At Notre Dame Athletics we have countless measures of progress. 

We track earned-run averages, lap times, shooting percentages, yards per carry, grade-point averages and a host of other statistics that help evaluate performance. And, of course, we pay special attention to the broader measures of progress — degrees earned and championships won. 

But, at this place, this remarkable University that is dedicated to balancing equal commitments to the intellect and the soul, our ultimate measure of success is very different. It is the impact that we have on the lives of the young men and women who participate in athletics at the University of Notre Dame.  

Student-athletes who choose to come here are making a decision to challenge themselves at the highest level. They could go places where the demands on them as students might be fewer or where they would not be competing at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics. And, certainly, they could go places that would demand much less in terms of personal accountability.  

But, they choose to come here because of, not in spite of, those challenges. They come to Notre Dame because they embrace the goal of growing intellectually, athletically and spiritually. It is not surprising then that, when I talk with seniors as they approach the conclusion of their time with us or with recent graduates as they reflect back on their experiences, the one phrase I hear more often than any other is: “I can’t believe how much I changed during my four years at Notre Dame.”  That, not any narrow statistical measure of performance, is our ultimate measure of success. 

This series is intended, in some small way, to be a chronicle — to be a measure, if you will — of that growth. It offers stories that represent the way this University and its athletics program impact the lives of people. These are the stories of student-athletes, former student-athletes and individuals who contribute to the environment that allows student-athletes to flourish. Their stories offer testimony to the power of intercollegiate athletics to impact lives at the University of Notre Dame.

The title of this series is borrowed from the lyrics of the “Notre Dame Victory March,” a line that in its entirety is, “We will fight in every game, strong of heart and true to her name.” Strong of heart and true to Notre Dame — that, as well as any description we might offer, describes the common characteristic of the many people profiled here. We hope you enjoy learning more about them and, through them, learn something more about the University of Notre Dame.


Jack Swarbrick

Director of Athletics

University of Notre Dame