acclaimed undergraduate and international research institution of the 21st century.
Just released by Notre Dame Press, “The University of Notre Dame: A History,” traces the University’s path of progress — challenged at times by wars, fires, financial shortfalls and even flu and cholera pandemics — through detailed treatments of Notre Dame’s defining leaders and moments. Among those leaders are Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s 28-year-old visionary founder; Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Notre Dame president who gave absolution to soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg; Knute Rockne, chemistry teacher and legendary football coach who elevated the Fighting Irish to national prominence; Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., 35-year president and intrepid advocate for racial justice, human rights and international peace; and the 325 women who enrolled in 1972, creating Notre Dame’s first undergraduate coed class.
Father Blantz taught a research seminar on the history of Notre Dame for 10 years and said he benefited greatly from original research students conducted, offering views that challenged his own and pointing him to new sources for further exploration.
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