Hesburgh, Theodore Martin

Hesburgh, Theodore Martin, 1917–2015, American educator and civil rights advocate, b. Syracuse, N.Y., grad. Pontifical Gregorian Univ. (1939), Catholic Univ. of America (Ph.D., 1945). A member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, he was ordained in 1943 and spent his entire career at the Univ. of Notre Dame, first as a teacher and chaplain, then as vice president (1949–52), and president (1952–87). During his tenure, Hesburgh oversaw an enormous increase in the school's endowment, the upgrading of academic standards, the admission of women as undergraduates (1972), and a doubling of enrollment. In the mid-1960s he led a movement among Catholic colleges to assert greater autonomy from the church hierarchy by increasing lay participation in university governance. Hesburgh also held several White House and Vatican appointments, including that of chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1957–72) and the Vatican's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (1956–70).

See memoir, God, Country, Notre Dame (1999, with Jerry Reedy).

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