Fr. Hesburgh will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

by Jennifer Coleman

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, will be honored Nov. 17 (Tuesday) with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the silver anniversary celebration of the Jefferson Awards at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.p. A program of the American Institute for Public Service, the Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and U.S. Sen. Robert Taft, Jr. Honorees are selected by their peers for their dedication to service.p. Notre Dame’s president from 1952-87, Father Hesburgh led the University in its rise to national prominence. His 35-year tenure included the transfer of governance from the founding religious community, the Congregation of Holy Cross, to a predominantly lay board of trustees in 1967, and the admission of women to the undergraduate program in 1972. Father Hesburgh has served four popes and has held 15 presidential appointments over the years. Highlighting a lengthy list of awards is the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, bestowed on him in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson. His stature as an elder statesman in American higher education is reflected in his 138 honorary degrees, the most ever awarded to one person.p. Since his retirement, Father Hesburgh 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. He currently serves on the board of the United States Institute of Peace.p. The theme of the silver anniversary of the Jefferson Awards is “Celebrating the Best in America.” Senate minority leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) are serving as national chairmen of the event.

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