World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Theodore Hesburgh

Article Id: WHEBN0000631670
Reproduction Date:

Title: Theodore Hesburgh  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: John J. Cavanaugh, University of Notre Dame, National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award, Congregation of Holy Cross, Bill Carpenter
Collection: 1917 Births, 2015 Deaths, American Roman Catholic Priests, Catholic University of America Alumni, Congregation of Holy Cross, Congressional Gold Medal Recipients, Laetare Medal Recipients, Living People, Members of the Pontifical Council for Culture, National Academy of Sciences Laureates, People from Syracuse, New York, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients, Presidents of the University of Notre Dame, United States Commission on Civil Rights Members, University of Notre Dame Faculty, Writers from Indiana, Writers from New York
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Theodore Hesburgh

Reverend Father
Theodore Hesburgh
Hesburgh in his office at the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame
15th President of the
University of Notre Dame
In office
Preceded by John J Cavanaugh
Succeeded by Edward Malloy
Personal details
Born Theodore Martin Hesburgh
(1917-05-25)May 25, 1917
Syracuse, New York, United States
Died February 26, 2015(2015-02-26) (aged 97)
Notre Dame, Indiana, United States
Alma mater The Catholic University of America
Profession Priest
Religion Roman Catholic
Fr. Hesburgh greets President Barack Obama to Notre Dame

The Rev. Theodore Martin Hesburgh, CSC, STD (May 25, 1917 – February 26, 2015), a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, was president of the University of Notre Dame for 35 years. He is the namesake for TIAA–CREF's Hesburgh Award.[1]

Hesburgh grew up in Syracuse, New York. He had wished to become a priest since early childhood.[2] He studied at Notre Dame until his seminary sent him to Italy. He studied in Rome until he was forced to leave due to the outbreak of World War II. He graduated from The Catholic University of America in 1945, having earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology. He became executive vice-president in 1949 and served in that position for three years.[3]


  • President 1
  • Honors and awards 2
  • Hesburgh Library 3
  • Honorary Degrees 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Hesburgh served as Notre Dame's President for 35 years (1952–1987), the longest tenure to date. He supervised dramatic growth, as well as a transition to coeducation in 1972. During his term, the annual operating budget rose by a factor of 18 from $9.7 million to $176.6 million, the endowment rose by a factor of 40 from $9 million to $350 million, and research funding rose by a factor of 20 from $735,000 to $15 million. Enrollment nearly doubled from 4,979 to 9,600, faculty more than doubled 389 to 950, and degrees awarded annually doubled from 1,212 to 2,500.[4][5]

Hesburgh served as a member of the United States Dwight Eisenhower in 1954. He was a contributor to the 1958 analysis of the U.S. education system, The Pursuit of Excellence, commissioned by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of its Special Studies Project.[6]

In 1967, he led an academic movement which issued the so-called Land O'Lakes statement which insisted upon "true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical". According to 1972 presidential election.[7] McGovern chose Thomas Eagleton.

Hesburgh was a key figure in anti-Vietnam War student activism. After discovering a student plot to burn the Notre Dame campus ROTC building in 1969, Hesburgh issued a letter to the student body outlining the University's stance. The letter was later reprinted by the New York Times and Washington Post.[8] At the request of President Richard Nixon, Hesburgh advised Vice President Spiro Agnew regarding controlling violence on college campuses. Hesburgh generally disagreed with American policy in Vietnam and favored accelerated withdrawal of the troops.[9]

From 1977 to 1982 Hesburgh was chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation.[10] President Jimmy Carter appointed him to a blue-ribbon immigration reform commission in 1979; the commission's finding — that any national immigration reform proposals can succeed only if the American national border is properly secured beforehand[11] — was cited by various opponents of illegal immigration to the United States, especially those who are Catholic or sympathetic to Catholic views.

He was one of the founders of People for the American Way. Hesburgh served on the Knight Commission that overhauled college sports from 1990 to 1996. Hesburgh was a major figure in American politics and Church politics from the 1950s to the 1990s. He was a strong supporter of interfaith dialogue.

In 2009, he supported the invitation for Barack Obama to speak at Notre Dame, which was controversial because of Obama's strong endorsement of pro-choice legislation.[12]

Hesburgh died on February 26, 2015, aged 97.[13][14]

Honors and awards

Hesburgh attained many accomplishments, honors, and awards in his public career and he was "the recipient of over 150 honorary degrees, the most ever awarded to one person."[15] He became the first individual from post-secondary education to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2000.[15][16] He served in over sixteen presidential appointments "involving him in civil rights, peaceful uses of atomic energy, campus unrest, and immigration reform — including the American policy of amnesty for immigrants in the mid-1980s."[15] He was the first priest to be elected to the Board of Overseers at Harvard and for two years served as president of the Harvard Board.[17] He also served as a director for the Chase Manhattan Bank.[15] While serving on the Board of the United States Institute of Peace, he "helped organize a meeting of scientists and representative leaders of six faith traditions who called for the elimination of nuclear weapons."[15] He served as a trustee and later Chairman of the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation.[15] He was appointed as ambassador to the 1979 UN Conference on Science and Technology for Development.[15]

Other awards include:

Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame.

He holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for "Most Honorary Degrees", having been awarded 150.

He also holds the world record for the fastest any civilian has ever flown, having ridden in an Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird at 2,200 MPH as a favor owed to him by President Jimmy Carter.[22]

Hesburgh Library

The University of Notre Dame's library opened on September 18, 1963 as the Memorial Library. It was renamed the Theodore Hesburgh Library after Father Hesburgh in 1987. He had a private office on the thirteenth floor with the Olympic Torch from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

Honorary Degrees

Father Theodore Hesburgh Received more than 150 Honorary Degrees, a world record for most honorary degrees given to one individual. These Include

Honorary Degrees
Country Date School Degree
 New York 1954 Le Moyne College [23]
 Illinois 1955 Bradley University
 Chile 1956 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
 Kansas 1958 St. Benedict's College
 Pennsylvania 1958 Villanova University
 New Hampshire 1958 Dartmouth College
 Rhode Island 1960 University of Rhode Island [24]
 New York 1961 Columbia University
 New Jersey 1961 Princeton University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [25]
 Massachusetts 1962 Brandeis University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [26]
 Indiana 1962 Indiana University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [27]
 Illinois 1963 Northwestern University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [28]
 Pennsylvania 1963 Lafayette College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Austria 1965 University of Vienna Honorary Citizen [29]
 California 1965 University of California Los Angeles
  • UCLA Later imposed a moratorium on awarding honorary degrees.
 Philippines 1965 Saint Louis University
 Washington 1965 Gonzaga University
 Pennsylvania 1965 Temple University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [30]
 Quebec 1965 Université de Montréal
 Illinois 1966 University of Illinois Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [31]
 Georgia (U.S. state) 1966 Atlanta University
 Indiana 1966 Wabash College
 New York 1967 Fordham University
 Indiana 1967 Manchester University
 Indiana 1967 Valparaiso University
 Rhode Island 1968 Providence College
 California 1968 University of Southern California
 Michigan 1968 Michigan State University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [32]
 Indiana 1969 Saint Mary's College
 Missouri 1969 Saint Louis University
 District of Columbia 1969 The Catholic University of America Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [33]
 Illinois 1970 Loyola University
 Indiana 1970 Anderson College Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [34]
 New York 1970 State University of New York
 Utah 1970 Utah State University Doctor of Arts (HD) [35]
 Pennsylvania 1971 Lehigh University
 Connecticut 1971 Yale University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [36]
 Pennsylvania 1972 King's College
 Massachusetts 1972 Stonehill College
 Michigan 1972 Alma College
 New York 1973 Syracuse University Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [37]
 New York 1973 Marymount College
 New York 1973 Hobart and William Smith Colleges [38]
 Ohio 1973 Hebrew Union College
 Massachusetts 1973 Harvard University
 Colorado 1974 Regis College [39]
 Pennsylvania 1974 Lincoln University
 Massachusetts 1974 Tufts University Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [40]
 Tennessee 1974 The University of the South
 Oregon 1975 University of Portland Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [41]
 Connecticut 1975 Fairfield University Doctor of Public Service [42]
 North Carolina 1976 Davidson College
 New York 1976 College of New Rochelle [43]
 Colorado 1976 University of Denver
 Wisconsin 1976 Beloit College Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [44]
 Pennsylvania 1977 Dickinson College Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD) [45]
 District of Columbia 1977 Georgetown University
 New York 1977 Queens College
 Quebec 1977 Laval University
 Belgium 1978 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
 South Carolina 1978 University of South Carolina
 Pennsylvania 1978 University of Pennsylvania Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [46]
 Belgium 1978 Université catholique de Louvain
 Pennsylvania 1978 Duquesne University
 Nova Scotia 1978 St. Francis Xavier University
 Indiana 1979 University of Evansville
 Michigan 1979 Albion College
 Utah 1979 University of Utah Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [47]
 Massachusetts 1979 Assumption College
 Virginia 1980 College of William and Mary Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL)
 Maryland 1980 Johns Hopkins University Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [48]
 New Jersey 1980 Seton Hall University
 Alabama 1980 Tuskegee Institute
 New York 1980 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
 California 1980 University of San Diego
 Texas 1980 University of the Incarnate Word Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [49]
 New York 1981 St. John Fisher College
 Washington 1981 Seattle University
