Ongoing Presence at Notre Dame

“How does one describe, for those who haven’t spent years here, how special this place is?”

—Father Hesburgh, in his 1987 valedictory to alumni and friends

From the moment of his return from extended travels in 1987–88, Father Hesburgh was asked to participate in an endless series of events, organizational endeavors, collaborations, and conversations on a vast range of subjects, on-campus, nationally, and around the world.

At the invitation of faculty, he spoke on topics that engaged him personally, from the civil rights movement to the peace movement. He served on dozens of boards and committees. He served on many external boards and advisory councils, contributing to the sharing of ideas among institutions, benefiting Notre Dame and others.

His personal interest in the Kellogg Institute and the Kroc Institute was reflected in many of his activities, and he was an honored guest at annual parties that brought the institute staffs and students together at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

He was, first and foremost, a priest, celebrating Mass with members of the Notre Dame community and with visitors, whether they gathered in a small chapel or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.