The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or simply Notre Dame) is a Catholic research university located near South Bend, Indiana, in the United States. In French, Notre Dame du Lac means "Our Lady of the Lake" and refers to the university's patron saint, the Virgin Mary.
The school was founded by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also its first president. Today, many Holy Cross priests continue to work for the university, including as its president. It was established as an all-male institution on November 26, 1842, on land donated by the Bishop of Vincennes. The university first enrolled women undergraduates in 1972. As of 2013 about 48 percent of the student body was female. Notre Dame's Catholic character is reflected in its explicit commitment to the Catholic faith, numerous ministries funded by the school, and the architecture around campus.
The university today is organized into five colleges and one professional school, and its graduate program awards 32 master's and 25 doctoral degrees. Over 80% of the university's 8,000 undergraduates live on campus in one of 29 single-sex residence halls, each of which fields teams for more than a dozen intramural sports, and the university counts approximately 120,000 alumni.
The university is known for its Notre Dame School of Architecture, a faculty that teaches (pre-modernist) traditional architecture and urban planning (e.g. following the principles of New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture). It also awards the annual Driehaus Architecture Prize.
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