TIME Rememberance

Former Notre Dame President Theodore Hesburgh Dies at 97

FILE - The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, talks about his experiences over 90 years of life at his desk in the Hesburgh Library on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., in this Sept. 24, 2007 file photo
Joe Raymond—AP Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, talks about his experiences over 90 years of life at his desk in the Hesburgh Library on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 24, 2007

A champion of human rights, Hesburgh transformed Notre Dame into a premier academic institution

(South Bend, Ind.) — The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who transformed the University of Notre Dame into a school known almost as much for academics as football and who championed human rights around the globe, has died. He was 97.

University spokesman Paul Browne told The Associated Press that Hesburgh died on the South Bend, Indiana, campus around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known, he said.

“We mourn today a great man and faithful priest who transformed the University of Notre Dame and touched the lives of many,” said the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s current president. “With his leadership, charisma and vision, he turned a relatively small Catholic college known for football into one of the nation’s great institutions for higher learning.”

Hesburgh spent 35 years at the Notre Dame helm, earning a reputation as one of the nation’s top Catholic educators. But the man known simply as Father Ted to the thousands who attended the school while he was president from 1952 to 1987 was perhaps even more recognized for his work around the world on issues such as civil rights, immigration, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and Third World development.

That work often took him far from campus — including Washington, Moscow and El Salvador — as he advised popes and presidents, at times challenging their policies. His aim was constant: Better people’s lives.

“I go back to an old Latin motto, opus justitiae pax: Peace is the work of justice,” Hesburgh said in a 2001 interview. “We’ve known 20 percent of the people in the world have 80 percent of the goodies, which means the other 80 percent have to scrape by on 20 percent.”

Hesburgh, who grew up in Syracuse, New York, was a charming and personable man who found as much ease meeting with heads of state as he did with students. His goal after coming out of seminary was to be a Navy chaplain during World War II, but he instead was sent to Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to pursue a doctorate, which he received in 1945. He joined the Notre Dame faculty that same year.

His star rose quickly. Hesburgh was named head of the Department of Theology in 1948 and became the university’s executive vice president a year later. He took over as president in 1952 at age 35.

His passion for civil rights earned him a spot as a founding member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1957 and found him joining hands with Martin Luther King Jr. at a 1964 civil rights rally in Chicago, singing “We Shall Overcome.”

Hesburgh was a man who wasn’t afraid to challenge authority. As Notre Dame’s executive vice president in 1949, he took on powerful football coach Frank Leahy while reorganizing the athletic department. When the Vatican demanded conformity to church dogma, Hesburgh insisted that Notre Dame remain an intellectual center for theological debate. He also famously challenged the civil rights record of President Richard Nixon, who fired him from the Civil Rights Commission in 1972.

“I said, ‘I ended this job the way that I began 15 years ago — fired with enthusiasm,'” Hesburgh said in 2007.

Hesburgh’s relationship with other presidents was smoother. He received the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and later served on President Gerald Ford’s Presidential Clemency Board, charged with deciding the fate of various Vietnam offenders. In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton hailed Hesburgh as “a servant and a child of God, a genuine American patriot and a citizen of the world” as he bestowed upon him the government’s highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.

Hesburgh wrote several books, including one, “God, Country, Notre Dame,” that became a best-seller. Throughout his writings, he shared his vision of the contemporary Catholic university.

“The Catholic university should be a place,” he wrote, “where all the great questions are asked, where an exciting conversation is continually in progress, where the mind constantly grows as the values and powers of intelligence and wisdom are cherished and exercised in full freedom.”

In keeping with that philosophy, Notre Dame underwent profound changes under Hesburgh. Control of the school shifted in 1967 from the Congregation of the Holy Cross priests who founded the school to a lay board. The school ended a 40-year absence in football post-season bowl games and used the proceeds from the 1970 Cotton Bowl to fund minority scholarships. In 1972, Notre Dame admitted its first undergraduate women. Hesburgh called it one of his proudest accomplishments.

