In 2007, Notre Dame threw a bold pass to NBC Sports: help us tell stories of our research and academic endeavors, and let us do it on national television during our football games. Not only was the pass completed, it also took Notre Dame to one of its most successful wins. That idea became the What Would You Fight For? series, which now numbers more than 100 episodes. Academic progress, although necessary and brilliant and powerful, is not always readily digestible to even the most keen TV audiences. But as the series has evolved, the narratives of the professors, the students, the partners, began to take center stage, telling beautiful stories of not just what is happening at Notre Dame, but why.
In those 100 stories, we’ve heard about a professor who got into his field because a colleague had a daughter with a devastating illness, an undergraduate who was motivated to make his
disabled parent’s life easier, a professor who drew from his extensive research on communism to form a partnership of Catholic universities in post-Soviet countries, a move that has proven unfortunately necessary today. The series has ventured to Ireland, Colombia, Ukraine, India, Nepal, Kenya, and Uganda, to name a few, following people tackling the world’s most challenging issues—cancer, literacy, the environment, water scarcity, peace, and more.
More than 100 times we have heard the words, “The University of Notre Dame asks, what would you fight for?” We’ve heard the responses from our faculty and students: they’ve worked to explore our universe, to improve trauma care, to cure food allergies, to protect our country. They have put their hearts and minds into peace and justice and dignity. With their stories as inspiration, we invite you to reflect on what you believe in, what you strive for, and above all, what you would fight for.
To join our 100th episode celebration, shirts are available at the bookstore.