Students reflect on Fr. Ted’s achievements

first_imgPhoto courtesy of the University archives For the students who met him, University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh was a powerful and memorable presence.Sophomore Andrew Lehmer met Hesburgh, who died Thursday at the age of 97, during his freshman year after attending a Latino retreat.“It was crazy how impactful his presence was,” Lehmer said. “You could sense every word meant something bigger.”Lehmer said he asked the former University president, civil rights activist, diplomat and priest what he could do to make his own life as meaningful as Hesburgh’s.“He told me ‘be a good Catholic,’” he said. “Obviously, that can be taken a lot of ways, but I’m trying to figure it out by actively pursuing the faith and keeping what he said in the back of my mind.”Sophomore Mary White, the president of Pasquerilla East Hall (PE), said a group of PE residents were supposed to meet with Hesburgh on Thursday afternoon. She said the dorm-wide response to the invitation to see Hesburgh was so overwhelming that the coordinators limited the visit to upperclassmen, though the meeting was eventually cancelled.To meet Hesburgh was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, White said.“It served as an integral Notre Dame experience,” she said. “It was something you would go on to tell your children about.”Junior Diego Valenzuela visited Hesburgh with his section of Stanford Hall last year, to talk with Hesburgh and hear his stories.“Just being in his presence was just unbelievable because this man has accomplished so much and done so many great things for Notre Dame and the United States and Catholics everywhere,” Valenzuela said.Late in his life, Hesburgh lost most of his sight as well as most of his mobility, but his mind remained sharp and his speaking powerful. Junior Jesse Hamilton said each time Hesburgh spoke to his ROTC class, he would be slowly led onstage.“It was such a slow, ginger process to get him up to the podium, and as soon as he spoke, he spoke with such clarity and sharpness,” Hamilton said. “It was incredible just to see how all of his mind was there and all the love he had for us. Any words that came out of his mouth, you knew were genuine, and just the couple times I met him, he inspired me to be the best Christian I can be, the best leader I can be. He will be greatly missed.”But for all his accomplishments — as a University president, as a leader in civil rights and Catholic education — and gravitas, students were struck by his congeniality and concern for each individual student.Junior Anthony Barrett also visited Hesburgh with his section from Stanford Hall. Barrett said the former president asked for each person’s name, hometown and major.“He would say something kind to each person,” Barrett said. “He’s done so much for us as a school, on a large level, and he also still took the time to get to know people on an individual level. That’s the kind of person that we should all aspire to be.”Junior Paul Coletti said he first met Hesburgh in front of the library named for him during a scavenger hunt in his freshman orientation weekend. Hesburgh stopped and spoke with the group.Later, Colletti became a University tour guide. During a tour Thursday, the day Hesburgh died, he told a group about Hesburgh’s accomplishments.“I told the girl who I was touring about how students are sometimes even called up to read to him, if they’re studying on the upper floors of the library, and she turned to her dad, and she was like, ‘I want to come here,’” he said. “… Little did I know.“He was a great University president. He was probably the closest thing to a living saint that I ever was in a picture with and shook hands with. He was certainly good for the University, but also good for Catholics everywhere.”Many students who never met Hesburgh also felt his influence. Junior Erin Bishop said in the days after his death, she kept thinking about his decision to make Notre Dame co-educational.“Without him, none of us would be here,” she said. “There would be no women here. That thought just keeps going through my head, you know? Without him, this wouldn’t be my life, and this is such a big part of my life. The University is really going to miss him. And I hope that they choose to celebrate his life rather than mourn his loss.”Junior Bryan Ricketts, student body president-elect, said he went to the 13th floor of the library after Hesburgh’s death to see his office. He said Hesburgh was instrumental in making Notre Dame co-ed and a premier research institution, and he looks to him for inspiration as a leader.“I hadn’t had the chance to speak to him after being elected; it was something I was hoping to do with the team,” Ricketts said. “He’s such an inspiration and left such a legacy.”Freshman Gabriel Gaspar never got the chance to meet Hesburgh, but when he heard of his death Thursday, he, like dozens of other students, headed to the Grotto to pay his respects.“He’s really affected a lot of people here,” he said. “Everyone I talk to, like my first week here, Fr. Hesburgh came up, like, ‘you should definitely meet him.’ He’s someone who can change your life. He’s someone who truly represents Notre Dame and really brings the meaning of it to this entire school.”Grotto candles were rearranged to spell “TED,” and people left a cigar and notes in candle holders. The gathering at the Grotto on Thursday also included an impromptu rendition of the Alma Mater. Freshman Will Lederer, who attended the event, said Hesburgh inspired a sense of community among Notre Dame students.“For the six months I’ve been here, I don’t think I’ve felt this way yet,” Letterer said. “Just the community, the service and the gratitude we owe Fr. Hesburgh, and the outpouring of support is just truly inspiring. It’s really heartwarming. I’m glad I was here.”Tags: Remembering Father Hesburgh, Student reactionslast_img read more

