This dissertation is dedicated to my husband, Zebron
Masukume Ncube, who encouraged me, and put his academic profession on hold so
I could achieve my dream. Thank you, Zebron, for your love, wisdom and support.
To my daughters, Lindile and Nozipho, and my son Nhlalo-enhle, not a day did
you complain about how busy I was. I thank you for your understanding and patience.
Also to my parents, Jonathan and Idah Mathaba Dube, and my in-laws, Daniel and
Velina Masukume Ncube, your prayers have been answered. To my extended family:
God has done it again. Thank you for your support.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Statement of the Problem..
Purpose of the Study.
Rationale for Burke’s Pentad.
Significance of the Study.
Limitations of the Study.
Theodore M. Hesburgh.
Books by Theodore Hesburgh.
2. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.
The Role of the University President in Fund Raising.
Studies of Theodore Hesburgh.
Rhetorical Studies of Fund Raising.
Method of Analysis.
Labeling of Terms.
Identification of Dominant Term..
Synthesis and Interpretations.
4. ANALYSIS OF HESBURGH’S SPEECHES FROM THE 50s AND 60s.
“Address to Gentlemen Alumni”: June 1958.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“Fund Raising for New Library”: September 7, 1960.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant”: 1961.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
Summary of Dominant Terms for Speeches from the 50s and 60s.
5. ANALYSIS OF HESBURGH’S SPEECHES FROM THE 70s.
“Alumni Reunion Banquet”: June 1974.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“Fund-Raising Address”: April 15, 1977.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“Ford Foundation Grant Presentation”: 1977.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“Opening Campaign Century Center”: April 18, 1979.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
Summary of Dominant Terms for Speeches From the 70s.
6. ANALYSIS OF HESBURGH’S SPEECHES FROM THE 80s.
“Alumni Reunion Talk”: 1983.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“Edward Frederick Sorin Society”: March 23, 1984.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
“Alumni Reunion Banquet”: 1986.
Summary of Dominant Terms.
Summary of Dominant Terms for Speeches From the 80s.
Overview of Study.
Interpretation of Pentadic Analyses.
Frequency of Dominant Terms in Each Speech.
Summary of Dominant Terms by Decades.
Dominant Terms for All Speeches.
Summary of Dominant Terms of All the Speeches.
Meaning of Dominant Terms.
Scene: Alumni Hall Chapel
Pentadic Analyses and Hesburgh’s Fund-Raising Rhetoric.
Recommendations Arising From the Study.
An Interview With Father Hesburgh.
Suggestions for Future Research.
