The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or simply Notre Dame /ˌnoʊtərˈdeɪm/ noh-tər-daym) is a Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community north of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States. "Notre Dame," French pronunciation: meaning "Our Lady," is a Catholic honorific salutation in reference to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the university.
The school was founded by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also its first president, and even today many Holy Cross priests serve the school—most notably the president of the university. It was established as an all-male institution on November 26, 1842, on land donated by the Bishop of Vincennes, Indiana. The university first enrolled women undergraduates in 1972. As of 2012 about 47 percent of the student body was female. Notre Dame's Catholic character is reflected in its explicit commitment to the Catholic faith, numerous ministries funded by the school, and the architecture around campus.
The university today is organized into five colleges and one professional school, and its graduate program awards 32 master's and 25 doctoral degrees. Over 80% of the university's 8,000 undergraduates live on campus in one of 29 single-sex residence halls, each of which fields teams for more than a dozen intramural sports, and the university counts approximately 120,000 alumni.
The university is known for its Notre Dame School of Architecture, a faculty that teaches traditional (pre-modern) architecture and urban planning (e.g. following the principles of New Urbanism).
The university's athletic teams are members of the NCAA Division I and are known collectively as the Fighting Irish. The football team, an Independent, has accumulated eleven consensus national championships, seven Heisman Trophy winners, and 62 members in the College Football Hall of Fame. Other ND teams, chiefly in the Atlantic Coast Conference, have accumulated 16 national championships.