Hesburgh’s ambitions helped mold the university. The school was rather undistinguished academically when he became president. It had 4,979 students, 389 faculty and an annual operating budget of $9.7 million. When he retired in 1987, Notre Dame had 9,600 students, 950 faculty and an operating budget of $176.6 million. The school’s endowment grew from $9 million to $350 million during his presidency. When he retired, the school was rated among the nation’s most prestigious.

“I’m sure I get credit for a lot of things that I’m part of but not necessarily the whole of,” he said. “We began a great university and those who followed continued the motion forward.”

Hesburgh’s work earned him the cover of Time magazine in a 1962 article that described him as the most influential figure in the reshaping of Catholic education. He was granted 150 honorary degrees during his lifetime.

Despite the accolades, Hesburgh drew his share of criticism. Some said he spent too much time away from campus pursuing other issues. Others objected to the “15-minute rule” he implemented after students protesting the Vietnam War clashed with police on campus. Under the policy, students who disrupted the university’s normal operations would be given 15 minutes of meditation to cease and desist or would be expelled from school.

As a young priest, Hesburgh’s students included Jose Napoleon Duarte, whose 1984 election as El Salvador’s president set that country on a path to democracy after years of civil war. Hesburgh’s decision to have Duarte give Notre Dame’s 1985 commencement address was met by protests blaming Duarte and the Reagan administration for continued political killings and poverty in the Central American nation. Hesburgh wrote that the presentation of an honorary degree to Duarte didn’t mean the university has to agree with all he was doing.

Hesburgh also supported the university’s decision in 2009 to invite President Barack Obama to speak at commencement. At least 70 bishops opposed Obama’s appearance and Notre Dame’s decision to award him an honorary degree because of the president’s support of abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research. Hesburgh said universities are supposed to be places where people of differing opinions can talk.

Through it all, he stayed true to what he called his basic principle: “You don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”

Hesburgh remained active at Notre Dame in his retirement, lecturing occasionally, presiding over residence hall Masses and helping develop the school’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Most of all, though, he was a priest. He said Mass daily throughout his life.

“I’ve said Mass in airplanes at 50,000 feet. I’ve said Mass in the South Pole. I’ve said Mass in jungles all over the world. I’ve said Mass in African huts. I’ve said Mass in cathedrals. Wherever I am, I’ve been able to do it for over 60 years every day and only miss a couple of times in all those years,” Hesburgh said.

Jenkins, the current president, said Hesburgh’s greatest influence may have been on the generations of Notre Dame students he taught, counseled and befriended.

“Although saddened by his loss, I cherish the memory of a mentor, friend and brother in Holy Cross and am consoled that he is now at peace with the God he served so well,” Jenkins said.

The university said that a customary Holy Cross funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus at a time to be announced. The university also said a tribute to Hesburgh will be held at the Joyce Center.

TIME Indiana

Indiana May Allow ‘Baby Boxes’ for Surrendering Newborns

A prototype of a baby box, is shown outside the fire station in Woodburn, Ind., Feb. 26, 2015
Michael Conroy—AP A prototype of a baby box, is shown outside the fire station in Woodburn, Ind., Feb. 26, 2015

A baby box could show up soon to give mothers a way to surrender their children safely

(INDIANAPOLIS) — On the outside, the metal box looks like an oversized bread container. But what’s inside could save an abandoned newborn’s life.

The box is actually a newborn incubator, or baby box, and it could be showing up soon at Indiana hospitals, fire stations, churches and selected nonprofits under legislation that would give mothers in crisis a way to surrender their children safely and anonymously.

Indiana could be the first state to allow use of the baby boxes on a broad scale to prevent dangerous abandonments of infants if the bill, which unanimously passed the House this week, clears the state Senate. Republican state Rep. Casey Cox and child-safety advocates say they’re unaware of any other states that have considered the issue at the level Indiana has.

Cox says his bill is a natural progression of the “safe haven” laws that exist in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those give parents a legal way to surrender newborns at hospitals, police stations and other facilities without fear of prosecution so long as the child hasn’t been harmed.

Many children, however, never make it that far. Dawn Geras, president of the Save the Abandoned Babies Foundation in Chicago, said safe haven laws have resulted in more than 2,800 safe surrenders since 1999. But more than 1,400 other children have been found illegally abandoned, nearly two-thirds of whom died.

