Saturday, February 28, 2015

Can you imagine a university president like this?

He gives away his whole salary to a not-for-profit.
He is reluctant to go into administration because he has to give up teaching.
He serves as president at the same institution for 35 years.
He increases the endowment from $9 million to $350 million.
When he takes over the university is mostly known for football. When he leaves it is a major research university.
He does not embrace the football program.
He introduces enrolment of female students.
He stands up to the president of the country over civil rights.
He is a major leader of campus opposition to a controversial war.
He changes the governance of the university so that it is no longer controlled by the sectarian founders, although he is one of them.
He speaks out often about issues of justice, human rights, racism, and poverty.
A survey of his peers identify him as the most effective college president in the country.

Is this fantasy? Could such a person actually exist?
Previously I posted about a dream graduation speech.
But, this president is real.

Theodore Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame University in the USA, from 1952-1987.
He died last week, aged 97.
The New York Times obituary is worth reading.

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