Zahm House
EST 1937



  1. Overview
  2. STEM Program
  3. Events and Activites
  4. Rector


Father John Augustine Zahm, C.S.C. was an influential administrator, author, explorer, and scientist who helped boost Notre Dame's academic caliber in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Arguably, no one was more significant in advancing Notre Dame's academic excellence between the presidencies of Fathers Sorin (1842-1865) and Hesburgh (1952-1987) than Zahm. In fact, Fr. John Cavanaugh, C.S.C., former President of the University, said this about Fr. Zahm: "I regard Father Zahm as the greatest mind produced by the University in its long career, and perhaps the greatest man in all respects developed within the Congregation of Holy Cross since its foundation. Maybe Father Zahm could not have laid the foundation of Notre Dame, but undoubtedly Father Sorin never could have built upon it as Father Zahm did."

It's fitting that the House that proudly bares Zahm's name is committed to academic accomplishment. Men of Zahm continually earn high grades; in fact, the average House GPA typically ranges between 3.3-3.4 (A-) and is often the highest hall GPA on campus. The House has even been home to valedictorians in recent years. A high percentage of Zahmbies partake in international studies (study abroad) and undergraduate research through Notre Dame's Center for Undergraduate Scholarship.

There are seven study rooms on the first through fourth floors that Zahmbies take full advantage of, along with some study carrels in the hallways on the second and third floors. Quite often, the large lounge in the basement--one of our social areas--is used as a studying space, as well. But Zahm House is more than simply conducive to studying--there is a strong, supportive communal environment: Men provide tutoring to their brothers; they study together; and upperclassmen offer review sessions to freshmen for several core classes. If you are struggling with your work, know that any older Zahmbie in your area of study will happily help you if you reach out to him.

Most importantly, Zahm House strives to support a holistic, Holy Cross educational experience at Notre Dame for all Zahmbies. As Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, said, in Holy Cross institutions "the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart." Zahm Militant and the House's academic, diversity, gender relations, and sustainability commissioners plan occasional enrichment programs and activities that aim to engage the whole person. And in their daily interactions in the House, men naturally grow in mind and heart as they develop and negotiate relationships, especially with their roommates. More often than not, life in Zahm helps men to develop greater common sense and decision-making skills, as well.

Events and Activities


Once a month or so, the Academic Commissioners, or a different member of the House, will bring one of Notre Dames's faculty or staff or a member of the local community to Zahm's basement lounge on a Friday afternoon to host a Zahmposium. The guest typically gives a brief lecture on a hot or controversial topic, then opens the conversation for debate and discussion. Recent Zahmposiums have included Drink Like a Champion Today, Pot, Hot or Not?, and Where Should We Stand on Campus Crossroads? Zahmposiums are always accompanied by food, snacks, and soda.

Dinner with a Mentor

Typically in the spring, the Academic Commissioners will sort interested Zahmbies into groups based on their areas of study. These groups then have the oppertunity to go out to dinner with $10 per person funded by Zahm to discuss how their studies are going and to share some advice.


An academic advisor is assigned to each student by their respective undergraduate colleges. In Zahm, the Rector also meets with students about their academic progress, especially when grade deficiencies are sent at mid-terms. Besides helping guide students in the right direction, the Rector often writes letters of recommendation for study abroad opportunities, internships, employment, scholarships, and other awards.