1. RUBRIC FOR RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF SPEECHES.
2. TRANSCRIPTS OF HESBURGH’S FUND-RAISING SPEECHES.
1. Emergence of Possible Dominant Term..
2. Frequency of Dominant Term..
3. Pentad 1 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
4. Pentad 2 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
5. Pentad 3 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
6. Pentad 4 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
7. Pentad 5 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
8. Pentad 6 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
9. Pentad 7 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
10. Pentad 8 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
11. Pentad 9 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
12. Pentad 10 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
13. Pentad 11 of the Address to Gentlemen Alumni
14. Pentad 1 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
15. Pentad 2 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
16. Pentad 3 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
17. Pentad 4 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
18. Pentad 5 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
19. Pentad 6 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
20. Pentad 7 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
21. Pentad 8 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
22. Pentad 9 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
23. Pentad 10 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
24. Pentad 11 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
25. Pentad 12 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
26. Pentad 13 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
27. Pentad 14 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
28. Pentad 15 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
29. Pentad 16 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
30. Pentad 17 of the Fund Raising for New Library.
31. Pentad 1 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
32. Pentad 2 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
33. Pentad 3 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
34. Pentad 4 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
35. Pentad 5 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
36. Pentad 6 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
37. Pentad 7 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
38. Pentad 8 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
39. Pentad 9 of The Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
40. Summary of All Dominant Terms From the 50s and 60s.
41. Pentad 1 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
42. Pentad 2 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
43. Pentad 3 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
44. Pentad 4 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
45. Pentad 5 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
46. Pentad 6 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
47. Pentad 7 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
48. Pentad 1 of the Fund-Raising Address.
49. Pentad 2 of the Fund-Raising Address.
50. Pentad 3 of the Fund-Raising Address.
51. Pentad 4 of the Fund-Raising Address.
52. Pentad 5 of the Fund-Raising Address.
53. Pentad 6 of the Fund-Raising Address.
54. Pentad 7 of the Fund-Raising Address.
55. Pentad 8 of the Fund-Raising Address.
56. Pentad 9 of the Fund-Raising Address.
57. Pentad 10 of the Fund-Raising Address.
58. Pentad 11 of the Fund-Raising Address.
59. Pentad 1 of the Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
60. Pentad 2 of the Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
61. Pentad 3 of the Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
62. Pentad 4 of the Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
63. Pentad 5 of the Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
64. Pentad 6 of the Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
65. Pentad 1 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
66. Pentad 2 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
67. Pentad 3 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
68. Pentad 4 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
69. Pentad 5 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
70. Pentad 6 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
71. Pentad 7 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
72. Pentad 8 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
73. Pentad 9 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
74. Pentad 10 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
75. Pentad 11 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
76. Pentad 12 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
77. Pentad 13 of the Opening Campaign Century Center
78. Summary of All Dominant Terms From the 70s.
79. Pentad 1 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
80. Pentad 2 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
81. Pentad 3 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
82. Pentad 4 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
83. Pentad 5 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
84. Pentad 6 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
85. Pentad 7 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
86. Pentad 8 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
87. Pentad 9 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
88. Pentad 10 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
89. Pentad 11 of the Alumni Reunion Talk.
90. Pentad 1 of the Edward Fredrick Sorin Society.
91. Pentad 2 of the Edward Fredrick Sorin Society.
92. Pentad 3 of the Edward Fredrick Sorin Society.
93. Pentad 1 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
94. Pentad 2 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
95. Pentad 3 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
96. Pentad 4 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
97. Pentad 5 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
98. Pentad 6 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
99. Pentad 7 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
100. Pentad 8 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
101. Pentad 9 of the Alumni Reunion Banquet
102. Summary of All Dominant Terms From the 80s.
103. Address to Gentlemen Alumni
104. Fund Raising for the New Library.
105. Ford Foundation Challenge Grant
106. Alumni Reunion Banquet
107. Fund-Raising Address.
108. Ford Foundation Grant Presentation.
109. Opening Campaign Century Center
110. Alumni Reunion Talk.
111. Edward Fredrick Sorin Society.
112. Alumni Reunion Banquet
113. Summary of All Dominant Terms From the 50s and 60s.
114. Summary of All Dominant Terms From the 70s.
115. Summary of All Dominant Terms From the 80s.
116. Summary of All Dominant Terms.
I praise God for seeing me through the process of writing this dissertation. I thank the late Dr. Bernard Lall for introducing me to fundraising for higher education. I thank Father Hesburgh who allowed me the opportunity to analyze his fund-raising speeches so I can get a glimpse of what contributed to his success as a fund-raising university president for the University of Notre Dame. He directed me to Kevin Crawley, Director and Curator of Archives at the University of Notre Dame, who together with Peter Lysy, and the staff at the University of Notre Dame Archives, were very helpful indeed.
My appreciation goes to my chair, Dr. Hinsdale Bernard, and members, Dr. Shirley Freed, Dr. Luanne Bauer, and Dr. Sonja K. Foss (University of Colorado at Denver). I appreciate and thank you for your critical reviews of my dissertation. Special thanks go to Prof. Foss who, in spite of distance, performed with dispatch to keep me on target.
This dissertation could not have gone through its final print without the much needed computer skills of Betty Gibson. Finally, I thank my family and friends who helped me cope by giving me encouragement.
Financial constraints long have been a concern for both private and public universities. During the 1970s and 1980s, this concern intensified. Grohar (1989) observed that:
The past two decades comprise a period of increased competition and financial distress on all types of colleges and universities in the United States. The financial situation has been particularly stressful at private colleges. To many, their survival has been at stake. Because of their seeming obscurity, church-related colleges face special difficulties in competing for the same $1 billion in private gifts given to private institutions. (p. 7)
The situation has not changed. Curtiss (1994) pointed out that American institutions of higher learning still are faced with financial difficulties in the 1990s. Gustavsson (2000) found that fund raising became more critical in the 1990s than ever before because of the increasing educational costs, especially in church-related colleges and universities. Belfield and Beney (2000) observe that in the United Kingdom, resources for higher education have declined by approximately one third since 1993, prompting institutions of higher learning to seek alternative sources of revenue to preserve educational quality.
