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Tara Kenney on Father Hesburgh

| Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear Father Ted,

It is with gratitude and deep devotion that I write to reflect on your legacy at Notre Dame and your lasting gift to the women of Our Lady.  Forty-plus years later, we women of ND are the proud legacy of your having the vision and the courage many years ago to break the mold and allow us to attend this great university. The Notre Dame community fostered and grew under your good guidance, and the men and women that now serve as Our Lady’s ambassadors are positive proof that co-education is the best environment for men and women to learn how to live and work together.  We women of Notre Dame are blessed and thankful for having been given this opportunity to grow and serve in the spirit of Our Lady.

You have set an example for all of us, the men and women of Notre Dame, of the importance of service to God and others above self. Your legacy will live on in all of us who were made to feel as equals on this campus, whether in the classroom or the athletic arena.  You inspired us to strive toward excellence, to challenge the status quo, to break barriers in our careers and our lives and to look to Our Lady for guidance and support.

Your dedication to God, to Country and to Notre Dame (to paraphrase from a “best-seller”), has given us the moral compass to live by.  Whether in our professional lives, or more importantly in raising our families and within our communities, the lessons you helped impart while we were at Notre Dame have shaped who we are.  We are the women of Notre Dame, and we are a powerful, spiritual and responsible group who cherish life and seek justice and truth.

We thank you for your influence in our lives, which will live on in eternity. Your work on this earth is now complete; may you rest in peace in the comfort of your Lord.

We are Notre Dame.

Yours in Our Lady,


Tara C. Kenney
Class of 1982
First woman student body vice president
Kellogg Institute for International Affairs, advisory board
Managing Director, Deutsche Bank
Boston, Massachusetts

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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