When you go to a school (such as Notre Dame) that doesn’t have Greek Life, your dorm community takes the place of what you may have gotten from belonging to a Fraternity or Sorority. It’s a popular question for those of us who went to school at Notre Dame, “what dorm did you live in?” But for some of us, it’s an awkward answer. Men encountered it first, as some of their dorms were turned into female dorms after the women arrived in the Fall of 1972. Badin and Walsh were the first two men’s dorms that were transitioned into residence halls for women, followed in succeeding years by Breen-Phillips, Farley, Lyons, and Lewis. And then years later, it happened to the women. What dorm did I live in, you ask? Siegfried Hall ... which is now a men’s dorm.
(As a side note, my dad really wanted me to live in Breen-Phillips, as that was one of the dorms he lived in during his four years at Notre Dame. Back when he went to Notre Dame, you lived in a different dorm each year, but by the time I got there, you lived in the same dorm all four years. While it would have been great to have lived in one of the dorms my dad lived in, I was glad to have spent my four years in Siegfried Hall, as I was able to make traditions of my own.)
The “Hall of Champions” (as they call it) was donated by Robert M. Siegfried (‘37, founder of the NORDAM aerospace company) and Raymond H. Siegfried II (‘65) of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was built on Mod Quad in 1988 to house women. These women called themselves the Siegfried ‘Slammers’ before they were moved to the newly constructed Welsh Family Hall on West Quad when Flanner and Grace Halls were converted into office space in 1997. The new inhabitants of Siegfried called themselves the Ramblers as a tribute to our football team’s old nickname during the days of Knute Rockne in the early 1900’s.
Rev. John Conley, C.S.C., became the rector of Siegfried Hall in 1997. Originally from Warren, Rhode Island, Fr. John received both his Bachelor’s degree in History and Master of Divinity degree from the University of Notre Dame. He also received a Master’s degree in Education from Loyola University of Chicago. Prior to Notre Dame, Fr. John served as a teacher and assistant principal of Notre Dame High School for Boys in Niles, Illinois and as principal for Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He also served as the Director of Vocations for the Indiana Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Fr. John has been the rector of Siegfried Hall since its inception as a men’s hall.
Dorm Population and Layout
Siegfried Hall has four floors and can house approximately 240 residents. There are 114 rooms in the six living area sections. Siegfried is air conditioned and has an elevator.
Siegfried’s Viking image is partially inspired by Siegfried, a Viking warrior in Richard Wagner’s operatic movement “Ride of the Valkyries”.
Some notable Rambler graduates include Mike Golic, Jr. ‘13; Justin Tuck ‘05, New York Giants defensive end; Jeff Faine ‘03, New Orleans Saints offensive lineman; Sean Mahan ‘03, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman; Katryna Gaither ‘97, Minnesota Lynx center.
Siegfried’s Chapel is named ‘Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom’ Siegfried offers a Sunday Mass at 10pm, weekday Masses Monday-Thursday at 10pm, as well as a Mass one half hour following ND home football games.
Each winter, Siegfried hosts the “Day of Man” in which the residents brave the cold wearing shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops to raise money for the South Bend Center for the Homeless.
Siegfried hosts two dances each year. The Winter Formal is held at the Warren Clubhouse. It is the only dance held at the Warren, and is usually held during the first weekend in December.
Siegfried’s second and final dance of the year takes place in early spring with tickets usually costing $10. The dance is held on campus.
Siegfried’s annual retreat usually takes place in mid-March, and has taken place in a variety of places including in a state park, and across the lakes.
Siegfried has earned the name ‘Hall of Champions’ over the years by dominating the O’Leary Interhall Cup championship, winning the cup 7 out of the last 9 years. As both Knott and Siegfried Halls originated from Flanner Hall, the brother dorms engage in a friendly annual competition over the naming rights to the land between our dorms. The Siegfried Ramblers have claimed the ‘Siegfried Slope’ 11 out of the last 16 years. (And I might add, this name, ‘Hall of Champions,’ was relevant even when I was a resident of Siegfried Hall, as we won the Interhall Football Championship game in the fall of 1992!)
Hall of Champions
When I was there, because the dorm had only been in existence one year, we tried to create some traditions for our newly built hall. One of the traditions we created was to wake up the freshman at the crack of dawn on the first home football Saturday, take them to the “Stonehenge” (Clarke Memorial) Fountain in their PJs, throwing them in and teach them the fight song.
More on Siegfried Hall from Mike Golic Jr.
Last week I had the chance to catch up with one of Siegfried Hall’s former residents, Mike Golic Jr., and get his thoughts on his Siegfried Hall experiences.
What was it like going to a school that didn’t have “football” or “athlete” dorms?
“Going to a school that didn’t have ‘football’ or ‘athlete’ dorms was awesome. In my mind it gives you a much greater student experience. So much of our lives as athletes are routine based and we spend more time with our teammates than with our families. I loved my teammates dearly but it was great to be able to head back to Siegfried after a long day and hang out with a bunch of people who were going to allow me to just be a Notre Dame student for a little while as opposed to always being a Student-Athlete.”
What did you like best about living in Siegfried Hall? What was the worst thing about living in Siegfried hall?
“My favorite part about living in Siegfried was the pride in the dorm’s identity and tradition. Former football players that had been in the dorm before me celebrated that as a part of their ND experience just as much as their place on the team. Whether it was the inter-hall sports dominance, the “Day of Man” fundraiser every year, or the iconic horns, Siegfried and it’s residents always found a way to stand out in a way that made you proud to be a part of its rich tradition.”
What was your favorite memory/experience that you had with the guys in your dorm? Did Siegfried have any special dorm traditions?
“My favorite memory in my time at Siegfried actually ties in closely with a dorm tradition. The first home football weekend every year begins with the upper classmen waking up the freshman in their dorm rooms, throwing them into Stonehenge and teaching them the fight song. As a redshirt freshman on the football team, I wasn’t in the hotel the night before the game, but still had to get up to meet the team for mass/pregame meal. My roommate Sean Rogers, a member of our varsity Lacrosse team, also had morning practice during the fall for his sport. So when a banging on our door woke us up, and the door began to swing open, Sean jumped up to immediately slam it shut and lock it to preserve the last few moments of sleep that we each had. He gave me a small nod of approval and then we both caught a few more minutes of sleep before we had to roll out. While I love the tradition of the dorm, this small moment with a guy that is still one of my best friends always makes me smile because even within the larger community of the dorm, I realized then that I had a strong bond forming with my roommate early in our college career.”
I’d like to give Mike Golic, Jr. a huge thank you for taking some time to tell me a bit about his Siegfried Hall experiences! And please stay tuned for more Notre Dame dorm spotlights!
So ... what dorm did you live in?
Cheers & GO IRISH!
P.S. Here are some photos from my days in Siegfried Hall.