The University of Notre Dame was founded in November 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, a French missionary order. It is located adjacent to South Bend, Indiana, the center of a metropolitan area with a population of more than 300,000. Chartered by the state of Indiana in 1844, the University was governed by the Holy Cross priests until 1967, when governance was transferred to a two-tiered, mixed board of lay and religious trustees and fellows.
Notre Dame has grown from the vision of Father Sorin, who sought to establish a great Catholic university in America, and has remained faithful to both its religious and intellectual traditions. Over the years, Notre Dame has been a place where the Catholic Church could do its thinking. The first national study of Catholic elementary and secondary education was done at Notre Dame, as was the most extensive study of Catholic parish life and a landmark historical study of the Hispanic Catholic community in the United States.
One of America’s leading undergraduate teaching institutions, Notre Dame also has been at the forefront in research and scholarship. The aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formulae for synthetic rubber were pioneered at the University. Today researchers are achieving breakthroughs in astrophysics, radiation chemistry, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, peace studies, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics.
The main conference venue is McKenna Hall, which was re-opened on September 1, 2021, after undergoing a two-year reconstruction creating state-of-the-art accommodations for the Notre Dame Conference Center's capacity to host conferences and special events. McKenna Hall is right across the street from Notre Dame’s campus hotel, the Morris Inn, including a convenient underground concourse between the two buildings. McKenna Hall offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space
With the ability to host meetings for 300 attendees. It houses state-of-the-art technology for dynamic gatherings and engaging presentations, and offers a combination of conference rooms, ﬂexible gathering spaces, an auditorium and other venue possibilities.