40th Anniversary of PW and PE

Author: Megan Kelleher


Pasquerilla West and Pasquerilla East, two women’s dorms on Mod Quad, celebrate their 40th anniversary this year on November 13 and 14.

Established in 1981 after a generous donation from Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla, PW and PE were the first dorms built specifically for female undergraduates. The Pasquerilla family donated with the intention that their twin daughters would each live in one hall for their senior years. At the time, the Pasquerilla donation for $7 million was the largest gift in Notre Dame history from a living person. 

Each dorm has housed about 250 students since their openings in 1981 with entirely separate events and mascots. The “PDub Purple Weasels” host their annual intrahall event, “Queen Week,” between sections, in addition to the “PDub’s Closet” clothing drive and Valentine’s Day carnation sales, which are open to the entire campus. The “PE Pyros” put on an annual Christmas event, “Silent Night Silent Auction,” as well as their signature event, "So You Think You Can Sync?" Lip Sync Battle. 

PE’s mascot was originally the “Pink Elephants” to match their pink dorm color; however, after having proclaimed themselves the “hottest dorm on campus,” the women of PE later changed their mascot to the Pyros. The Pyros title is also a creative nod to their patron saint’s (Saint Catherine of Siena’s) famous quote: “Be who you are meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” 

The “powerful women of PDub” have been represented by a variety of mascots, including the Pink Wizards and the Plaid Wave, but the hall settled on the Purple Weasels in the 1990s. 

Though the two dorms have their own distinct cultures and identities, the buildings are sister residences through and through: PW’s four floors are numbered one through four while PE’s floors are numbered five through eight.