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Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Observer

Thank you, Pangborn

Almost four years ago, I opened an email link that heavily shaped my Notre Dame experience, probably more than anything else during my time here. It was Fourth of July weekend, AKA the time each year when incoming freshmen find out their dorm assignments, and I was nervous as I clicked the button that would let me know where I would rest my head for (almost) every night of the next eight semesters. It said, “PA-240 B.” Having no idea what dorm “PA” was supposed to be, I broke into a bit of a sweat as my mind immediately thought of the Pasquerillas — nothing against those halls, but I knew I was going to major in FTT, and PE and PW just seemed so far away from DPAC. But when I looked at the list of hall names and abbreviations, listed next to “PA” was “Pangborn.” Pangborn — huh? To be completely honest, I had never heard of that dorm, and during my visit to campus just three months before, I had probably walked by it and not even noticed the beautiful, aesthetically pleasing cinderblock palace that was to become my home at Notre Dame. While Pangborn, AKA Pang, AKA the Pang, AKA Pangborn Hall for Girls, AKA the phoxiest dorm on campus, didn’t immediately strike me with its beauty, I came to realize the value of its more underrated qualities — mainly its location on the corner of South Quad, but also its ridiculous amount of storage space, the horizontal configuration of its rooms and the two stone lions that guard its entrance. But even more than that, it’s the people who have made Pangborn so great during my four years. During our first trip to the Grotto, the Frosh-O staff told us freshmen stories of the first time Pangborn and Notre Dame felt like home to them, but I already felt like I was home and had a family in this group of women. They acknowledged that our hall wasn’t the best building on campus, but it housed the best people, women who make up some of the most wonderful people I have gotten to know not only in my time on campus but in my entire life. As I sat down to write this column, I realized that, along with this being my final piece published in The Observer (unless I become a cranky alum columnist), this is also the final paper printed during Pangborn’s time as a residence hall and a community. With that, I’d like to take this time to thank all the Pangborn women who have made my time so incredible and phoxy. Our word limit for this column doesn’t allow me to individually thank each person of the seven classes who have lived in Pangborn during my time, but I thank all of you as a group. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from a community. Pangborn has been where I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve cartwheeled down the hallways and I’ve yelled out way too many Pangsta Raps. It’s where I made some of the best friends of my life and met people who have been there for me through all the good times and all the not-so-good times. It’s a place that I always show visiting family, alongside campus hotspots like Main Building, the basilica, the Grotto, the stadium and Touchdown Jesus. It’s where I’ve written countless papers and Observer stories, read countless pages, watched countless movies and made countless memories. It’s the greatest of all Notre Dame dorms, and it’s exactly what I’ve needed in my time here. It’s the reason I’ve been to Harmonia concerts, women’s lacrosse games, tennis matches, cross country and swim meets and Amish Acres. It’s the reason why I’ve fought in Baraka Bouts, participated in science experiments and printed T-shirts with my friend’s face on them. It’s the reason I wanted to become an RA and have been honored to serve as one the past year (special shoutout to all the residents of 2B). I’d like to think it’s the reason The Observer’s readership has gone up by at least a few people the last four years. Most of all, it’s the reason why Notre Dame is such a special place for me and many other women. It’s a place I know I’ll miss when I return to campus, but it’s one I know has brought way too many people together for it to ever truly be gone. Thank you, Pangborn, Sr. Mary Donnelly and every Pangsta out there. Stay phoxy always.

Mary Green is a film, television and theatre and English major with a journalism, ethics and democracy minor. She will fulfill her TV major and journalism minor by pursuing careers in broadcast journalism, but will inevitably read enough books and articles to continue her learning in English. If you want to contact her, look for her on the local TV stations of America’s smallest markets, or just email her at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.