University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Brother Aidan's Extracts


Notre Dame . . . . . . .1896

President of the Philopatrians (Carroll Hall) 1897

"Carroll Hall in those days had a secret society of its own, perhaps the only approach to a Greek letter fraternity that the campus has ever known. It was the Philopatrian Society, which held weekly meetings in a class room on the third floor of Carroll Hall, gave costume plays (Usually Shakespeare) in Washington Hall 2 or 3 times a year, and culminated its activities with an annual picnic at which mellow old Brother Cyprian, its guiding light would pontificate in a cap and tight jersey which set off his delightful (in those days) embonpoint." Geo. D. Haller, ALUMNUS, 12:48, 1912

1923-4 . . . . Head of Department of Accounting

"Brother Cyprian, a teacher in the Commerce Department at Notre Dame University for 38 years, but now retired, quietly observed his golden Jubilee in July at the Community House, Notre Dame. His part in the academic and cultural life at the University since his arrival there in 1895 has been one of the campus traditions. Hundreds of students, embracing two generations, have gone through Brother Cyprians accounting classes. Others have come to know him through his work as stage manager in Notre Dame theatrical productions in Washington Hall. Due to impaired health he is no longer an active member of the University faculty. During the past few years he has resided at the Community House." ASSOCIATE OF ST. JOSEPH, 3:4

"Do you remember that in 1913 only six students were enrolled in Commerce? The number increased by 1920 to more than 300, and the College of Commerce was organized with Father John F. O'Hara, c.s.c. as dean. One of Father O'Hara's lieutenants in the early days was Brother Cyprian, whose courses in accounting are well remembered by students of that period. Indeed his unusual success as a teacher is still spoken of on the campus." Rev. Hugh O'Donnell, c.s.c. "Do You Remember"

"Brother Cyprian, c.s.c., a teacher at Notre Dame for 36 years died July 29, after a prolonged illness. Brother Cyprian became an associate professor of accounting at the University in 1895, remaining in that position until 1931 when several heart attacks and subsequent paralyzation of his right arm completed his retirement. Since then he has been an invalid.

"'Notre Dame certainly has changed in size since I first came to the campus,' Brother Cyprian used to say as the long line waiting to register stretched around the Administration Building, past the window by which he was sitting in his room at Washington Hall.

"'Sorin Hall, when I came, was the only residence hall on the campus. Corby Hall was used as a Community House, later housing a few students who overflowed Sorin.'

"Brother Cyprian was graduated by the Hollingworth Business College in Covington, Kentucky, in 1876. After joining the Congregation of Holy Cross, he spent sixteen years teaching in various schools of the Community throughout the country before being appointed to Notre Dame." ASSOCIATE OF ST. JOSEPH, October, 1935

(Bishop Toebbe of Covington sent him to the Congregation of Holy Cross.)

"Upper classmen returning to the campus this fall were saddened by the news that seven of Notre Dame's sons had met death in one form or another during the summer . . . .

"Brother Cyprian, who had become somewhat of a tradition even during his lifetime, heads the list of Notre Dame's dead. Students now at the University knew him as a genial old man whose greatest delight was to sit on his favorite bench in the shadow of Washington Hall and chat with 'The Boys'" EDITORIAL, SCHOLASTIC, 59:13

"Familiar to many in the University Theater and to those who frequented the music department was Brother Cyprian, who in recent years lived in Washington Hall. He died on July 29, a victim of a heart attack and paralysis. Brother Cyprian taught accounting and bookkeeping at Notre Dame for 36 years and was director for the backstage operations in the theater from 1895 until his death. Brother Cyprian came into close contact with many distinguished men. Among his friends were former President W.H. Taft, Alfred E. Smith, Wm. J. Bryans, W. Gibbs McAdoo, Eamon de Valera, and a number of papal delegates. He spent his last four years in comparative retirement, remaining active, however, in the backstage operations in Washington Hall." Ibid., 1935

"Brother Cyprian, c.s.c., the beloved 'Cyp', aged 78, for 36 years a teacher at Notre Dame, for 40 years director of the backstage operations in Washington Hall, died on July 29 in the Community Infirmary.

"Brother Cyprian had not taught for the last four years because of partial paralysis caused by three successive heart attacks which forced his retirement in 1931. Since that time he has busied himself at the job he had held since 1895 -- that of director of backstage operations in Washington Hall.

"Thousands of men learned methods of bookkeeping and accounting from the Brother and in several instances he taught two generations of the same family. Though he taught what was generally considered one of the 'toughest' courses in the university, Brother was universally admired and loved by his students. Each alumni reunion saw a large group of his 'boys' seeking him. Whenever a campus representative met with Notre Dame men anywhere in the country almost the first man to be asked about was Brother 'Cyp'.

"As chairman of the executive committee of the former Philopatrians and as Washington Hall executive, Brother Cyprian came into close contact with many distinguished men. Among his personal friends were former President Wm. H. Taft, Alfred E. Smith, Wm. J. Bryan, Wm. G. McAdoo, Eamon de Valera and a number of papal Delegates.

"Brother Cyprian, James O'Hara before he joined the Congregation of Holy Cross -- was born in Covington, Kentucky, November 2, 1857. He was professed, July 22, 1883. Received the habit, February 16, 1879.

"In 1895 he came to Notre Dame as associate professor of Accounting. While preparing for his 37th consecutive year of teaching, in 1931 he suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire." ALUMNUS, 14:10

"After 52 years of teaching, 36 of which were spent at the University of Notre Dame, Brother Cyprian has retired to his room in Washington Hall. Three heart attacks in the last two years and consequent paralyzation of his right arm made the venerable Brother take a recess, ending a most distinguished career.

"In 1895 Brother Cyprian came to Notre Dame as an associate professor of accounting. Since then he has had occasion to teach thousands of students Bookkeeping and Accounting, two generations of one family in several instances. Brother Cyprian was graduated by the Hollingsworth Business College in Covington, Kentucky, in 1876. After joining the Congregation of Holy Cross he spent sixteen years teaching accounting in various schools throughout the country before coming to Notre Dame . . . .

"'I hope my boys will come to see me often,' said Brother Cyprian with a sigh of regret at having to give up his classes. 'I love them all, every one of them. They are all good boys.'" SOUTH BEND NEWS-TIMES

-- To a graduate at Commencement: "When you are going to get married, please let me know." "Why, Brother?" "Because I want to have a mass said for the bride." -- "Here she is Brother!" (introducing his intended.)

‹— Brother Aidan's Extracts —›