Father Hesburgh receives 16th presidential appointment


President Bush has appointed Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., to the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the 16th presidential appointment in the long public service career of the University of Notre Dame’s president emeritus.p. The commission meets annually to select some 140 high schools students from across the nation for recognition as Presidential Scholars. Established in 1964, the Presidential Scholars Program honors students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement.p. Among Father Hesburgh’s previous presidential appointments were service as a charter member on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, on the Presidential Clemency Board, charged with deciding the fate of various groups of Vietnam offenders, and the Overseas Development Council, which led an initiative to avert mass starvation in Cambodia in the late 1970s.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.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 most ever bestowed on one individual.

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