Cox said his proposal draws on a centuries-old concept to help “those children that are left in the woods, those children that are abandoned in dangerous places.”

Baby boxes, known in some countries as baby hatches or angel cradles, originated in medieval times, when convents were equipped with revolving doors known as “foundling wheels.” Unwanted infants were placed in compartments in the doors, which were then rotated to get the infant inside.

Hundreds of children have been surrendered in modern-day versions in place in Europe and Asia. The devices are even the subject of a new documentary titled “The Drop Box,” which chronicles the efforts of a pastor in Seoul, South Korea, to address child abandonment.

Supporters contend the boxes can save lives by offering women who can’t face relinquishing a child in person a safe and anonymous alternative to abandonment or infanticide.

But critics say the boxes make it easier to abandon a child without exploring other options and contend they do nothing to address poverty and other societal issues that contribute to unwanted babies. Some baby hatches in China have been so overwhelmed by abandonments in recent years that local officials have restricted their use or closed them.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has called for a ban on the boxes in Europe and has urged countries to provide family planning and other support to address the root causes of abandonments, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell.

Whether the U.S. is ready for the boxes is a matter of debate. Geras said many parents who surrender their children at safe haven sites need medical care that they won’t get if they leave the baby in a box. Handing the child to a trained professional also provides an opportunity to determine whether the mother simply needs financial support or other help to develop a parenting plan.

“If you use a baby box, you have stripped away that option,” Geras said. “There’s a lot of things that need to be done to improve safe haven laws throughout the country, but that’s not one of them.”

A better approach, she said, is for states to spend more money to promote their existing laws.

Monica Kelsey, a Woodburn, Indiana, firefighter and medic who is president of Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc., said the boxes aren’t meant to circumvent the laws that already exist. Instead, they’re part of a broader approach that includes increasing awareness about the laws and other options available to new mothers in crisis.

“If these boxes are the answer, great,” she said. “We’re trying to come at it from all angles.”

Kelsey, who was abandoned in a hospital shortly after her birth because her mother’s pregnancy was the result of rape, suggested the boxes to Cox and has formed a nonprofit that is working with a Fort Wayne, Indiana, company to develop a prototype. It would be about 2 feet long and be equipped with heating or cooling pads and sensors that would set off alarms when the box is opened and again when a weight is detected inside.

The boxes also would include a silent alarm that mothers could activate themselves by pushing a button.

“We’re giving her the power to do what’s right,” Kelsey said. “We’re hoping that these girls know that once they push that button, their baby will be saved.”

She stressed that the boxes should be viewed as a “last resort” and would include a toll-free number staffed 24 hours a day by a counselor who would first ask the caller to surrender the baby to a person.

The state health department would regulate the boxes. Cox’s bill, which covers children up to 31 days old, also would create a public registry listing box locations.

Kelsey said the bill expands safe haven locations to include churches and established nonprofits that deal with child-welfare issues to ensure that everyone has access.

“We want these locations to be able to accept a child if somebody … thinks this is the only thing they can do,” she said.

TIME Crime

Why These Indiana Teenagers Were Convicted of Murder Without Killing Anyone

The so-called 'Elkhart Four' were convicted under a little-used 'felony murder' law

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday whether to hear a case involving three unarmed teenagers who were convicted of murder despite the fact that none of them actually killed anyone.

On Oct. 3, 2012, then-16-year-old Blake Layman broke into a neighbor’s house along with three other teenagers and 21-year-old Danzele Johnson. All of them believed the home was empty, but once inside, the homeowner, Rodney Scott, heard the teens and fired on them with a handgun, fatally hitting Johnson.

MORE: States Use Secret Psychological Tests to Predict Future Crimes

Layman and three other teens—now known as the Elkhart Four—were unarmed at the time, and it was the homeowner who in fact shot Johnson. But the would-be burglars were the ones charged with “felony murder,” which can be found in most states but is rarely used, and allows for murder charges for individuals who commit a felony that leads to a death. Three were convicted after trial, while one pled guilty to the charges.

