From the President

Strong and true. The familiar phrase from “Notre Dame, Our Mother” was selected prior to the start of the 125th year of Fighting Irish football to recognize the steadfast loyalty of the team’s fans and to honor the accomplishments, on and off the field, of our student-athletes. That same phrase could very well be used to describe the information contained within this annual report, as well as the people whose contributions and commitment to our vision to build a bigger and better Notre Dame transcend mere data.

This past year, Chief Investment Officer Scott Malpass was elected to the boards of both The Investment Fund for Foundations and The Vanguard Group. Additionally, the National Association of College and University Business Officers honored him with their Rodney H. Adams Endowment Management Award. Notre Dame’s continued financial strength, especially in these extremely challenging economic times, is a testament to Scott’s work, as well as to that of Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves and their respective teams. Still, while our financial resources are a blessing, they are not unlimited. They impose great demands on everyone from top to bottom to continue to act as conscientious stewards, as well as in ways that are consistent with our values of integrity, leadership, teamwork, and accountability, and contribute to our vision of serving the common good as a preeminent Catholic research university.

Currently, the University is in the process of formulating a long-term strategic plan that will position Notre Dame for generations to come. Historically, planning such as this was conducted every ten years; from this point forward, it will be a continuous activity, rather than an episodic event. Our continual attention to and regular updating of our strategic plan will help make Notre Dame more nimble in responding to external changes, more sensitive to possible challenges, and more able to seize opportunities. We will continue to meet in the coming year with our major academic and administrative departments, heads of the major institutes, the Academic Council, and the Faculty Senate to fine-tune a strategy that will help us to meet five major goals:

  • Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit
  • Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Foster the University’s mission through superb stewardship of its human, physical, and financial resources
  • Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., once asked, “How much more splendidly can we be a splendid place?” In undertaking this University-wide strategic planning process, we’re asking ourselves that same question, along with countless others. The fact is we cannot achieve our ambitions without the funds to support our work to seek, study, and serve, so we must ensure that our plan is informed by financial realities. It’s both an exciting and challenging task. As we dedicate ourselves to writing the next chapter in the Notre Dame story, we are absolutely committed to the formulation of a sound, substantive, and comprehensive plan that ensures we grow and evolve to keep pace with a changing world, and reflects the values that have made and make the University of Notre Dame strong and true.


“As we dedicate ourselves to writing the next chapter in the Notre Dame story, we are absolutely committed to the formulation of a sound, substantive, and comprehensive plan.” —REV. JOHN I. JENKINS, C.S.C.