Sorin College

History of Sorin College

The history of Sorin College brings a surge of pride in any of us who have lived here while attending the University of Notre Dame. Sorin's long and glorious history not only tells the story of what has taken place within the dorm over the past 126 years, it also embodies what has taken place in the University as a whole. There are many reasons why the residents of Sorin College swell with pride when they are asked where they live or where they did live while attending this distinguished University. Hopefully from the following account you too will realize the great honor and tradition that comes with being a Sorin Otter.

When looking for the unrivaled qualities of Sorin College one has to look no further than the building itself. In the 1880's Fr. Sorin, the University's founder, had a revolutionary idea. Instead of having students sleep in wide-open rooms with rows of beds and study in open areas filled with desks, Fr. Sorin constructed Sorin Hall with rooms that were "large enough to encourage study and at the same time small enough to discourage visiting."

Only a few years prior to the building of the first residence hall (Sorin), the Main Building had been equipped with a small number of private rooms reserved for a few lucky students. Once a student was chosen to live in these private rooms in the Main Building, he was required to remain "above average" in both study and conduct. If the student did not meet the requirements, the room would be given to someone else.

The performance of those living in private rooms was so good that some of the priests began to wonder whether or not private rooms should be offered to more students. The students loved the idea of having a chance to live and study in rooms of their own. As a result, the University began construction of "Collegiate Hall" in 1888. On May 27, 1888, Fr. Edward F. Sorin blessed the cornerstone as part of the celebration. From that point on "Collegiate Hall" has been known as Sorin Hall.

Before it was enlarged, the original building offered 50 single rooms. In its earliest years, Sorin was reserved for Juniors and Seniors of all university departments. In order to gain admission, which was and still is considered a great privilege, students had to have high scholastic standing and good conduct. Though the University does not openly admit that it still adheres to the policy of only admitting the best and brightest to Sorin College, we stand by our opinion that Sorin is still home to the finest the University has to offer.

Sorin has not always had the design that it does today. Rather, Sorin used to look like a barn with windows. Less than ten years after its initial construction, the north and south wings were added. In 1905, a porch was completed to give the facade a whole new look. This porch has typically been a favorite location for all Sorin men to sit, relax, and socialize. On each corner of Sorin stand the famous turret rooms, including the largest room on campus. The Quint has been restored to a five man room and is now home to sophomore Otters willing to take on the responsibility of this great room. Some of the freshmen may be lucky enough to live in these rooms, which are unique to Sorin, in the coming fall while the rest will have the opportunity in the following years.

Thousands of fortunate young men have enjoyed the privilege of living within these walls, including many celebrities. Knute Rockne resided in the basement subway during one of his years at Notre Dame. The famous George Gipp, the man for whom Rockne gave his famous "win one for the Gipper" speech, also lived in Sorin's basement for a year. "The Captain's Corner" (Room 11) has been the home of many football captains, including Rocky Bleier. More recently, famous Otters have included Steve Beuerlein ('87), Andy Heck ('89) and Chris Zorich ('91). Sorin is also home to Father Edward "Monk" Malloy, the President Emeritus of the University. Monk lives in the turret on the first floor on the north side (room 141) and welcomes Otters to visit whenever he is available.

For decades residents of Sorin College have enjoyed a sense of community with which few other halls can compete. This pride and spirit was one reason that led Otters to protest the Vietnam War by seceding from the University in 1969 and renaming the dorm "Sorin College." The College, bearing the name of Notre Dame's founder, maintains a strong and vital sense of spirit. As part of our appreciation for Fr. Sorin and his achievements, his statue stands in the front hallway. The tradition is that Otters rub the feet of the statue for luck when they walk by it as a way of remembering that we carry on the legacy he established in 1888.

Sorin's sense of community is what will help you in your transition from high school to college. We have been in your position and know that this transition can be difficult. The Hall Staff and your fellow Otters are more than willing to help you in any way we can. Remember, we are not just your dorm-mates, we are family. Welcome to Notre Dame and most importantly, welcome to Sorin College.

