Legacies outstanding enough to capture our attention generally come from two kinds of people: those who have it good, and those who have it God. For the sake of our nation and those citizens that our culture must nourish for generations to come, let’s hope for more of both such kinds of people.
Martin University—Indiana’s only predominantly black university—was founded in 1977 by a person of the latter type. Had you asked him how one begins to create such a legacy, Fr. Boniface Hardin might have said: Start with nothing. And that big man would then meld his big heart to yours with mirthful laughter that tumbled from the depths of a mighty soul. His was a big God.
Fr. Boniface—starting with nothing—conceived a healing university serving low income, minority and adult learners—now a reality for 1,400 current students and 1,000 graduates. While these particulars are unique, nearly all America’s universities, hospitals, parks, libraries, and relief organizations were charitably created. Philanthropy built our nation—an exclusively American phenomenon.
Great things are wrought by those who, by fortune and effort, have it good and choose to invest that good in others. And there are those who, rich of heart, gather the little gifts of many who likewise wish to contribute, and thereby do great things as well.
Thank you Fr. Boniface. (1933-2012)
“I wasn’t doing this because I wanted to be a leader; I just wanted to help the community.”
— Fr. Bonifice Hardin