University presidents, by the nature of their positions, are expected to be effective fund-raisers for their institutions. Whittier (1980) and Francis (1980) suggest that the president is the essence of the institution and the key catalyst in fund raising. Whittier asserts that the president sets the tone and suggests the direction of fund-raising activities. Hesburgh (1980) agrees that “the most important contribution a president can make to institutional advancement is to articulate a vision of the institution so persistently and persuasively that it becomes shared by all constituencies, internal and external, who adopt it as their own” (p. 8).
Research trends suggest guidelines for the role of the president in the future in both private and public institutions as featuring fund-raising activities such as:
· To clearly articulate the college’s mission and provide the vision for the future
· To monitor and evaluate all fund-raising plans
· To spend a significant amount of time with major donors and prospects
· To ensure adequate support for the fund-raising plan and the development of personnel
· To develop, train, and motivate trustees as fund raisers
· To select a high-quality senior development officer
· To allocate sufficient opportunities in fund raising
· To consider, discuss, and encourage integration of Christian faith and fund-raising practices
· To demonstrate integrity in fund-raising tasks
· To motivate and provide training of development staff. (Gustavsson, 2000, p. 58)
Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of Notre Dame University, stands out as one of the most successful presidents in terms of influencing the alumni to contribute financially to a university. At the time of his retirement in 1987, alumni giving comprised about 70% of the total funds received by the University of Notre Dame. Ames (1989) describes Hesburgh as “immensely effective in one-on-one encounters. How and why are mysteries, for he is not in the usual sense of the word charming. But he can talk most people into doing what he wants; there is something about him that makes one want to please him” (p. 22). Armstrong’s (1974) extensive chronological account of alumni involvement in the University of Notre Dame since its inception notes that Hesburgh was recognized as “one of the dynamic young college presidents. . . . [His] administration launched a kaleidoscope of changes and achievements unprecedented in Notre Dame history” because it had “unprecedented resources to implement them” (pp. 370, 400). Lall (1995b) referred to him as “one of the greatest fundraisers, not only in this country, but, I think, in the world” (p. 17). Panas (1988) states that during his presidency, Hesburgh guided and molded the university, raising $300 million in gifts and an additional $306 million in endowment while the annual budget increased from $9.7 million to $170 million (p. 14). Lungren (1987) recounts the words of Andrew Greeley, an observer of contemporary American Catholicism, who asserted, “Ted Hesburgh is the most influential priest in America. He speaks for American Catholics to the outside world in a way no bishop does. In fact, he has more personal credibility than all of them put together” (p. 119). Lall (1995a) states, “It was Hesburgh’s public speaking that moved the crowds. Hesburgh never sat down and wrote out a speech, except for maybe a graduation speech at a neighboring university. . . Hesburgh is highly respected and his very presence commands respect” (p. 24). Hesburgh’s renown as a university president has been marked by the 146 honors and honorary degrees he has been awarded.
Fund-raising literature reveals that college or university presidents play a key role in raising funds for their institutions. As mentioned above, the roles of the president in fund raising are well documented, but the literature has not yet defined the technical aspect of how these roles must be executed to attain effective results. On record are the presidents’ success stories, which focus on the amounts the presidents raised and characteristics of successful fund-raising presidents, but these stories do not adequately reveal the strategies or techniques that enable them to get effective results. Hesburgh is one such successful president. However, no studies to date have analyzed Hesburgh’s discourse in an attempt to uncover a formula for his success in raising funds.
The purpose of this study was to examine one aspect of what contributed to Father Hesburgh’s success as a fund-raiser. In this study, I describe and analyze Father Hesburgh’s rhetoric in his fund-raising speeches to the alumni of Notre Dame University.
Specifically, the following question will be investigated: How did Father Hesburgh structure his rhetoric in his fund-raising speeches to alumni to affect their perceptions in ways that encouraged giving? In this study, my focus will be on the rhetoric of Hesburgh and the ways in which he structured his rhetoric in an effort to positively affect the giving of audiences, particularly the alumni.
An understanding of Hesburgh’s motive and how he structures his worldview should provide insights into what he believes the alumni will find persuasive--he expects them to share his worldview. Kenneth Burke’s pentad is the method used to analyze Hesburgh’s fund-raising speeches. Before providing a rationale for the selection of Kenneth Burke’s pentad, an overview of rhetorical criticism is presented.
