Complete Campus Commitment to the Common Good

Author: Thomas Huberty

Salima Rockwell, the head coach of Notre Dame's volleyball team, delivers the keynote reflection during the annual Walk the Walk Week prayer service for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

Success in sports is frequently marked by an individual’s box score statistics or a team’s record. Many talk about the track record and successes of the Fighting Irish on the field or the university’s academic prowess, but just as important to the Notre Dame community is the university’s commitment to the common good. On Jan. 10, at the NCAA Convention Welcome and Awards Presentation in Phoenix, Arizona, the university was honored as the winner of the 2024 NCAA and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association Award for Diversity and Inclusion. According to the NCAA, this award serves “to recognize and celebrate the initiatives, policies and practices of schools and offices that embrace diversity and inclusion across the intercollegiate athletics community.”

Alongside the accomplished and diverse assembly of coaching staff and athletes that make up the athletics department, Notre Dame has instituted different initiatives to spur cultural and community engagement. Some of the most successful elements have been parts of their broader “Together Irish” program. This program has included “Walk the Walk Week,” where over 250 individuals involved in athletics served South Bend, and “Together Irish Town Hall,” where athletes took part in “Celebrate Diversity Month.” It also included the Citi Shamrock Classic, where one of the university’s most successful teams – women’s basketball – highlighted the influence of women on sports, education and community service throughout the game. These events are just a few that showcase the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and community.

University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. described such diversity and inclusion as “central to who we are, to be a community where everyone feels respected, where everyone, simply by being who they are, feels part of the community, everyone feels uplifted by it and contributes to it.”