Father Jenkins to participate in Hesburgh–King statue unveiling

Author: Sue Ryan

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., with Martin Luther King Jr., ca. 1964

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will join City of South Bend leaders, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and community members Wednesday (June 21) for the unveiling and dedication of a sculpture depicting former University President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., with Martin Luther King Jr.

The sculpture is based on a famous photo showing Father Hesburgh holding hands with King during a civil rights rally in Chicago in 1964. The photograph now hangs in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

Recognized as a civil rights champion, Hesburgh served as president of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, and was a principal architect of the Civil Rights Act. He served on the Civil Rights Commission from its inception in 1957 until 1972. That same year Father Hesburgh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his visionary work against elements of apartheid in America.

The South Bend sculpture, funded by private donations, was designed by Granger-based artist Tuck Langland. The unveiling ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. in Leighton Plaza, South Bend. The community is also invited to participate in a march at 10 a.m. from the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1522 Linden Ave., to the unveiling ceremony at Leighton Plaza.