 Ohio 9 May 1981 University of Toledo Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [50] [51]
 Iowa 1981 St. Ambrose University
 Pennsylvania 1981 University of Scranton [52][53]
 Ohio 1981 University of Cincinnati Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) [54]
 Michigan 1981 University of Michigan Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [55]
 Michigan 1981 Hope College Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [56]
 Brazil 1981 University of Brasília
 New York 1982 New York University
 Indiana 1982 Indiana State University
 Michigan 1982 Madonna College
 California 1982 Loyola Marymount University
 Pennsylvania 1982 Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital
 Michigan 1982 Kalamazoo College Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [57]
 Colorado 1982 Loretto Heights College
 Dominican Republic 1982 Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
 Thailand 1983 Ramkhamhaeng University
  • This Degree was Received In Absentia.
 Indiana 1983 Saint Joseph's College
 New Jersey 1983 Rider College [58]
 New York 1983 Colgate University
 New Jersey 1983 Immaculate Conception Seminary
 Florida 1984 St. Leo College
 West Virginia 1984 West Virginia Wesleyan College
 Indiana 1984 University of Notre Dame
 Montana 1985 Carroll College
 Ohio 1985 College of Mount St. Joseph
 Pennsylvania 1985 Holy Family College
 North Carolina 1985 Duke University Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [59]
 Tennessee 1985 Christian Brothers College
 New Brunswick 1985 St. Thomas University
 Ohio 1985 Walsh College
 Iowa 1986 Briar Cliff College
 Michigan 1986 Aquinas College Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [60]
 Nebraska 1986 University of Nebraska Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [61]
 Pennsylvania 1987 University of Pittsburgh
 Guatemala 1987 Universidad Francisco Marroquín
 Malta 1988 University of Malta
 Missouri 1988 Rockhurst College
 West Virginia 1989 Wheeling Jesuit College
 Louisiana 1989 Loyola University [62]
 Maryland 1989 Mount Saint Mary’s College
 Rhode Island 1989 Brown University
 Iowa 1990 Loras College
 Ohio 1990 Defiance College
 Minnesota 1990 St. Olaf College
 District of Columbia 1991 Defiance College Doctor of Public Service [63]
 Louisiana 1991 Our Lady of Holy Cross College [64]
 Pennsylvania 1992 Gannon University
 Iowa 1993 Mount Mercy College
 New Hampshire 1993 Notre Dame College
 North Carolina 1993 Wake Forest University Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [65]
 Indiana 1994 Marian College
 Missouri 1994 Avila College
 Illinois 1995 North Park College
 Pennsylvania 1996 Saint Vincent College
 Illinois 1996 University of St. Francis Doctor of Laws (LL.D) [66]
 Connecticut 1996 Albertus Magnus College Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [67]
 Australia 1997 University of Notre Dame Australia
 New York 1997 The College of Saint Rose
 Kentucky 1998 University of Kentucky Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) [68]
 New York 1998 Touro College Law Center
 Florida 1998 Barry University
 New York 1999 State University of New York Polytechnic Institute
 Connecticut 1999 Connecticut College [69]
 Indiana 2000 University of Saint Francis
 Indiana 2000 Holy Cross College
 New Jersey 2000 Saint Peter's College [70]
 North Carolina 2000 North Carolina State University Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [71]
 Texas 2001 St. Edward's University
 New Jersey 2001 Georgian Court College
 Ohio 2002 Ohio State University Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) [72]
 Indiana 2002 Ivy Tech State College
 California 2002 University of San Diego


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Michael O'Brien, Hesburgh: A Biography (1998).
  5. ^ Theodore M. Hesburgh, God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh (2000).
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Former ND president approves of Obama's visit Former ND president approves of Obama's visit.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c d e f g
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ http://www.temple.edus/temple/files/uploads/documents/2014_PastHonoraryDegreesRecipients.pdf
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^ https://provost.gwu.edus/
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^

Further reading

  • Michael O'Brien, Hesburgh: A Biography Catholic University of America Press (1998)
  • Theodore M. Hesburgh, God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh (2000)

External links

  • Biography from the University of Notre Dame
  • Theodore Hesburgh at the Internet Movie Database
  • Father Hesburgh and American Presidents
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • , February 10, 1991.God, Country, Notre Dame interview with Hesburgh on Booknotes
  • Remembering Father Hesburgh (South Bend Tribune special report section/article compilation)
  • Theodore Hesburgh at Find a Grave
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Krishna Menon
Cover of Time magazine
February 9, 1962
Succeeded by
Robert Kennedy
Preceded by
Mina Rees
Public Welfare Medal
Succeeded by
Isidor Isaac Rabi
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.