The Indiana Supreme Court is now considering taking up the case. Last year, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the teenagers’ convictions but said that the sentences applied were too severe.

TIME States

Indiana Bill Would Allow the Dead to Vote

Voting booths in polling place
Getty Images

The Whooooo-sier state

It’s difficult to vote if you’re dead. (Unless you live in Chicago. Or New York. Or Florida.) But an Indiana lawmaker is hoping to make election season a bit easier for the recently departed at least.

Indiana Rep. Matt Pierce proposed a bill taken up by the House Elections Committee Wednesday that would allow an absentee ballot from someone who dies before Election Day to be counted.

MORE: Jeb Bush Pitches Conservatism for the Middle Class

According to the Indianapolis Star, Pierce said he was motivated to propose the bill after hearing that former U.S. Rep. Frank McCloskey’s vote in 2004 wasn’t counted, because he died from cancer before Election Day.

TIME States

Indiana Governor Cancels Plans for State-Run News Site

Mike Pence
Michael Conroy—AP Indiana Gov. Mike Pence plans to launch what would amount to a state-run, taxpayer-funded news outlet in February. But on Wednesday, he appeared to back away from plans to unveil the site.

Taxpayer-funded 'Just IN' would feature news stories and profiles written by press secretaries

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has dropped plans to launch a communications site that was widely criticized as a state-run, taxpayer-funded news outlet.

Pence, a Republican, had planned to launch “Just IN,” a website that would include stories written by press secretaries and was described in internal memos as competing with other media outlets, the Indianapolis Star reported. The range would include hard news stories and “lighter features, including personality profiles.”

“At times, Just IN will break news—publishing information ahead of any other news outlet,” said one internal memo. “Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such ‘exclusive’ coverage remain under discussion.”

(MORE: Indiana Drops Common Core Education Standards)

On Wednesday, Pence appeared to distance himself from the site, telling local radio station WIBC-FM: “As governor I can assure you that (the plan) did not meet my expectations and if this website doesn’t meet my expectations of respecting the role of a free and independent press, I will reject it.”

Indiana House Democrats announced Thursday that they would attempt to block funding for the site, and Pence later announced he wouldn’t launch it.

“However well intentioned, after thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing you to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately,” Pence wrote to several state agencies.

(MORE: 8 Long-Shot Republicans Who Are Running for President)

TIME U.S.

City Council Jokes it Will Castrate Mayor if Debt Not Resolved

Joke got sent out by accident

Talk about raising the stakes: if Carmel, Indiana can’t solve its debt problem, the mayor may have to say goodbye to his family jewels.

It’s a joke, but seems to have made its way into the packet distributed to City Council on Tuesday. In a flowchart outlining a contingency plan for dealing with the debt, someone listed “shoot council, castrate mayor, put head between legs, kiss ass goodbye,” as a last resort, USA Today reported.

Another option, according to the chart: increase property taxes “in amount necessary to cover obligation. Kiss political position goodbye.”

City Council President Eric Seidensticker said he made the flowchart months ago as a joke, and shared it with a consultant working with the Clerk Treasurer’s offices. “What you have there is a humorous version that was not meant for distribution,” he told IndyStar. “It was meant to be humorous. So they grabbed the wrong one.”

The events that led to the chart’s distribution are almost as hilarious. Clerk-Treasurer Diana Cordray is out of the office this week, so the consultant sent out the information packet, and included the joke chart instead of the real one. Seidensticker had gotten eye surgery, so he couldn’t read the packet to catch the error, and he sent the packet to all the Council Members. “I didn’t realize it until somebody (on the Council) called me,” he told IndyStar.

But despite the fact that this was clearly the work of two clowns, Diana Cordray got the blame. “The clerk-treasurer is paid well by the taxpayers and it is unfortunate she is using her time and city resources to promote political campaigns,” Mayor Jim Brainard said in a statement to Current in Carmel. “This blunder is just one in a long line of incompetent and politically motivated things that have emanated from her office.”

