One of the best men in the history of the University of Notre Dame has passed away, as Rev. Theodore Hesburgh died late Thursday on the South Bend, Ind., campus. He was 97. Father Hesburgh was Notre Dame’s president from 1952-87, helping develop the school into one of the country’s most powerful academic institutions. He is well known for his influence with U.S. presidents on civil rights and other issues of the 20th century. A 14-story library at Notre Dame is named after Hesburgh. Friday morning, the Fighting Irish community is mourning the loss of their former leader. Brian Kelly’s press conference to announce new assistants has been pushed to Monday in wake of death of Fr. Hesburgh— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) February 27, 2015Students have been gathering at the Grotto to remember and pray for Fr. Hesburgh. pic.twitter.com/WPCYFcPNPc— Notre Dame (@NotreDame) February 27, 2015IN has lost a man of unwavering faith, profound vision & monumental virtue in the passing of @NotreDame Father Theodore Hesburgh.— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) February 27, 2015RIP Father Hesburgh, you were a true pioneer and nobody could ever come close to replacing you.— John Swift (@jswift98) February 27, 2015Rev. Hesburgh helped create a small piece of Heaven at Notre Dame. My personally signed ‘God, Country, Notre Dame’. pic.twitter.com/ocadYG9OVv— Joel DeLorge (@JoelDeLorge) February 27, 2015A giant of a man, educator and priest has passed. RIP Rev. Hesburgh. Guided ND athletics for decades.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) February 27, 2015RPI, Rev Hesburgh your positive impact was enormous ! You were a giant in this lifetime and a true servant of God!!! You will be missed !!— Bill Kenney (@CoachKenneyWMU) February 27, 2015“Women ought to have the same opportunities to develop their talents as men do.” Thank you for all the opportunities, Fr. Hesburgh.— Kate Harrington (@kharrin12) February 27, 2015Every Catholic social justice leader today owes a debt of gratitude to Fr. Hesburgh. His faith fired his activism for civil rights and peace— John Gehring (@gehringdc) February 27, 2015In the pride of Catholic higher education, Fr. Hesburgh was our lion, says Fr. Holtschneider, president #DePaul. pic.twitter.com/jz0A6E7hMM— DePaul University (@DePaulU) February 27, 2015Fr. Hesburgh made @NotreDame coed, changing the lives of 1000s of women, including mine. #ThankYouFrTed pic.twitter.com/HfzrBLcMoo— Anne Thompson (@annenbcnews) February 27, 2015Father Hesburgh has passed / one of the most impressive men I ever met / May he RIP— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 27, 2015Rest in peace, Father Hesburgh.