Statement from Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., on the passing of baseball legend Hank Aaron

“When Notre Dame bestowed an honorary degree on Hank Aaron in 2005, our citation referenced his legendary baseball career and concluded that, most importantly, he had done it all ‘fair and square.’ His many records, particularly in the face of racial prejudice, make him one of the greats of the game.

“But, for as marvelous as his skills were, his off-the-field accomplishments were just as — perhaps even more — important and long-lasting. During his playing days and throughout his life, he played a quiet but important role in the civil rights movement and for racial justice. Part of that commitment included his and his wife Billye’s Chasing the Dream Foundation, which for 25 years has helped young people with limited financial resources pursue their dreams. We were honored four years ago when the foundation’s 44th scholarship — in recognition of Mr. Aaron’s uniform number — was established at Notre Dame.

“Hank Aaron was a tremendous baseball player and an even better human being. The prayers of the Notre Dame family are with Billye and his family, friends and many fans.”

Originally published by Notre Dame News at on January 22, 2021.