TIME Companies

Go Inside an American Steel Mill

Nucor Corp. is the largest steelmaker in the United States, manufacturing some 20 million tons of steel each year to supply steel for skyscrapers, bridges, cars, and appliances. TIME visited Nucor's mill in Crawfordsville, Ind., one of the company's 24 steelmaking facilities

Cheap natural gas is giving manufacturer Nucor a shot at reversing the long decline in American steelmaking

On the day after christmas 2013, John Ferriola received a FedEx package containing a dozen metal pellets, each about the size of a blueberry and the color of charcoal. They had been refined with natural gas at a temperature one fifth that of the surface of the sun. To most, the contents of the box would have looked like a heap of rubbish. To Ferriola, CEO of Nucor Corp., the tiny pellets represent a huge bet for the biggest steelmaker left in the U.S.

The technology may also help rekindle American steel manufacturing. Nearly a third of U.S. steelmaking jobs have disappeared over the past 15 years as the industry has boomed in China and other emerging economies. The lone …

Read the full story here

TIME Crime

Indiana Couple Sues Cops After Traffic Stop Ends in Tasering

The driver's 14-year-old son captured disturbing footage of the encounter on his cellphone

An Indiana driver has produced disturbing cellphone footage to bolster a federal lawsuit against local police, alleging that the officers used excessive force during a routine traffic stop when one shattered the window of her car and shocked her boyfriend with a Taser in front of her children.

The cellphone footage, recorded by the 14-year-old son of Lisa Mahone from the backseat of the vehicle and first obtained by Fox 32 News, shows only the tail end of the encounter. The officer can be heard telling the passenger, Jamal Jones, to open the door, before suddenly smashing open the window and tasering Jones.

Lawyers for the couple alleged that the incident was evidence of a wider failure by the city to discipline officers for unlawful use of force. “The City has failed to adequately investigate allegations of officer misconduct, has failed to adequately discipline officers for the use of excessive force, and has failed to adequately train its officers on the proper use of force,” read a complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The Hammond police department defended the officer’s conduct, telling Fox 32 News that the situation escalated after Jones refused to show identification or exit the vehicle. The couple filed suit against the police on Monday.

[Fox 32]

TIME The Brief

Obama Offers U.S. Help for Nigeria After Boko Haram Kidnaps More Girls

Welcome to #theBrief, the four stories to know about right now--from the editors of TIME.

Here are the stories TIME is watching Wednesday, May 7:

  • Barack Obama pledged American help for Nigeria after eight more girls were abducted by Boko Haram Tuesday in addition to the more than 200 already held captive. The U.S. will send military, law enforcement officials and hostage negotiators in an effort to return the girls to their families.
  • Few Tea Party challengers unseated their incumbent GOP rivals in Tuesday’s Republican primaries in North Carolina, Ohio, and India.
  • Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is getting ready to go public in the U.S. in what could be the biggest tech IPO in history.
  • Kevin Durant was named NBA MVP after having a stellar statistical season and leading his Oklahoma Thunder to the playoffs.

The Brief is published daily.

TIME health

First U.S. MERS Patient May Be Sent Home Soon

MERS
AP

Indiana health officials say the first U.S. case of the deadly virus is recovering and no hospital workers or family members have tested positive yet

The first person in the U.S. to have tested positive for the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, is almost well enough to be sent home.

Authorities in Indiana appear to have kept the first American case of the disease contained after isolating the unnamed patient. Staff and family members who came in contact with him were kept under observation and have now all tested negative for the virus.

The patient, who was diagnosed with MERS on Friday, is reportedly in better health and off supplementary oxygen, while doctors are mulling whether to discharge him from the hospital soon.

However, officials will continue to monitor those who came in contact with the patient regularly throughout the virus’ incubation period, which typically lasts 14 days.

“Having the first case of MERS in the United States appear right here in Indiana is a scary situation,” said state health commissioner William VanNess II in a statement.

“I want to assure everyone that our state medical experts, CDC and Community Hospital in Munster have been working around the clock to contain the spread of this disease and protect Americans.”

The patient is believed to have contracted the virus while working in Saudi Arabia, where MERS was first detected two years ago. More than 400 people have since been infected in a dozen countries, nearly a third of which have been fatal cases.

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