Hesburgh to receive Hold Cross degree
By SARAH RYKOWSKI
Saint Mary's News Editor
Father Theodore Hesburgh has received more honorary degrees than anyone in the world, with a total of 141. To receive his next honorary degree, however, he won't need to travel far from home.
Hesburgh, Notre Dame president emeritus, will receive the first honorary degree awarded by Holy Cross College, as well as address the Class of 2000 at Holy Cross College's 33rd-annual commencement ceremony.
"The college has been in the process of researching the experiences and traditions of other two-year colleges regarding the granting of honorary degrees," said Beverly Bradley, director of the Office of Community Relations at Holy Cross College. "The Board of Trustees decided it was appropriate for us at this time."
Hesburgh was chosen by the administration and Board of Trustees to receive this dual honor because of his past service to Holy Cross. Hesburgh was present at the founding of Holy Cross and was a friend of Brother John Driscoll, the first Holy Cross president. Hesburgh also aided Holy Cross as it sought to obtain the recognition and credit standing necessary for its survival.
"I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have felt personally from Father Hesburgh over the years — not only as a president, but as a fellow C.S.C. member," said Brother Richard Gilman, president of Holy Cross.
Hesburgh, who was president of Notre Dame for 35 years, will be granted a Doctor of Humane Letter.
Hesburgh has served under four popes and been awarded 15 presidential appointments. Hesburgh is also a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his lifetime commitment to public service.
Hesburgh is a founding member of the first private foundation allowed to organize in Russia, the Foundation for the Survival and Development of Humanity. His longstanding interests in peace and development issues are reflected in his principal involvement with two Notre Dame institutes, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies. He is a board member of the U.S. Institute for Peace.
Hesburgh has also just completed six years of service on the Harvard University Board of Overseers, the last two as president of the organization.
As for the future of the honorary degree at Holy Cross College, Hesburgh's award may not become commonplace, but on it is not entirely out of the question for other honorary degrees being granted in the future.
"Although it may not be an annual tradition, Holy Cross College may choose to offer this honor to others of this caliber in the future, as the occasion arises," Bradley said.
Commencement exercises at Holy Cross College take place on May 13, in Saint Joseph Chapel, on campus.
All News Stories for Tuesday, April 11, 2000