Statement from Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet on the Passing of Father Theodore Hesburgh

March 4, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2015 – Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet today released the following statement on the passing of Father Theodore Hesburgh.

“The entire Peace Corps community is deeply saddened by the passing of Father Theodore Hesburgh, a past president of the University of Notre Dame and one of Peace Corps’ earliest and most faithful champions.

“Father Hesburgh was deeply involved in Peace Corps’ first days, serving as a trusted adviser to President John F. Kennedy, then-Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, and Harris Wofford as the agency was created. When the first group of Peace Corps volunteers arrived on Notre Dame’s campus in 1961 to be trained for their two years of service, Father Hesburgh mentored and counseled them, setting the stage for a longstanding partnership that has inspired more than 850 UND alumni to make a difference as Peace Corps volunteers around the world.

“As UND President, Father Hesburgh founded the University’s Center for Social Concerns, which for more than 30 years has facilitated community-based learning, research and service informed by Catholic Social Tradition, and continues to promote Peace Corps’ mission and service opportunities to students today.

“Father Hesburgh was a remarkable advocate for service to others. His influence on humanitarian causes and his role as a spiritual leader deeply impacted Peace Corps volunteers both past and present, and our entire nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the Notre Dame community as they grieve this loss.”

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