Notre Dame Day History
The first record of Notre Dame Day is in the handwriting of Mary Meletia Foley, SSND, and is dated March 25, 1901. It tells of a celebration highlighting the double dedication inherent in our name, which honors Notre Dame, Our Lady, and Maryland, our state. Happily, the two converge on one date: March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Angel to Mary, and Maryland Day, the day colonists came to St. Mary’s.
Thereafter, the day was observed intermittently, but a general pattern remained. In 1953, it became a structured experience in liberal arts education. Faculty and students participated in across-the-curriculum classes that placed Mary in the historical and theological context of her time and timelessness.
In 1968, the name changed from Annunciation Day to Notre Dame Day, and the focus of the classes broadened to include any choice of subject. This ended in 1971.
In 1989, the University revived the old custom. Today, Notre Dame Day is a time to celebrate our common purpose, to remember our rich heritage, and to recognize the achievements of the University community.