Father Theodore Hesburgh, the subject of a new stamp from the Postal Service, was a civil rights champion and the University of Notre Dame’s longest-serving president.
Hesburgh (1917-2015), known affectionately as “Father Ted,” was ordained into the priesthood of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1943. He joined Notre Dame’s faculty two years later and became Notre Dame’s president in 1952, a position he held for 35 years.
In 1957, Hesburgh was appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where he helped to compile reports on racial discrimination and the denial of voting rights that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
He also championed other causes, including education reform.
During his tenure, Hesburgh improved academic standards and increased the university’s endowment.
He received many honors, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2000.
The stamp, based on a 1980 photograph, features an oil painting of Hesburgh standing on the University of Notre Dame’s campus in Indiana.