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Aug 24, 2010

Ten Domers Who Most Influenced ND

As Notre Dame undergraduates begin the fall semester today, let's remember ten of our predecessors who contributed the most to Notre Dame:

10. Rev. William Corby, C.S.C.

Twice served as ND president; represented ND at Gettysburg, where he conferred General Abolution to Irish Brigade; led the building of today’s Grotto after Sorin passed

9. Arch Ward

Worked as an early ND SID; corresponded with Rockne and advocated for ND in the Chicago Tribune; gave ND a recruiting advantage with saturated coverage

8. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C.

Started ND’s business school; tied religion with football; initiated tradition of Communion for football players before away games

7. Frank Leahy

Played under Rockne; revived ND football as a powerhouse; four-time national championship coach, counting the legitimate ND way

6. Rev. Matthew Walsh, C.S.C.

Started at ND in ninth grade; officially accepted the “Fighting Irish” name; expanded South Quad; maintained ND’s Catholicism during early questions about its identity

5. Jesse Harper

Although he is not a Notre Dame graduate, as athletic director during the formative years he combated regional unwillingness to play ND in football by expanding the schedule nationwide

4. Rev. John Zahm, C.S.C.

1871 grad; focused ND on university instead of prep school; made ND first college lighted by electricity; Rev. J.W. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., called him “greatest mind produced by the university”

3. Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.

Dramatically increased endowment, professors, student body, campus buildings; admitted women; brought ND honorably through Civil Rights Movement

2. Knute K. Rockne

Greatest football coach of all time; changed the game forever; turned ND football into a national institution; foresight to fund Notre Dame Stadium and build two residence halls (Alumni and Dillon), as well as South Dining Hall with surplus cash

1. Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C.

Founded and named ND; set a golden standard based on his vision; went against wishes of his superior to gild the Dome in real gold; lobbied successfully for campus post office and South Bend railroad station


  1. I don't disagree with the list. It's just that I think a spot should have been saved for "Moose" Krause. In my opinion he did more than Jesse Harper did for the university AND he's an alum. Which makes him a real "Domer".

    1. good call, and he has the most badass bronze statue I've ever seen, cowboy hat, cigar and all

  2. Thanks for not including Rudy.

  3. Fr. Ted should be above Knute.

  4. Father Corby should be elevated for lending his name to a street resulting in being the namesake for the best college bar in history... the original "Corby's", home of the ND Hall of Flame. From dirt we came to dirt we remain.

  5. what a joke to have Fr Ted behind Rudy

  6. I find Arch Ward to be an interesting pic, especially due to his role as one of the original promoters of the "FIghting Irish" nickname which helped so many working class Irish Catholics identify with Our Lady's University. Even so, I probably would have included Moose in his stead as well. As for the Fr. Ted / Rockne debate, countless arguments could be made on both sides. I have to stick by tendomer on this one though, because Rock put ND on the map through football. Without Rock, Notre Dame does not exist as it is today. Without Rock, Hesburgh never gets the chance to accomplish all that he did here.

  7. Also, mad respect for Fr. Corby, the man who arguably accomplished more for the cause of Irish Catholics in America than any other individual in history, and Cardinal O'Hara, one time Bishop of Buffalo, NY!

  8. Forgot to mention in my earlier post that Moose Kraus clearly deserves to be on this list, probably ahead of Arch Ward. Back in the "lack of media" day, ND accomplishments on the field and Rockne's charisma would have carried even the least competent SID. While you may build a case for Roger Valdisseri (sp?), I think it was Moose that did more to move ND into the modern era with skillful scheduling, promotion of hoops and non football sports, expansion of interhall, maintaining independence, and building a modern era athletic department. He even made the most of Joyce's coach picks until Faust came and forced Moose to retire. Not even Moose could put lipstick on that pig. Having had the opportunity to work with and spend a reasonable amount of time with Moose, he was a Notre Dame MAN in every sense of the word.

  9. Most glaring omission: Carl Ackermann.

  10. Don't forget Fr. Julius Nieuwland,CSC, inventor of synthetic rubber. ND reaped millions of dollars over the years from DuPont, which licensed Nieuland's patent. One of his lab assistants was Knute Rockne, who legend says chose a career in football rather than chemistry.

  11. Hesburgh brought ND into the modern age in every way. He's my number one.

  12. I am clearly biased, but Dr. Tom Dooley gotta be in there someplace. Only other person besides Notre Dame Herself to get a statue at the Grotto. That's props.

    That being said, this is not an easy list to compile. Nice Job.

  13. Thomas Broden, law school?

    He should be on here...

  14. If TIME can make a soldier Person of the Year, why not include Holy Cross priests in the top ten. Individualy and collectively they have made Notre Dame what it is. Their declining presence and control will determine what Notre Dame becomes.

  15. Have you ever noticed the "Wall of Honor" on the first floor of the Dome? Moose is not included, and that is an injustice and travesty. Maybe we need a campaign to rectify.


2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(