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Gateway and Driscoll Scholars programs continue campus tours for prospective students

| Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Though campus tours for prospective Notre Dame students remain suspended for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 concerns, tours of Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame have recently been made available for prospective Gateway and Driscoll Scholar students. 

This year, these students may only schedule individual campus visits with themselves, their family and a guide. 

Emily David, coordinator of the Gateway, Driscoll Scholars and NROTC prep programs, said because Holy Cross is so much smaller than Notre Dame, the College is in a position where it can provide personal campus visits.

Each tour begins with a one-on-one meeting with David. Next, a current Gateway or Driscoll student gives a tour of Holy Cross. Then, prospective students have lunch with a different Gateway or Driscoll student. Finally, prospective students walk from Holy Cross to Notre Dame and tour Notre Dame with a sophomore, junior or senior who went through one of the two programs.  

“I’m just so thankful that we are able to organize all of this because coming to campus is a huge help in understanding if the Gateway [or Driscoll] program is a good fit for the students,” David said. 

The visit days began Feb. 8 and will continue through the end of April. 

On campus visits, masks must be worn at all times, students receive a temperature check when they arrive and physical distancing is practiced, David said. 

First-year Kathe Pribyl Pierdinock, a current Gateway student enrolled at Holy Cross, helps schedule tour guides. She said it can be challenging to coordinate guides for the individual visits. 

“With the visit days, we’re only allowed to have one family at a time,” Pribyl Pierdinock said. “We have three separate visit times on Monday, and also on Friday.”

In normal years, the Gateway program has five group visit days, where prospective students and their families meet each other, tour both campuses, listen to a presentation and attend a group reception. 

The Gateway Program, started in 2013, admits 76 students each year. This select group is enrolled at Holy Cross for their first year with a guaranteed transfer to Notre Dame as sophomores. Gateway students take four classes at Holy Cross and one at Notre Dame, plus the Moreau First Year Experience course.

The Driscoll Scholars Program was founded in 2018. The program is designed for students interested in STEM majors. Driscoll Scholars spend two years at Holy Cross followed by either two or three years at Notre Dame, depending on which college they enter into. 

First year Andrew Packard, a current Driscoll Scholar enrolled at Holy Cross, said he has had a very positive experience in the Driscoll Scholars program.

“From a social standpoint, I’ve created a lot of friends not only within Driscoll, but also [with] other students at Holy Cross, both Gateway and non-special program students,” Packard said. 

David was a member of the first class of the Gateway Program herself and said she enjoyed having the benefits of both a big and small school at Notre Dame and Holy Cross.

“I ran cross country for Holy Cross, and … I wasn’t a big runner, but I still got to technically be a collegiate athlete,” David said. “But I was also very much involved at Notre Dame. I was part of Dance Company when I was a Gateway student, and then that continued on through my senior year at Notre Dame.”

The Gateway and Driscoll Scholars programs are highly selective, and prospective students should be very proud of being chosen, David said.

“When you come and see campus and learn more about the program, and you meet the students who are here in the program, and you see how happy they are, you understand, ‘Oh wait, this is a really good deal,’” David said. 

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