Father Hesburgh:

It's been a wonderful series of years here at Notre Dame since I arrived in 1934 - that's a long time ago. I never could have dreamed that first day of class what lay ahead, but that's just as good.

Over the years this University has brought me across oceans and all across the world to meet people who have helped change lives and make a better life for people in far, forgotten places.

I guess one could say that all of this was working for peace and peace through justice. Whether it be civil rights or world development or food for the hungry or peace for those troubled in foreign lands.

But especially I'm grateful for what our students continue to do right here. This is the heartland, this is where it all begins. And to be associated with so many wonderful students, and later in their lives as alumni, as they try to change the lives of people who are suffering all kinds of inequity around the world. I can't tell you how much good is being done by the Notre Dame alumni both here and abroad. But it's a wonderful story, and it's a story without end, because it goes on yet today.

And for all of the grace and all of the blessings it entailed, I'd like to say a word of sincere thanks to our Lord and his blessed mother, Notre Dame.

And I'm very happy to say that this year we have something special with our annual fund. We're putting aside money to help wonderful young students who are working here in so many ways here at Notre Dame for their own growth and for the growth of our people. They’ve named this scholarship our Notre Dame our Mother scholarship, and that’s exactly what it is. But one thing they don't have to worry about because of the scholarship is that we can pick up their expenses, and we give them the opportunity to have the years they have here so rich at Notre Dame. They can somehow help them reach out to realize their dreams, and to know they don't have to worry about big bills afterwards that have to be paid.

And there is no really small or insignificant gift. Every single amount that comes into this fund is given to Our Lady from the heart, and it's given with generosity.

I can't think of a better way of honoring the mother of God then to contribute in this way so that her sons and daughters may serve others.

And now I'd like to offer a blessing for our students here and for our entire Notre Dame family around the world.

We ask Our Lady Notre Dame to bless these students with her wonderful child Jesus in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. University of Notre Dame