During Notre Dame’s 1954 commencement ceremony, Father Ted Hesburgh summoned master’s degree recipient Algie Oldham out of the line of graduates.
“Algie was sort of panic struck,” says his wife, Sarah Oldham. “When the president calls you out of line, you think something bad at first.”
Instead, Hesburgh embraced him and said, “I am so proud of you.”
Born in Dyersburg, Tennessee in 1927, Oldham spent his undergraduate years studying education at Tennessee State, where he met Sarah, a South Bend native. Members of the Oldham family will celebrate their connections to both Tennessee State and Notre Dame when the schools meet on the football field September 2.
“We’re all just so sorry that he’s not around to go to this big reunion,” Sarah says of her husband, who died in 2011 at age 83.
Originally published by Notre Dame Magazine at magazine.nd.edu on August 31, 2023.