Zahm House
EST 1937

From the Rector

First Years,

Welcome to Zahm! While your natural intelligence and academic gifts prepared you for the University of Notre Dame and your commitment to excellence earned your way into our hallowed campus, it is through grace and providence that you find yourself among the men of Zahm. Our hall has had a long tradition of being one of brotherhood, mutual support, excellence in service, and great comradery. We are excited that you will be joining us in the fall. Zahm will serve as your brothers, your closest friends, an unwavering support, and your home while a student at Notre Dame. I look forward to four great years.

My name is Fr. Matthew Hovde, csc. I am a Holy Cross priest, and it is with great joy and zeal that I serve primarily as the Rector of Zahm. We are a unique community, recognized across the campus for its unwavering commitment to each of our men. No matter where you are from, what major you hope to pursue, what your likes and dislikes are, no matter how you define yourself, you are a member of Zahm. You are welcomed, valued, and honored here. Your brothers are here to support and assist you, not just because they happen to share a building with you. You belong here because you bring a tremendous deal to this community: yourself.

I encourage you strongly to get to know the rest of the men who call this place home. Even though your time at Notre Dame will be busy in a way that you may have never before experienced, you are not coming to here to be mindless drones that do nothing but turn junk food and caffeine into papers and passible test scores. You are brought to Notre Dame to thrive! It is important to balance your academics with personal health, recreation, socialization, service, and personal interests. Look to your upperclassmen in the dorm. See how they strike this important balance. Study with them. Serve with them. But also have fun with them. I encourage you, play section-ball. Linger in the hallway to get to know one another. Leave your doors open and invite others in. Get to know your RA’s, who will be a tremendous support and friend to you this year, and in years ahead. Inter-hall sports will unite the dorm in a common cause, particularly our hockey team “FEAR”. Your sections’ bookstore basketball team may need either assistance on the court or in the stands.

Notre Dame will challenge you in new ways. I think the most important among these is learning to live with some folks who may be different from you. Learning to share with and respect your brothers in the dorm is a lesson that will serve you well in life. I hope you know you are able to be open and be yourself. College is one of the most important experiences you will have in your life. You will be taught amazing new things, challenged to think and feel in new ways, stretched beyond what you thought were your limits. You will converse, debate, reconsider, recommit, and articulate deeply held convictions in new and powerful ways. You will learn from others, who you may disagree with. You will make tremendous relationships. You will learn as much about yourself as you do other people. The relationships you make here, the greatness you will be schooled in, and the person you will become through your time here at Notre Dame is an incredible experience. My greatest advice to you is to dive right into it. Don’t hold back. From day one, engage those around you, and always be authentic to who you are. You made it into Notre Dame. You were accepted. You belong here; at Notre Dame, and in Zahm.

I look forward to meeting you all in August, and sharing in this amazing journey that lies ahead of you.

In Notre Dame,

Fr. Matthew Hovde, C.S.C.