Lend a Hand
The 2020 Institutional Spot
Several years ago, market research told us the Word of Life mural (affectionately called Touchdown Jesus by many), on the southern facade of the Hesburgh Libary, was Notre Dame’s most recognizable landmark, even more recognizable than the golden dome of the Main Building. This work of art brings together 5,700 individual pieces of stone that Fr. Ted Hesburgh once described as “a kaleidoscope of personalities that make up the history of Christianity and pre-Christianity.” After 56 years, these 81 different stones from 16 different countries retain their rich colors despite the sometimes harsh climate. What a beautiful metaphor for the Notre Dame family.
Studying the pieces of the mural, we became intrigued with the movement of the figures’ hands. They are figures from centuries ago, yet they represent scholarship, the arts, leadership and so many aspects of work that continue today at Notre Dame. We wanted to give viewers a close-up view of these hands in action, a view not possible from the ground. Enter our drone. After capturing drone footage of our favorite hands in the mural, we poured over our collection of footage from the past few years. We searched for shots that closely match the actions of the saints, sinners and scholars in the artwork. Notre Dame is a place of scholarship and research put into action to create a better world. So we challenge you to join us and lend a hand.