Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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Notre Dame College President, J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D., has written a letter to the extended College community calling for respect and praying for healing following civil unrest around the world. Here is the complete text of his message:

May 31, 2020

My Dear Notre Dame College Community,

Many of you have gotten to know me and my family through brief video snippets during this time of social distancing and quarantine. You’ve probably noticed that I have a diverse family. My children are white, Hispanic and African-American. As my children have married, they have brought even greater diversity into our larger-than-usual family. You can’t begin to imagine the intense conversations about wide ranging issues when we are gathered together.

However, reflecting on recent incidents of racism and violence toward black men in our country, I am gravely concerned as several members of my immediate family are seen differently by many members of our society; I have two African-American sons and an African-American son-in-law.

One of the things that most attracted me to Notre Dame College was the range of diversity within the campus community and in the greater community that surrounds it. I feel this is a great place to raise my children. However, I fear that my sons and son-in-law are viewed all too often through the tainted lens of racism by many throughout our nation, merely because of the beautiful color of their skin.

As president of the College, I feel that I must reflect and respond when issues of injustice are prominent in our society. As a Catholic institution, founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame, we stand against any racism; America’s original sin.

I am idealistic, and I hope that Notre Dame College will stand as an example of how we can respect the inherent dignity of every human person and recognize that each of us is an amazing and unique creation of a loving God. For our students, we hope that a Notre Dame education will prepare you to live peacefully and as a problem-solver in a world of exquisite natural beauty and rich human diversity. We must attune our hearts to the suffering of the oppressed and mistreated. We should be a place of comfort to those who are marginalized. We should be a voice of reason when faced with unreasonable hatred.

Finally, I ask that you join me in prayer for healing. In order to move forward, we must grow in our understanding of each other’s circumstances, personal history and pain, and develop hearts of love and forgiveness.

Let’s be a model of God’s kingdom, that all may be one, on campus, in South Euclid, in the greater Cleveland community and in the world.


Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
Notre Dame College

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, 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. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or