History Museum exhibit weaves story of international education at Notre Dame

Author: Erin Blasko

“The Fabric of a Global University,” a new exhibit in the Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History, is on display now until May 28, 2023, at The History Museum in South Bend.

Developed by Notre Dame International (NDI), the exhibit chronicles the history of international education at the University of Notre Dame, from its founding to today, with attention to the theme “Bringing the world to Notre Dame and Notre Dame to the world.”

It replaces “Full Circle: Shakespearean Culture at Notre Dame,” which ended in January.

“The value international students, faculty, visiting scholars and staff bring to campus is immeasurable. Their impact on our community extends far beyond the Golden Dome into South Bend, St. Joseph County and all of Michiana,” said Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization at Notre Dame. “At Notre Dame International, we are excited to tell stories that connect and inspire us, that help us learn from one another so that we may be a force for good in the world. We encourage visitors to immerse themselves into these stories and celebrate the flourishing diversity that enriches our community.”

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • Photos and objects from the various centers and gateways that comprise the Notre Dame Global Network, including a Carnival headdress and musical instruments from Latin America, Holi powder from Mumbai and pottery from the Benedictine nuns in Kylemore Abbey in Ireland.
  • A timeline of international education at Notre Dame, from the arrival of the first international student, from Mexico, in 1850, to the first study abroad program, in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1964, to today.
  • Souvenirs and other items, including the trophy and program (half in Japanese and half in English) from the Fighting Irish football team’s first international game: the 1979 Mirage Bowl, versus the University of Miami, in Tokyo. Notre Dame won 40-15.
  • A video showcasing international students, faculty, staff and visitors, including members of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Program, engaging with the local community through research and service.
  • The opportunity for visitors to answer the question “What does it mean to be a global citizen?” and to take a quiz, “What study abroad program are you?” Answers to the global citizen question will be incorporated into the exhibit.
  • An original piece of fabric art combining fibers from around the globe with crystals — one each for every country represented in the current student body. The artist, Nancy Brenner Sinnott, is a Notre Dame alumna.

“It is indeed a privilege to partner with the University of Notre Dame and Notre Dame International on an exhibit of this stature,” said Brian Harding, executive director of The History Museum. “The University’s global connections are highly respected and extraordinarily diverse. These reflect our museum’s mission to tell the stories of not only our community but the ways in which we welcome and reach out to the world. ‘The Fabric of a Global University’ is an outstanding reflection of the University of Notre Dame.”

Established in 2010, Notre Dame International seeks to advance Notre Dame through international education, research and engagement, with Global Gateways and Global Centers in Asia (Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai), the Middle East (Jerusalem), Ireland and the United Kingdom (Dublin, Kylemore Abbey, London), Italy (Rome), and South and Central America (Mexico City, Santiago, São Paulo).

For more information, visit international.nd.edu.

Originally published by Erin Blasko at news.nd.edu on February 14, 2022.