Although rhetoric sometimes has a negative connotation when used to describe “empty, bombastic language that has no substance. . . . [or a] flowery ornamental speech” (Foss, 1996, p. 4), the meaning of rhetoric in this study is the language humans use to communicate with one another. Symbols assume a variety of forms, such as speeches, conversations, poetry, art, plays, music, dance, films, and advertisements, just to mention a few. Campbell (1988) sees rhetoric as any written or oral discourse, which aims to inform, convince, arouse emotion, or persuade to action. Rhetorical criticism, then, is an attempt to understand how these symbols communicate. It is “the process of systematically investigating and explaining symbolic acts and artifacts for the purpose of understanding rhetorical processes” (Foss, 1996, p. 6). It is a qualitative method of analysis used to discover the nature and function of rhetoric in a message.
There are two primary purposes for rhetorical criticism: One purpose is to understand particular symbols and how they operate. Sometimes, rhetorical criticism is done to deepen appreciation and understanding of an artifact. In this study, rhetorical criticism will deepen appreciation and understanding of Hesburgh’s fund-raising speeches. Another purpose of rhetorical criticism is to make a contribution to rhetorical theory. Rhetorical criticism also is done to discover what the artifact being analyzed contributes to an understanding of the nature and function of rhetoric. The critic moves beyond the particularities of the artifact under study to discover what it suggests about symbolic processes in general. The point here is to provide an initial general understanding of some aspect of rhetoric on the basis of the necessarily limited evidence available in the artifact. Performing this function of criticism using Hesburgh’s speeches will help uncover effective fund-raising discourse for university presidents.
The history of rhetorical criticism goes back as far as 1915, with the publication of the first issues of the Quarterly Journal of Public Speaking (now known as the Quarterly Journal of Speech). Prior to this, the speech/communication discipline was part of the English discipline, so initially, criticism was largely adapted from fields such as English and history, with a focus on studying the methods and techniques of speakers in various historical times. Critics at this time were largely concerned with establishing a new academic field--speech--and they emphasized the power or effect of rhetoric and studied speakers and speeches.
In 1925, the first formal method of criticism was suggested by Herbert A. Wichelns in an essay called “The Literary Criticism of Oratory,” published in the book Studies in Rhetoric and Public Speaking in Honor of James A. Winans, edited by A. E. Drummond. This essay set the pattern and determined the direction of rhetorical criticism for more than a quarter of a century, and the method Wichelns proposed came to be called the neo-Aristotelian method because it was based on Aristotle’s discussion of rhetoric in the Rhetoric.
Wichelns included as topics to be covered in the studies of speakers and speeches: personality, public character, audience, main ideas, motives, topics, proofs, textual accuracy, arrangement, mode of expression, preparation, delivery, style, effect on the immediate audience, and influence on the times. For nearly 25 years, this remained the standard method of criticism and continues to be used today. As the first critical approach to develop in the communication field, the traditional neo-Aristotelian approach served to differentiate the discipline from literature and literary criticism and became the foundation from which contemporary methods developed.
During the 1960s, objections to the traditional method increased, with critics claiming it was a classificational straight jacket that was unnecessarily limiting. Some did not view it as a guide for the critic but as designed to teach others how to speak because of its Aristotelian connection. New methods began to be proposed, including Lloyd Bitzer’s (1968) method based on the rhetorical situation, Ernest Bormann’s (1972) fantasy-theme analysis, Kenneth Burke’s (1973) cluster analysis, and Walter Fisher’s (1984) narrative criticism.
Any number of methods of criticism could have been used effectively for analyzing Hesburgh’s speeches. Each of these methods would have given me different lenses on the speeches and would have highlighted some features of the speeches and downplayed others. All of these methods would have been useful in analyzing the speeches, but I chose Kenneth Burke’s method of analysis, the pentad, for this study.
According to Hawhee (1999), Burke is often affectionately referred to in rhetorical circles as “Papa KB,” implicating him as the “father of contemporary rhetoric” (p. 130). Others refer to him as “the chief architect of the New Rhetoric.” Crable (2000, p. 329) observes that Burke’s pentad is not just one way of approaching the subject matter but is the most complete approach to the study of motives. Because Hesburgh was so successful as a fund-raiser, I was particularly interested in the way in which he constructed reality for his audience in such a way that they identified with that construction and were motivated to give. The pentad is a method rooted in the notion of motivation and the rhetor’s construction of motive as well as on identification as the basis for persuasion.
