• Eliza Allen Starr receives the Laetare Medal - 1885


    Eliza Allen Starr is the first woman to receive the Laetare Medal for her works critiquing, interpreting and publicizing Christian art. Her book, “Three Keys to the Camera della Segnatura of the Vatican” received papal commendation.

  • Co-educational summer session - 1918


    Notre Dame establishes a co-educational summer session for religious teachers.

  • Sister Suzanne Kelly joins faculty - 1965


    Sister Suzanne Kelly becomes the first woman to join full time University faculty as a Professor in Philosophy and Science.

  • Graciela Gil Oviarez graduates - 1970


    Graciela Gil Oviarez becomes the first woman and first Latino to graduate from the Notre Dame Law School. She would go on to become the director of the federal Community Services Administration under President Carter.

  • Dr. Rosemary Prak joins Trustees - 1971


    Dr. Rosemary Park, Vice Chancellor for Education Planning and Programs at UCLA and former President of Barnard College, becomes the first woman Trustee.

  • Women as undergraduate students - 1972


    On one of the first days of the academic year, Fr. Hesburgh celebrates having women as undergraduate students.

  • Marianne O’Connor named valedictorian - 1974


    Marianne O’Connor was named Notre Dame’s first female valedictorian. She is now the Executive Director of the Cornea Research Foundation of America.

  • Women’s Fencing wins title - 1987


    The Notre Dame Women’s Fencing Team wins its first NCAA Women’s Fencing Title.

  • Women’s Golf added as varsity sport - 1988


    Notre Dame Women’s Golf is added to the list of varsity sports.

  • Women's Soccer wins first championship - 1995


    Future U.S. Olympian and World Cup Champion Shannon Boxx and the Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Team win the first of what would be three NCAA Championships.

  • Marianne Cusato graduates with a Bachelor’s in Architecture - 1997


    Marianne Cusato graduates with a Bachelor’s in Architecture. She would go on to build “Katrina Cottages” to be used in place of FEMA trailers post-Hurricane Katrina earning her the Smithsonian Institute’s Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum’s “People’s Design Award.”

  • Women’s Basketball wins championship - 2001


    The Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Team wins the 2001 NCAA Championship.

  • Inaugural Baraka Bouts tournament - 2004


    Inaugural Baraka Bouts tournament raises money for the Holy Cross Missions in East Africa.

  • Katie Washington becomes valedictorian - 2010


    Katie Washington becomes Notre Dame’s first African American valedictorian.

  • North Entrance is dedicated and blessed  - 2016


    The North Entrance of the Hesburgh Library is dedicated and blessed in October after the Notre Dame Women’s Initiative makes renovation funding possible.

  1. 1885
  2. 1918
  3. 1965
  4. 1970
  5. 1971
  6. 1972
  7. 1974
  8. 1987
  9. 1988
  10. 1995
  11. 1997
  12. 2001
  13. 2004
  14. 2010
  15. 2016