Built in 1937, the dorm was named for Father John Augustine Zahm, a 1871 graduate of Notre Dame who was a scientist, Dante scholar, and international explorer.
Bellairs In ResidenceBellairs lived in room 127 with his first, and in four years of college, only, roommate, Ronald Cardwell.
RectorRev. Paul E. Fryberger, C.S.C. (1906-99) served as rector (1953-1960). Bellairs and life-long friend Alfred Myers ran afoul of Fryberger shortly into their first week on campus:
"He was a man of medium height, slender build and steel gray hair, with piercing dark eyes that could cut through steel. He was famous in Notre Dame lore as the rector who would wear one regular shoe and one (silent) tennis shoe so he could race after you and make it sound like he was just walking. This story is nonsense of course. Father Fryberger needed no such props. He could materialize in front of you like the Ghost of Christmas Future, striking fear in the stoutest of hearts if he so chose. Another rumor about him was that he had been in the military in World War II...unfortunately, and I now regret our collective timorousness, nobody had the courage to ask him.
"John’s and my transgression was to arrive at one of the hall’s entrance doors about 15 seconds after 10 p.m., at which time it was locked for the night. Father Fryberger’s dour visage was on the other side of the door. He opened the door and gave us a dressing down for being late. We feebly protested that we had arrived right on the spot of ten o’clock and thus should have been able to get in. For this impertinence, he promptly restricted us to campus for two weeks. To have run afoul of immutable authority so soon after leaving home for the first time in our lives was a terrifying experience for us both. In fairness to Fr. Fryberger about four days later he called us in and rescinded our punishment, now that he was satisfied that we had accepted the proper master-to-whelp relationship."
- Rev Paul E. Fryberger at Find a Grave