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    By: Bill Schmitt & Theodore Hesburgh

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    "This book celebrates the University of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library and its fifty years as a place of evolving service, powerful symbolism, and collaboration. It tells the history of the Library in terms of its meaning to all those who designed it, helped it to become a reality, imbued it with a distinctive identity, and pointed it toward the future. The text by Bill Schmitt and photographs from the University Archives and university photographers give the reader a new appreciation for a building that is central to the university's history and therefore important to supporters of Notre Dame as a place of special value. Schmitt begins with the Library's dedication day in 1964 and explores what the new building meant to Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., who as president of Notre Dame played a key role in its construction and in defining its characteristics and place at Notre Dame. The book focuses especially on the building's best-known feature, the iconic mural named The Word of Life but better known to many as "Touchdown Jesus." Included in the book are numerous photos that transport the reader to the past and enhance an appreciation of the mural and the building for us today. "The lessons I hope will be drawn from the story of this Library and from my role in its fifty-years-and-counting lifespan are a mixture of past, present, and future. I wanted in 1963, and still desire today, for the Memorial Library literally to stand for the future of Notre Dame as a place of unmatched intellectual achievement, free inquiry, and providential contributions to mankind. But I wanted, and still desire, that this be in the context of a distinctive pursuit of truth that is recognized in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and in Our Lady atop the Golden Dome. The muralist Millard Sheets captured this pursuit in the Library's Word of Life mural, too, showing that the pursuit is a legacy passed along since the dawn of human history, a legacy that has generated countless treasures of wisdom, many of which are preserved and accessible here." --Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., from the foreword"--

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