The Ancient Ones

By Anthony DePalma

When he had just turned 22, the author set out on a pilgrimage to touch the oldest living things on earth. That was in 1974. He went back in 2014. The trees had not changed. But he had.

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The Strength of Leadership

By Anthony DePalma

Father Hesburgh’s clear vision and moral stance made him one of the most respected voices in American higher education — especially through the turbulence that rocked both campus and culture.

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Blessed Are the Quiet Heroes

By Anthony DePalma

You could see the ripples created by 9/11 on a Friday in early February if you happened to be in the Annadale section of Staten Island. Inside a funeral home there, an honor guard of the Fire Department of New York stood before the casket of Lieutenant Martin Fullam, 56, who had died a few days before of what one doctor said was “without doubt the worst case of World Trade Center lung disease ever seen.”

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The sacred and secular at Ground Zero

By Anthony DePalma

In the 10 years since 9/11, the section of Lower Manhattan known as Ground Zero has resonated in the minds and hearts of Americans more than any other place in the nation, not because of what it is — a 16-acre hole in the ground that you can walk around in about 20 minutes — but rather because of what it represents.

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Earth movers

By Anthony DePalma

When I spoke to Bill Moyers about his life and work several years ago, he took pains to describe the one thing he believed had most set apart his work on public television from the kind of journalism practiced by other commentators and reporters. All journalists can be divided into two basic groups, Moyers told me: those who explain the world, and those who strive to change it.…

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One Man is an Island

By Anthony DePalma

When Fidel Castro launched his revolution in the late 1950s, The New York Times famously described him as “the rebel leader of Cuba’s youth.” Today, half a century later, it is difficult to reconcile that storybook image of a dashing young guerrilla fighter being interviewed in his mountain hideout with the most recent photos of Castro, gray-bearded, bedridden and barely able to speak.

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The Soul of a University

By Anthony DePalma

To survive, every major university plays a con game, pretending to have all the answers to what it is, what it does and what it wants to be when it knows full well that every response is at best only a temporary solution to a limitless list of competing expectations.

Such juggling never ends, nor does the institutional introspection that for better or worse continuously engulfs most campuses, including Notre Dame’s. Are we up in the rankings? Are we down? Too much research? Too many business majors? Not enough graduate students? Can football come back? What about endowment growth? Theological imprimaturs? Too Catholic? Not Catholic enough?…

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