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Notre Dame College to Shut Its Doors this Spring

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Notre Dame College to Shut Its Doors this Spring

Notre Dame College men won NCR D1 in December. Alex Goff photo.

Notre Dame College has announced that it will shut its doors at the end of the spring semester this year.

The announcement comes after a long period of speculation about the future of the University. Financial troubles, exacerbated by an inability to rectify debt issues and declining enrollment, led to the decision. Notre Dame College has found success with both its women's and men's rugby programs, with both making major championship finals and the men winning two major titles. However, as the higher education landscape changes, the University as a whole has struggled.

There had been talk for quite a while about NDC's financial issues, but as recently as two weeks ago there had been at least a few voices speaking behind the scenes saying a plan was in place. But hope that another university, or alumni, or donors, or someone else, might step in to save the school has been dashed.

Nine schools in the Cleveland area have said they will honor transfer credits for the Notre Dame College students. Those schools are: Baldwin Wallace, Cleveland State, Hiram College, John Carroll, Kent State, Lake Erie College, Ursuline College, Walsh University, and Meryhurst University in Erie, Pa.

“Throughout this long process, we evaluated every possible option to continue the mission of Notre Dame College,” Board of Trustees Chair Terri Bradford Eason said in a press release. “Our primary focus has been to ensure our students can successfully continue their education, graduate, and – in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame – live a life of personal, professional and global responsibility.”

Notre Dame College celebrate 100 years in existence in 2022 and this past fall celebrated its biggest collegiate rugby achievement with a NCR D1 trophy. As a rugby program, NDC has been quite successful, winning a USA Rugby Men's D1AA title and sending their women's team to two NCR D1 finals. The men's program had turned themselves around over the past two years, going from 1-7 in the fall of 2021 to the championship in 2023.

In the end, however, this spring will be the last time we see Notre Dame College on the rugby field.

This is bad news for the rugby community, and hopefully the players can find some place to study and play. One potential option if John Carroll, a successful small-college program in the Allegheny which is close to NDC (they actually share a parking facility), and would be a chance perhaps for John Carroll to take a step forward in its rugby program.

Regardless, however, this is devastating news for the student-athletes and also has ripple effects in the Rugby East, where the men's team plays.