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Campus Celeb: Holly NO’Hair-a! ’15

April is a big month for this week’s Campus Celebrity, Holly O’Hara. The junior is plenty busy with two majors and quite a few activities, but this week is even crazier! Believe or not, this Michigan native is donating her hair… All of it! On Friday, April 11, Holly will be shaving her head for Notre Dame’s The Bald and The Beautiful. WOW! Keep reading to find out why she’s doing it! 

Name: Holly O’Hara

Year: Junior

Hometown: Troy, MI

Dorm: PW

Major: Visual Communication Design (Also known as Graphic Design to, like, everyone) and Theology

NDH/SDH: NDH, Gotta have that Rec-Room

Campus Activities: Eck Tour Guide, Various Graphic Design gigs, 5th Grade Catechism Teacher, Anything at the CSC

Damn, check out that mad flow

If you could go back to freshman year and tell yourself one thing you know now, what would it be? 

I didn’t know that “flex points” were a thing until second semester of Freshman Year… I really could have used some Candy Wall and Starbucks those first couple months…

What is the #1 item on your ND bucket list?

To find a stranger who will spontaneously trade meals with me at the Dining Hall. Everyone else’s plates always just look so much better than my own… (Also storm the Football Field, cause somehow I missed that at the Stanford game last year)

What is your best ND memory so far?

Running through Stonehenge after the Michigan football game Sophomore year. It was a personal victory after being in Ann Arbor for the disappointing loss Freshman year, and never hearing the end of it from friends at U of M.

What is the most played song on your iPod right now?

It’s embarrassing, but I’ve just been listening to a lot of instrumental music and piano solos…

What is a little known fact about you?

Once I was riding my bike on the sidewalk by Stepan Science, wasn’t watching where I was going, and proceeded to hit my face on the sign. Feel free to check it out, the sign is, like, significantly bent… My friends never let me live that one down.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Jimmy Fallon, literally cannot stop watching all new Youtube videos of The Tonight Show. But I’ve loved him since he was in Fever Pitch! Make me laugh, and I’m set for life.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Too many interests…

What’s your favorite movie quote?

“Help me, I’m Poor” (Or anything else Kristin Wiig says in Bridesmaids…or ever…)

Holly put her graphic design skills to good use! 

You recently made a big decision to shave your head for The Bald and the Beautiful! How are you currently feeling about this?

I’m so excited, and shocked that it’s finally here! I’ll start to get nervous, and then hear something about TBAB, and get all excited again. I think that’s a pretty good indicator that it’s something I should be and want to be doing.

What led you to this decision?  

A friend of mine shaved her head with TBAB during my Senior Year of High School, and we got to help fundraise for her from home. I was blown away by her decision to do something so drastic yet so powerful, and I think that just kinda planted a seed. Every Spring since, I’ve felt incredibly drawn to the event, and totally blown away by the girls who choose to shave their head. One day I just decided that it’s something I feel like I could do, and that was that.

What exactly is TBAB?

It’s a fundraiser that started in 2009 to commemorate Sam Marx, a student from Duncan Hall, who passed away from cancer. Each spring students volunteer to shave their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research, while others donate at least 8 inches of their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to be used to make real-hair wigs for those fighting cancer, and still others purchase hair extensions to benefit Memorial Hospital here in South Bend!

Why should Notre Dame be excited about this event?

It’s a huge opportunity to raise a substantial amount of money for Cancer Research, as well as to make a bold statement about solidarity and support! It’s one of ND’s largest philanthropic fundraisers, and since it’s first year, TBAB has raised over $200,000, and is aiming for $300,000 by 2015!

Have you been involved in previous years?

I haven’t been too involved in terms of donating. My hair grows pretty slow, so I knew I would have to wait and grow it out before getting to donate. However, I remember being around La Fun for quite a few of the shavings last year, and was blown away by all the energy, excitement, and passion.

Why is this cause important to you?

Cancer is something that has greatly affected the lives of so many people we love, and I’ve always wanted to pay a tribute to everything that those who have fought it or are fighting it undergo. I’m not a science person, though I find it all interesting, so this is my way of contributing to the cause with three things I do have: my hair, my love for design, and my lack of responsible rationality!

Who was the most surprised that you decided to shave your head?

Haha I may have forgotten to tell my Mom I was planning on doing it, until I showed her the post card I designed to send people, and she had no idea what I was talking about. Oops! I think she mourned my curly hair for a short week, and then jumped on board.

How do people react when you tell them about it?

I’ve been really surprised by the number of people who have told me how “brave” I am for doing this. I honestly never expected that response, because to me it wasn’t a matter of bravery. I just keep thinking about the kids who are diagnosed with cancer and have no choice of whether or not they want to be brave. They simply have to be. I’m going to be bald for a few weeks, sure, but then my hair will grow back, and everything will go back to normal. I hope, though, that my actions bring to mind all those faced with cancer each day, and the great works that are being done to combat it.

Are your friends and family supportive?

I’m pretty sure my sister’s exact words were, “Can’t you just get a pixy cut or something?”  Hahaha no, but honestly, everyone has been so incredibly supportive and loving. I really can’t be more thankful for how kind people have been to me, and I’m sure I’ll be totally overcome with gratitude at the head shaving this week.  

What do you anticipate will be the best part of having no hair?

I’m a big sucker for head massages, so I figure I can work out a deal with all the people who want to touch my head afterward! Haha also the low maintenance; I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all my extra time of not having to tame wild curly hair…

When is the big day?

This Friday, April 11 at 4:30 P.M. in La Fun!

Any advice for others looking to participate in TBAB?

I guess just that if you feel interested or drawn to TBAB, don’t ignore that feeling! Think and pray about it, and get involved! Go to some head shavings, maybe donate, or buy a hair extension! If you think that you might be able to do something like this, think about it for next year! I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, so it’s okay to just let that sit, and see how you feel.

Last thoughts?


Bye bye, Holly’s hair! We know you’re going to a better place :)

Thanks, Holly!  



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Pictures provided by interviewee

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Sara Spitt

Notre Dame

Meet HCND's current Campus Coordinator and Editor-in-Chief! Originally from outside of Chicago, Sara is a Senior Peace Studies, Theology, and Italian major at Notre Dame (yes, that is three majors; no, she doesn't have any free time). When she isn't painting her nails, Sara enjoys cooking vegetarian friendly dishes, taking pictures for The Dome yearbook, and reading for fun. Sara began writing for Her Campus Notre Dame in May of 2013 and quickly fell in love with the site and it's staff! After writing for the inagural editorial staff (shout-out to AnnaLee, Katie, and Lex!) for a semester, Sara decided to branch out and become an editor. She particularly enjoys doing interviews and sharing travel expereinces, as well as connecting with the HCND reader network through thought-provoking social commentaries. If you like what you read from her on a weekly basis, this self-proclaimed "Queen of Social Media" has several accounts for you to follow - twitter, instagram (@saraspit22), tumblr, and a blog! 
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