By focusing on the rhetor’s motive for the artifact, the pentad uncovers the underpinnings of what the rhetor assumes will be sources of identification for audience members. A point of departure for Burke is that his pentadic approach suggests that rhetoric is a way of “identification.” The audience identifies with the speaker, resulting in the audience’s change of behavior. The change of behavior is a result of a conceptual connection that is identifiable either by the audience moving toward or away from the speaker’s presentation of his or her world.
Burke’s pentad is a unit of analysis used as “generating principles” for understanding human motives (Burke, 1962, p. xviii). The generating principles in pentadic analysis are act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose (p. vii). The act refers to the action or actions taken by the agent. The scene is the location, situation, or environment where the action takes place. The scene is the stage that the rhetor sets when describing the action by the agent. The agent is the individual, group, or main character the rhetor presents as the player of the act. The agent is the primary subject presented by the rhetor. The agency is the means or instrument for accomplishing the act. The purpose suggests what the agent seeks to accomplish through the act or the reason for the act. As a rhetor describes the situation around him or her, the five elements are ordered to reflect his or her view of that situation.
Burke (1962) suggests that people use language to form attitudes and also to alter the attitudes of others (p. 567). This use of language enables speakers to create new patterns of identification whereby the other person sees his or her interests as joined with those of the speaker (Bury, 1986, p. 74).
Burke (1962) introduces the concept of identification in rhetoric as a means of what persuades people to a desired end. This is a departure from the traditional view that posits the key term for rhetoric as persuasion (p. 522, Heath, 1989, p. 55). Burke explains that identification is not meant as a substitute for persuasion but is to be used as “an accessory” to the standard knowledge of rhetoric. He further explains the relationship between identification and persuasion:
We might well keep it in mind that a speaker persuades an audience by the use of stylistic identifications; his act of persuasion may be for the purpose of causing the audience to identify itself with the speaker’s interests; and the speaker draws on identification of interests to establish rapport between himself and his audience. So, there is no chance of our keeping apart the meanings of persuasion, identification “consubstantiality” (p. 570).
By identification, Burke (1962, p. 570; Foss et., 1991, p. 174) means consubstantiality, shared substance that constitutes identification between an individual and some property or person. As Fogarty suggests, “identification means that things or people, different in other ways, may have one common factor in which they are consubstantial or substantially the same” (Fogarty, 1968, p. 74). People are “‘consubstantial’ if they are united or identified in a common interest, if they partake in some way of the same ‘substance’” (Day, 1960, p. 271).
When an audience is consubstantial or identifies with a rhetor, persuasion results. As Burke (1962) explains:
A is not identical with his colleague B. But insofar as their interests are joined, A is identified with B. Or he [she] may identify himself [herself] with B even when their interests are not joined, if he [she] assumes that they are, or is persuaded to believe so. (p. 544)
To identify A with B is to make A consubstantial with B (Burke, 1962, p. 545; Rybacki & Rybacki, 1991, p. 74). When one identifies oneself with someone else, one becomes consubstantial with that person (p. 32). The process of changing the listener’s “substance” is “identification.”
One example of a study that employed Burke’s pentad as the method will suggest its basic components and the kinds of results it can produce. In analyzing Senator Edward Kennedy’s address to the people of Massachusetts in 1969, David Ling (2000, p. 223) used Burke’s pentad as a unit of analysis. The pentadic elements Ling identified included: the current reaction to the events of July 1969 as the scene, the people of Massachusetts as the agent, Kennedy’s decision on whether to resign as the act, the statement of resignation as the agency, and the purpose as removing Kennedy from office. According to Ling, in his speech, Kennedy described himself as having no control of the situation. Ling’s analysis suggests that Kennedy’s speech projected a view that would lead the audience to come to two conclusions, first, that Kennedy was a victim of a situation over which he had no control, and second, that his future depended on whether or not the people of Massachusetts accepted the hearsay in the current situation. The ultimate decision the people of Massachusetts would make was either to reject the idea that Kennedy was guilty of the events that occurred or that Kennedy’s future depended on whether they believed his description of what happened in July 1969. Ling concludes by stating that after Kennedy’s speech, the people of Massachusetts wrote letters of support indicating that they had accepted Kennedy’s description of what happened; hence, Kennedy did not have to resign.
