The Malta Independent 10 December 2022, Saturday
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Joseph Buttigieg, father of US presidential hopeful Peter Buttigieg, passes away

Monday, 28 January 2019, 11:42 Last update: about 5 years ago

Joseph Buttigieg, the father of Maltese-American presidential hopeful Peter Buttigieg and Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame in the state of Indiana passed away on Sunday at the age of 71.

Joseph Buttigieg was born and raised in Malta and earned a bachelors’ and masters’ degree from the University of Malta before going on to obtain  a second bachelor’s degree from Heythrop College in London and his doctorate from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Buttigieg joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1980 and, in addition to his service as director of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program and as a faculty member in English, he was 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.

“Joe was a superb scholar, an inspirational teacher and a pioneering leader as the inaugural director of the fledgling Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “We join with his many, many family and friends in mourning his passing. We will miss him at Notre Dame. God rest his soul.”

Buttigieg directed the Hesburgh-Yusko program from its first year in 2010 through 2017. The program is a merit-based scholarship and leadership development initiative that equips students to have a transformational impact on the world, named after the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president from 1952 to 1987. 

His main areas of interest were modern literature, critical theory and the relationship between culture and politics. In addition to numerous articles, he was the author of a book on James Joyce’s aesthetics, “A Portrait of the Artist in Different Perspective”.

He is survived by his wife, Anne – who was also a member of staff at Notre Dame University, and his son, Peter, who is the mayor of South Bend Indiana.  Mayor Pete – as he is affectionately known – recently announced his intention to take a run at being the Democrat’s presidential candidate as the race for the American presidency begins to grind into gear.


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