Fun facts about Notre Dame de Namur University


Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) is a private Catholic university located in Belmont, California. Established in 1851, the university has a rich history and is home to a diverse student body. In this blog post, we will explore some fun facts about NDNU that you may not know about. From the university’s unique mascot to its commitment to sustainability, there is plenty to discover about this hidden gem of a university.

Fun facts about Notre Dame de Namur University

NDNU’s Unique Mascot

NDNU’s mascot, the Argonaut, is not your typical college mascot. The Argonaut is a reference to the ancient Greek mythological figure Jason and his crew of adventurers, who set out on a quest for the Golden Fleece. The name “Argonaut” is derived from the Greek words “argos” (meaning swift) and “nautos” (meaning sailor). The university’s connection to the Argonaut mythos is not just limited to the mascot – the university’s motto, “Ad Astra Per Alas Porci” (which translates to “To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig”), is a reference to the Argonauts’ journey on a ship called the Argo, which had a wooden figurehead of a flying pig.

The Argonaut is not just a symbol of adventure and exploration, but also a representation of the university’s commitment to academic excellence. The university’s athletic teams are known as the Argonauts and the mascot can be seen at all home games. Additionally, the university hosts an annual “ArgoFest” event, which features games, food, and activities for students and the community.

Sustainability Efforts at NDNU

NDNU is committed to sustainability and has taken a number of steps to reduce its environmental impact. In 2015, the university installed a 400-panel solar array on the roof of one of its buildings, which generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 40 homes. The university has also implemented a number of energy-saving measures, such as the installation of LED lighting, occupancy sensors, and low-flow toilets.

In addition to its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, NDNU has also established a number of programs to promote sustainability and environmental education. The university’s Environmental Science program offers courses in environmental sustainability, conservation biology, and ecology. The program also hosts events such as tree planting and creek cleanups.

The university’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its campus, as well. NDNU has partnered with the City of Belmont to establish a community garden on campus, which is open to students and local residents. The university also participates in the Bay Area Bike Share program, which provides students with access to a network of shared bicycles that can be used for commuting and recreational purposes.

Subheading 3: NDNU’s Artistic Community

NDNU has a thriving artistic community, with a number of programs and events that showcase the creativity of its students and faculty. The university’s Fine Arts program offers courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital art, and hosts regular art exhibitions throughout the year. NDNU also has a student-run literary and arts magazine called “The Bohemian,” which features student writing and artwork.

In addition to its academic programs, NDNU hosts a number of artistic events throughout the year. The university’s Performing Arts program puts on several plays and musicals each year, and the university’s music program hosts concerts and recitals featuring student musicians. The university also hosts an annual literary festival called “Litquake,” which brings together writers and readers from across the Bay Area for a week of literary events.

NDNU’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

NDNU is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community, and has taken a number of steps to promote diversity and equity on its campus. The university’s Diversity and Inclusion Office provides support and resources for underrepresented students and offers programming and events that celebrate diversity and promote intercultural understanding.

NDNU’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its student body, which is made up of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. The university’s international student population is particularly strong, with students from more than 40 countries enrolled at NDNU. The university also has a number of student organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, such as the Black Student Union and the Asian Pacific Islander Student Union.

NDNU has also taken steps to ensure that its faculty and staff reflect the diversity of its student body. The university has implemented a faculty diversity hiring initiative and has established a number of programs to support the professional development of faculty and staff from underrepresented groups.

NDNU’s Service-Learning Program

NDNU’s Service-Learning program offers students the opportunity to engage with their local communities and make a positive impact through hands-on service projects. The program is integrated into the university’s academic curriculum and offers courses in a wide range of disciplines, including business, education, psychology, and environmental science.

The Service-Learning program partners with more than 60 community organizations in the Bay Area, providing students with a wide range of service opportunities. Some of the program’s recent projects include working with local schools to develop literacy programs, assisting with community garden projects, and providing support for homeless individuals and families.

In addition to its community service projects, NDNU’s Service-Learning program also offers students the opportunity to participate in international service projects through its Global Service-Learning program. Students have the opportunity to travel to countries such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic to work on service projects related to healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability.


In conclusion, Notre Dame de Namur University is a unique and vibrant institution that offers a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities. From its commitment to sustainability and diversity to its thriving artistic community and service-learning program, NDNU is a university that truly embodies its motto of “To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig.” Whether you are a prospective student, current student, or member of the community, there is plenty to discover and appreciate about NDNU.