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Notre Dame College continues to honor its founders, the Sisters of Notre Dame, with a Legacy Week dedicated to keeping their mission and charism alive on campus.

Legacy Week 2021 programs from October 11-17 at the College build on the Sisters of Notre Dame Foundation Day, October 1, 1850, when Hilligonde Wolbring and Elisabeth Kühling took their first vows to become religious sisters in Coesfeld, Germany. The women welcomed orphaned and neglected children into their home and their hearts with the mission to teach them.

The week celebrates the College’s history, its values and mission, and honors those individuals who had the courage to build the institution during challenging times. It offers the community the opportunities to learn about the ministries of the Sisters of Notre Dame of the United States and provides Notre Dame faculty, staff and students occasions to recommit themselves to carrying on the mission of the College.

To help make the Sister’s mission alive on campus, Legacy Week includes Homecoming and Alumni Reunion festivities.

In addition to education and several schools, the Sisters of Notre Dame of the United States are committed to health care; justice, peace and the integrity of creation; and spiritual development. In Northeast Ohio, they support the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, Blessing House for families in need, House of Champions for elementary school children, the Women’s Outreach Center and Bethany Retreat Center, among other programs nationwide.

Legacy Week 2021 programming features:

Monday, October 11
  • Visits with the Sisters: Sisters of Notre Dame will be visiting various classes and events on campus.
  • Mission Reflections: Students will be featured in videos reflecting on the mission of the College.
  • Inspiring People: Faculty, staff and students can nominate someone in the campus community who is an “Inspiring Person of NDC” using an online nomination form.
Tuesday, October 12
  • Service Project: Students will go to nearby East Cleveland to help children with homework and play in the gym at the Salvation Army afterschool program.
  • Office Blessings: Fr. John Blazek will offer short blessings for offices throughout campus and provide copies of the Notre Dame prayer book from 1-3 p.m. Similar blessings were given to students in the residence halls at beginning of the semester.
Wednesday, October 13
  • Sisters of Notre Dame Ministries: Sisters will be in the Administration Building foyer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to share information about their legacy and ministries with students and employees.
  • Office Blessings: Fr. John Blazek will offer short blessings for offices throughout campus and provide copies of the Notre Dame prayer book to employees from 1-3 p.m.
Thursday, October 14
  • Service Project: Students will travel to the May Dugan Center to pick up groceries and household items and deliver them to the homes of people in need across Cleveland’s east side.
  • Homecoming Comedy Hypnotist: Larry Volz will perform at 8 p.m. in Regina Auditorium.
Friday, October 15
  • Women’s ID Group: 3 PM in the Great Room. This student-led intergenerational organization is opening their monthly meeting at 3 p.m. in the Great Room on the third floor of the Administration Building to anyone with experience being a woman. The group carries the concerns of the College’s founders into today’s very different context.
  • Blessing Service: The Sisters of Notre Dame, Notre Dame President J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D., and students, faculty and staff will receive a special community-wide blessing at 4:30 p.m. on the Administration Building lawn. The rain site is Christ the King Chapel on the third floor of the Administration Building.
  • Dinner on the Quad: Students, faculty and staff will share a picnic dinner at 5 p.m. on the Administration Building lawn.
  • Homecoming Carnival on the Circle: A variety of carnival games and activities from 5-8 p.m. on the Administration Building lawn.
Saturday, October 16
  • Homecoming Kegs & Eggs: Students, alumni and extended community members will tailgate with food and drinks beginning at 10 a.m. in the grass and on the lot behind Regina Hall.
  • Homecoming Football Game: The Falcons will play West Virginia Wesleyan College and the alumni and marching band will perform before and during the game at 1 p.m. on Mueller Field.
Sunday, October 17
  • Save the Squirrels Campus Cleanup: Community members keep campus green from 1-2:30 p.m., starting in the Regina parking lot.
  • Sunday Evening Church: The student church service open to all begins at 8 p.m. in Regina Chapel.

About the Founders

  • Hilligonde and Elisabeth were 22 and 28 years old when they decided to share a home with the children.
  • In 1874, Hilligonde and some other Sisters boarded a ship and traveled across the ocean to teach children in Cleveland, Ohio. Hilligonde is buried here in Cleveland at St. Joseph Cemetery.
  • The Sisters started dozens of schools in the Cleveland area and expanded to Kentucky and California.
  • Notre Dame College is the only college founded by the Sisters. The first 24 students started in 1922. Tuition was $75 per semester at the time.

Legacy Week at Notre Dame is sponsored by Campus Ministry, Student Engagement and Leadership and Alumni Relations.

September 2021

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.