History of Sorin College

The history of Sorin College brings a surge of pride in any of us who have lived here while attending the University of Notre Dame. Sorin's long and glorious history not only tells the story of what has taken place within the dorm over the past 126 years, it also embodies what has taken place in the University as a whole. There are many reasons why the residents of Sorin College swell with pride when they are asked where they live or where they did live while attending this distinguished University. Hopefully from the following account you too will realize the great honor and tradition that comes with being a Sorin Otter.

When looking for the unrivaled qualities of Sorin College one has to look no further than the building itself. In the 1880's Fr. Sorin, the University's founder, had a revolutionary idea. Instead of having students sleep in wide-open rooms with rows of beds and study in open areas filled with desks, Fr. Sorin constructed Sorin Hall with rooms that were "large enough to encourage study and at the same time small enough to discourage visiting."

Only a few years prior to the building of the first residence hall (Sorin), the Main Building had been equipped with a small number of private rooms reserved for a few lucky students. Once a student was chosen to live in these private rooms in the Main Building, he was required to remain "above average" in both study and conduct. If the student did not meet the requirements, the room would be given to someone else.

The performance of those living in private rooms was so good that some of the priests began to wonder whether or not private rooms should be offered to more students. The students loved the idea of having a chance to live and study in rooms of their own. As a result, the University began construction of "Collegiate Hall" in 1888. On May 27, 1888, Fr. Edward F. Sorin blessed the cornerstone as part of the celebration. From that point on "Collegiate Hall" has been known as Sorin Hall.

Before it was enlarged, the original building offered 50 single rooms. In its earliest years, Sorin was reserved for Juniors and Seniors of all university departments. In order to gain admission, which was and still is considered a great privilege, students had to have high scholastic standing and good conduct. Though the University does not openly admit that it still adheres to the policy of only admitting the best and brightest to Sorin College, we stand by our opinion that Sorin is still home to the finest the University has to offer.

Sorin has not always had the design that it does today. Rather, Sorin used to look like a barn with windows. Less than ten years after its initial construction, the north and south wings were added. In 1905, a porch was completed to give the facade a whole new look. This porch has typically been a favorite location for all Sorin men to sit, relax, and socialize. On each corner of Sorin stand the famous turret rooms, including the largest room on campus. The Quint has been restored to a five man room and is now home to sophomore Otters willing to take on the responsibility of this great room. Some of the freshmen may be lucky enough to live in these rooms, which are unique to Sorin, in the coming fall while the rest will have the opportunity in the following years.

Thousands of fortunate young men have enjoyed the privilege of living within these walls, including many celebrities. Knute Rockne resided in the basement subway during one of his years at Notre Dame. The famous George Gipp, the man for whom Rockne gave his famous "win one for the Gipper" speech, also lived in Sorin's basement for a year. "The Captain's Corner" (Room 11) has been the home of many football captains, including Rocky Bleier. More recently, famous Otters have included Steve Beuerlein ('87), Andy Heck ('89) and Chris Zorich ('91). Sorin is also home to Father Edward "Monk" Malloy, the President Emeritus of the University. Monk lives in the turret on the first floor on the north side (room 141) and welcomes Otters to visit whenever he is available.

For decades residents of Sorin College have enjoyed a sense of community with which few other halls can compete. This pride and spirit was one reason that led Otters to protest the Vietnam War by seceding from the University in 1969 and renaming the dorm "Sorin College." The College, bearing the name of Notre Dame's founder, maintains a strong and vital sense of spirit. As part of our appreciation for Fr. Sorin and his achievements, his statue stands in the front hallway. The tradition is that Otters rub the feet of the statue for luck when they walk by it as a way of remembering that we carry on the legacy he established in 1888.

Sorin's sense of community is what will help you in your transition from high school to college. We have been in your position and know that this transition can be difficult. The Hall Staff and your fellow Otters are more than willing to help you in any way we can. Remember, we are not just your dorm-mates, we are family. Welcome to Notre Dame and most importantly, welcome to Sorin College.

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