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Lyons rector, president discuss community, events

| Friday, August 24, 2018

Since 1927, Lyons Hall has been standing proudly as part of the “Golden Coast” on South Quad, alongside Morrissey Manor and Howard Hall. Originally established as a men’s honors dorm, Lyons was converted into a female dorm in 1974 and has been home to decades of Notre Dame women ever since.

Lyons Hall is named after Joseph Lyons, a professor of English at Notre Dame in the late nineteenth century. Residents, or “Lyonites,” take pride in their iconic arch — one of the more notable pieces of Notre Dame dorm architecture. Lyons Hall is also the only residence hall to be featured in the movie “Rudy.”

Rector Sarah Heiman said Lyons is also one of only two dorms on Notre Dame’s campus to have faculty-in-residence: professor Ed Hums and his wife, Shirley.

Lyons Hall hosts several signature events to raise money for charitable causes, sophomore and hall president Courtney Sauder said.

“Our first [event] is our Volley for the Vets, which is a signature event that we do with Carroll,” Sauder said. “We have a volleyball competition. You have to pay to do it and the money goes to veterans.”

Lyons also sponsors the Mara Fox Run, which is a 5K run honoring a Lyons resident who was killed by a drunk driver. Funds from the race contribute to a scholarship for students studying abroad in Spain.

“It’s a really important run,” Sauder said. “We are trying to do more with it this year since it is going to be our final year doing it. We are going to retire [the event] after 25 years.”

Lyons also puts on Laugh with Lyons, during which residents assemble pranks and deliver them across campus, and Recess with O’Neill Family Hall on the last day of classes.

When asked about her favorite part of living in Lyons, Sauder said the people in Lyons are what makes the dorm experience special.

“My favorite thing [about Lyons] is the community, right off the bat,” Sauder said. ”I made some of the best friends that I’ve ever had. Everyone is really supportive, and we won the most supportive community last year. … I felt so loved and accepted, and that’s why I wanted to be president, so I could help people feel the same way that I did.”

Heiman echoed Sauder’s sentiment, emphasizing the way that the Lyons community comes together each Sunday for mass.

“There’s so many great things about Lyons, but one of my favorites most people don’t know about is that we sing the Hail Mary together at the end of each Sunday Mass,” Heiman said in an email. “When the lights turn down and we begin to sing it’s a very calming and prayerful moment.”

Ultimately, the Lyons community seeks to build connections between the dorm’s residents, Sauder said.

“We don’t have a lot of pressure to just be hall of the year,” she said. “The truth is, we’ve never won it. I’m going to try to make that happen, but it’s never one of our priorities because we’re not trying to get a trophy. We’re just trying to build our community.”

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About Claire Rafford

Claire is a senior from Tempe, Arizona majoring in English and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy and Business-Economics. She peaked when her team won the Battle of the Books state championship in 2011.

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