There are four steps the critic follows in the process of rhetorical criticism. First, the critic selects an artifact--an object for study--and decides what aspect of the artifact is to be examined by formulating a research question that will guide the investigation. The critic then chooses a unit of analysis from formal methods of criticism to respond to the research question asked or generates or creates a unit of analysis developed specifically to analyze the data (Foss, 1996, p. 484). When the unit of analysis has been selected or created, the critic applies it to the artifact. The critic then discusses the findings, supporting his or her claims with data from the artifact. This discussion forms the major part of the analysis. The critic concludes by making reference to how the investigation answers the research question initially asked.
The pentad is useful for answering questions about rhetors’ motives or their attempts to structure audiences’ perceptions of situations. It also allows me to answer the question that this study seeks to discover: How does Hesburgh structure his rhetoric in fund-raising speeches to affect alumni’s perceptions in ways that encourage giving?
According to a national survey conducted by Brittingham and Pezzulo (1990), one quarter of alumni at some point have given to their undergraduate institutions, while another quarter have not because they never have been asked (pp. 39-44). Wolshon (1981) states that less than one third of American colleges and universities have made serious efforts to cultivate alumni philanthropy. Alumni often are not adequately engaged as resources for institutions of higher learning. Rowh (2001), of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE), found that fund-raisers spent about 20% or less of their time asking for gifts and the rest of the time on activities such as building relationships with potential donors (p. 13). Clearly, institutions need to engage their alumni in fund-raising activities. Fisher and Quehl (1989) suggest that lack of fund raising by an institution is typically attributed to the president.
By describing and analyzing Hesburgh’s rhetoric and approaches in motivating alumni giving to the University of Notre Dame, I hope to initiate a conversation among scholars on effective rhetorical strategies that university presidents can use in their fund-raising dialogues with alumni, whether in alumni clubs, alumni associations, or individual contacts with prospective donors. Such a study will help us understand this specialized genre of persuasion better. An analysis of Hesburgh’s rhetoric may be useful to practitioners such as university presidents, development officers, alumni officers, and speechwriters for university presidents to help them become more effective at this critical part of the president’s job. Identification of the strategies that a highly successful university president used in connecting with the alumni to motivate them to give to their alma mater also should serve as a model for practitioners who seek to develop their own skills in this area.
In studying Hesburgh’s rhetoric, the limitations below are envisaged.
Hesburgh’s fund-raising results with alumni may have been due to his personality and likeability; Hesburgh is well respected professionally, spiritually, and socially. This study does not investigate the impact of these personality traits. In its focus on rhetorical strategies, then, this study may miss critical factors in Hesburgh’s fund-raising effectiveness.
Other personnel in the Development Office were engaged in alumni fund raising besides Hesburgh. The University of Notre Dame’s Foundation Office, which later became the Development Office, was involved with the planning and designing of brochures and fund-raising documents for the University’s fund-raising campaigns. For each of the university’s fund-raising campaigns on record during his time in office, Hesburgh gave an address to the alumni, and the Development Office assumed the rest of the campaign activities. By focusing only on Hesburgh’s rhetoric with the alumni, critical elements responsible for the success of fund raising at the University of Notre Dame may be missed.
The Archives at the University of Notre Dame contain numerous letters and brochures bearing Hesburgh’s signature. Cawley, the director of the archives, confirmed that some of the materials were designed and produced by the Development Office and only signed by Hesburgh. This is a common practice in institutional fund raising, where the university president signs documents sent to various publics by the development office. These materials were not included in this study because it became clear that trying to isolate those materials that were written by Hesburgh from those produced by the Development Office would not be possible because they all carried Hesburgh’s signature. Analysis of these documents would not give an accurate account of Hesburgh’s actual use of language in raising funds for the University of Notre Dame, which is the purpose of this study. Including these materials might distort findings about the fund-raising strategies that Hesburgh used. If any of them actually were written by Hesburgh, those data have been excluded from this study.
Only Hesburgh’s formal speeches to alumni are analyzed for this study and not his interpersonal dialogues with alumni. As a result, insights into only one type of rhetoric Hesburgh used are generated. Hesburgh had person-to-person contact with the alumni, but no record of such dialogue that can be analyzed for its rhetorical content exists. Thus, this study does not discuss Hesburgh’s persuasive strategies in one-to-one contact with the alumni who gave to the University of Notre Dame.