Barcelona start La Liga defence with 6-2 rout of Real Betis

first_imgLuis Suarez scored a hat trick and Lionel Messi added two more goals as Barcelona started its Spanish league title defense in style by routing Real Betis 6-2 on Saturday.Suarez, who led scoring in La Liga with 40 goals last season, helped to put the result beyond doubt before halftime and struck twice afterward to complete the demolition.Even better for the Catalan club, Messi destroyed any hopes of title rivals that a difficult summer could have affected his game. (Also read: Costa caps Chelsea comeback, Leicester play out goalless draw vs Arsenal) Messi was found guilty in June of tax fraud in Spain – he is appealing – and lost another Copa America final with Argentina. But he was his normal brilliant self at Camp Nou.With the score at 1-1, Messi restored Barcelona’s lead for good in the 37th minute with his first of two unstoppable strikes from the edge of the area. He was just as impressive as a playmaker, taking part in setting up three more goals.”(Messi) is incredible. He is the best player in the world,” Suarez said. “You have to enjoy playing with a player like that.”Sevilla also scored six goals but in a much closer 6-4 thrilling win over Espanyol for its first victory under manager Jorge Sampaoli after losses in the UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup.In Barcelona, Arda Turan had put the hosts ahead before Betis striker Ruben Castro equalized with the first of two goals.REAL, ATLETICO OPEN CAMPAIGN TODAYadvertisementBarcelona’s biggest title rivals play their opening matches on Sunday, when Real Madrid visits Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid hosts the promoted Alaves.For Suarez, the six-goal performance against Betis was a message that Barcelona is still the team to beat.”Barca is always the favorite,” Suarez said. “Today’s game was to show why we have been the champion in recent seasons.”Before kickoff, Messi and Andres Iniesta received the trophy for last season’s title.After Iniesta, who is recovering from a leg injury, returned to the stands, Messi got down to helping Barcelona make its first step toward a third straight league crown.Messi needed six minutes to catch Betis’ defense off-balance with a cross-field pass to Jordi Alba, who then found Turan to sidefoot in his assist.Turan continued to make the most of Neymar’s Olympic duty for Brazil by scoring his third goal in as many matches. Turan scored twice to help win the Spanish Super Cup this week, and has meshed well with Messi and Suarez up front.”Turan is talented and can play both as midfielder and forward, and now, on top of that, he is scoring goals,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “He is more integrated and happy.”The other big benefactor of the lopsided win was Sergi Roberto. The versatile Roberto has been tapped to replace the big boots of Dani Alves on the right side of the defense. He excelled against Betis with passes for Messi and Suarez to score their first goals.Castro pulled Betis level in the 21st with a free kick that goalkeeper Claudio Bravo couldn’t keep out in what could be his last match for Barcelona. Barcelona sports director RobertFernandez said after the match that the club had reached a deal in principle to sell Bravo to Manchester City.But it didn’t take long for Messi to quash Betis’ comeback.Messi had already struck the bar before getting his first goal, a trademark left-footed curler after he had received the ball from Roberto.Suarez made it 3-1 just before halftime when Messi played Roberto clear on the right. The Uruguay striker rolled Roberto’s pass off the far post and into the net.Barcelona increased its dominance after halftime as Messi led a counterattack that ended with him finding Suarez all alone to push in the ball in the 55th.Two minutes later Messi rifled a low strike past Adan, who then could do nothing to reach Suarez’s free kick that sailed just inside the post in the 82nd.”As a fan, I enjoy Messi, I can’t deny it” said Betis coach Gus Poyet. “But when you are playing against him, you don’t want him to play so well.”Betis’ Castro scored the last goal of the match.Striker Luciano Vietto netted twice for Sevilla against a visiting Espanyol side which was in its first match under coach Quique Sanchez Flores.Elsewhere, Villarreal drew 1-1 at Granada.last_img read more