Father Hesburgh honored as an Indiana Living Legend

by Dennis Brown

The Indiana Historical Society has selected Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., an Indiana Living Legend and will honor the former University of Notre Dame president and six other class of 2001 inductees July 27 (Friday).p. Established by the society in 1999, Indiana Living Legends are Hoosiers who have made significant contributions to the state or society through their personal or professional endeavors. Joining Father Hesburgh this year are Indiana University professor and world-renowned jazz musician David Baker, former Indiana Gov. Dr. Otis Bowen, Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis, Indiana University cancer specialist Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, and philanthropists Jane Owen and the J. Irwin Miller family.p. The honorees will be recognized July 27 at the third annual Living Legends Gala at the Indiana Historical Society’s headquarters, 450 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis. The black-tie event will begin at 6 p.m., and tickets can be purchased for $250 each by calling (317) 234-1313.p. The gala is part of Hoosier History Fest weekend, which continues July 28 (Saturday) with a variety of free events, performances and activities at the society’s headquarters.p. One of the 20th century’s leading figures in higher education, public service and the Church, Father Hesburgh served as Notre Dame’s president from1952-87, directing the University’s rise to prominence as one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning. He has served four popes and held 15 presidential appointments over the years, involving him in virtually all the major social issues, including civil rights, peaceful uses of atomic energy, campus unrest, treatment of Vietnam offenders, Third World development, and immigration reform.p. Since his retirement, Father Hesburgh, 84, has continued to advance the interests of several Notre Dame academic institutes, serve on the boards of national and international organizations, write articles and deliver speeches.p. Highlighting a lengthy list of awards to Father Hesburgh are the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by Congress, which was presented to him last July, and the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, bestowed on him in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson.p. In addition, Father Hesburgh is the recipient of 147 honorary degrees ? the latest coming Friday (June 8) from Georgian Court College in Lakewood, N.J. ? the most ever bestowed on one individual.p. Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has collected, preserved, interpreted and disseminated the state’s history. The independent, nonprofit organization also publishes books and periodicals, makes research grants, sponsors teacher workshops, assists local historical groups statewide, and provides youth, adult and family programming. One of the country’s oldest such groups, the Indiana Historical Society is the third largest in the nation with more than 11,000 members.

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