Theodore Hesburgh became president of the University of Notre Dame at the age of 35; he retired in 1987 at the age of 70. Hesburgh’s involvement in fund raising took the University of Notre Dame from the 40th position in the national listing of colleges and universities to the 5th position. An understanding of Hesburgh’s life provides context for his presidency of the University of Notre Dame and for his rhetorical production in general.
Theodore Hesburgh was born on May 25, 1917, in Syracuse, New York. The second child of Theodore Bernard and Anne Marie Hesburgh (O’Brien, 1998, p. 6), he was born into a family of five siblings, including three girls and two boys. Hesburgh (1990a) describes his family as “a typical Catholic household of the period. My sisters and I all went to Catholic schools. Encouraged to be ‘religious,’ we never missed Mass; some of us went every day. We never ate meat on Friday. We never lied, stole, or cheated--at least we never got away with any such sins” (p. 7).
Hesburgh’s ancestors arrived in the United States in 1848 from Luxembourg, Germany (p. 3). Hesburgh seems to have been highly influenced by his grandfather. In his book God, Country, Notre Dame (1990a), Hesburgh acknowledges that his grandfather was quite a remarkable man who financed his education through selling patent medicines (p. 2). Hesburgh believes that his grandfather’s gift with several foreign languages influenced his own interest in languages (p. 5).
Hesburgh (1990a) summarizes his work and contribution to the church and society in the following way:
I have traveled far and wide, far beyond the simple parish I envisioned as a young man. My obligation of service has led me into diverse yet interrelated roles: college teacher, theologian, president of a great university, counselor to four popes and six presidents. . . . I have held fourteen presidential appointments over the years, dealing with the social issues of our times, including civil rights, peaceful uses of atomic energy, campus unrest, amnesty for Vietnam offenders, Third World development, and immigration reform. But deep beneath it all, whatever I have been, whatever I have done, I have always and everywhere considered myself essentially a priest. (p. ix)
Hesburgh is the author of several books. He wrote six books, published between 1978 and 1988, on his international travels to South Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, North America, and Antarctica. Three volumes of Hesburgh’s Diary were published in 1973, 1979 and 1982 by Doubleday Press.
The Hesburgh Papers: Higher Values in Higher Education (Hesburgh, 1979) is a compilation of speeches Hesburgh presented on higher education. In the book, Hesburgh focuses on the importance of values in higher education, suggesting that “education is essentially a work of the intellect, the formation of intelligence, the unending search for knowledge. . . . [W]isdom is more than knowledge, man is more than his mind, and without values, man may be intelligent but less than fully human” (p. xi). Hesburgh also has written articles on issues such as world peace, atomic energy, and civil rights that have appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, Today’s Health, and the Journal of Higher Education.
The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association published Hesburgh’s Valedictory Speech to Notre Dame Students, Alumni and Friends in 1987. This book contains highlights of the concluding remarks Hesburgh made to the faculty on October 13, 1986. The book illustrates, through pictures, Hesburgh’s life history from childhood through the time of his retirement in 1987. Commitment, Compassion, Consecration: Inspirational Quotes of Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., published in 1989 by Our Sunday Visitor Publishers, is a compilation of quotes by Hesburgh. Doubleday first published God, Country, Notre Dame in 1990. A later version of God, Country, Notre Dame: The Autobiography of Theodore M. Hesburgh was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 1999. These books give a detailed account of Hesburgh’s life story beginning with his family background and dealing with his life in the priesthood and his work as president of the University of Notre Dame.
Organization of the Study
This study is organized in seven chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the study, detailing the statement of the problem, significance, and purpose of the study. Limitations and a brief background of Theodore Hesburgh are outlined.
Chapter 2 discusses the review of literature related to fund raising, the role of the president in fund raising, and rhetorical studies on fund raising. The chapter concludes by highlighting studies of Theodore Hesburgh. Chapter 3 presents the method used in the study, including data collection and a rationale for and analysis procedures for the pentad. Chapter 4 consists of the rhetorical analysis of Hesburgh’s speeches from the decades of the 50s and 60s. Chapter 5 consists of an analysis of Hesburgh’s speeches from the 70s, and chapter 6 an analysis of his speeches from the 80s. Chapter 7 concludes the study and suggests implications of the study and recommendations for future research.