Hesburgh Award Video

Uploaded by PennState on 09.02.2009

The TIAA-CREF award named in Father’s Hesburgh’s honor
recognizes leadership and commitment to higher education and contributions to the greater good.
Vision is what leadership is all about. You have a vision of what an institution can be
and leadership is the way you bring that vision into reality.
I think Father Hesburgh has is about right. It is about vision
first and foremost…but it’s also about getting it done.
And you can’t just have great ideas. You have to have execution. And in order to have the right kind of execution
you can’t do it all yourself so you have to motivate others.
The greatest challenge we have in higher education today is about issues of character, conscience, citizenship
and social responsibility among our students.
The mark of a great university is not so much what your students are doing right now,
but what’s happened to your alumni, 5 – 10 – 20 even 50 years after graduation.
There is a great joy when you’ve known youngsters coming in, callow, youth they’re called…
But you see them 10 – 20 – 30 years later they are still drawing on the little gems of wisdom
they picked up during their 4 or 5 years at a university.
I think there will always be a chance for a university president to have an impact on the broader society.
We need to create an environment in this country and in higher education that allows
today’s university presidents to have the kind of impact on our country--on our society
that Father Hesburgh was allowed to have.
I would like to think that the greatest contributions I’ve made are
are more around the theme of humanizing the university.
Everything from providing more and better day care for children of students and faculty members…
to creating a more student-centered university.
He’s been someone that you looked up to…and whose expectations and example you could live up to.
Just the hint that I am approaching that zone…it feels very good. It is a great honor.