The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or simply Notre Dame /ˌnoʊtərˈdeɪm/ noh-tər-daym) is a Catholic research university located near South Bend, Indiana, in the United States. In French, Notre Dame du Lac means "Our Lady of the Lake" and refers to the university's patron saint, the Virgin Mary.
The school was founded by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also its first president. Today, many Holy Cross priests continue to work for the university, including as its president. It was established as an all-male institution on November 26, 1842, on land donated by the Bishop of Vincennes. The university first enrolled women undergraduates in 1972. As of 2013 about 48 percent of the student body was female. Notre Dame's Catholic character is reflected in its explicit commitment to the Catholic faith, numerous ministries funded by the school, and the architecture around campus.