Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

Steve Bedi


Throughout history, societies have exhibited a deep fascination with leaders. In fact, many leaders adopted a sense of hero-affiliation due solely to the position they held. However, Morris, Brotheridge, and Urbanski (2005) paraphrased hero as an individual willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of others. What, then, are modern-day heroes lacking? Perhaps humility is the missing quality. Unlike heroism, humility, especially in its formal association with leadership, stands as a less explored concept. In the context of history, the value of humility has become generally associated with religiosity (Klancer, 2012). Not until 2001, when Jim Collins identified humility as a valuable virtue in the corporate world, did this examination of the intersection between leadership and humility really begin. However, one man who lived his life in this intersection well before Collins (2001a) conducted his study was Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. The present research explored the legacy of leadership Father Hesburgh and the role, if any, humility played in that story.