Joseph Buttigieg, a longtime distinguished faculty member at the University of Notre Dame and the inaugural director of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, has announced his retirement at the end of the current academic year. The scholars program is a merit-based scholarship and leadership development initiative that equips students to have a transformational impact on the world.

It is named for the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Notre Dame’s president from 1952 to 1987 and one of the 20th century’s most influential leaders in the Catholic Church, higher education and national and international affairs, and Mark and Stacey Miller Yusko, who underwrote creation of the program with a generous gift in 2009. Hesburgh-Yusko scholars are evaluated according to four criteria: demonstrated leadership ability, distinguished academic accomplishment, sincere commitment to service and exemplary moral character. They receive four years of merit scholarship awards of $25,000 annually toward the cost of attending Notre Dame; intellectual engagement within a community of scholars participating in regular discussion forums, local initiatives and social activities throughout the academic year; four summer enrichment experiences based upon wilderness leadership, social justice, global inquiry and professional venture; and guidance and support from a dedicated program staff and faculty mentors.

In the last two years, Hesburgh-Yusko scholars have won Rhodes, Truman, Yenching and Fulbright scholarships. Raised on the Mediterranean island of Malta, Buttigieg earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Malta, a second bachelor’s degree from Heythrop College in London and his doctorate from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1980 and, in addition to his service as director of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, he is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English, a fellow in the University’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the director of the Stamps Scholars Program at Notre Dame.

Buttigieg’s wife, Anne Montgomery, was a member of the Notre Dame faculty for 29 years, and his son Pete is the mayor of South Bend.

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