Fr. Ted's Civil Rights Legacy

Michael O. Garvey | Oct. 4, 2013 | Notre Dame News

Father Theodore Hesburgh and Dr Martin Luther King JrFather Hesburgh, second from left, stands with Martin Luther King Jr. and others in Chicago, 1964

A succession of black and white photographs — iconic, half-century-old images from America’s civil rights movement — were being projected on the screen behind the Washington Hall auditorium stage. In most of them, a handsome, clerically attired Catholic priest, then in his prime, was a central figure. Now, a half century later, the 96-year-old Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, sat in the front row of the auditorium, the silent but most conspicuous member of an attentive audience.

On Monday evening, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which Father Hesburgh founded in 1973, celebrated its 40th anniversary with a lecture on “The Civil Rights Legacy of Father Theodore M. Hesburgh,” by Jennifer Mason McAward, associate professor of law. The photographs complemented McAward’s absorbing account of Father Hesburgh’s tenure on the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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 by Daily Domer Staff

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