University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh died 11:30 p.m. Thursday night at the age of 97, a University spokesperson confirmed.Observer File Photo Hesburgh served as president of the University for 35 years from 1952 through 1987.University President Fr. John Jenkins said plans were underway to commemorate Hesburgh’s life.“The Congregation of the Holy Cross and the University will celebrate Fr. Ted’s life in coming days with visitation hours and a Funeral Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a procession to Holy Cross Community Cemetery afterward, followed by a memorial commemoration at the Purcell Pavilion. Details will be forthcoming,” he said in an email to students, faculty and staff. “Notre Dame lost a piece of its heart today, but Fr. Ted’s spirit lives on at Notre Dame and among the millions of lives he touched around the world.“He is now with Our Lady, whose university he served so well, and with the Lord.”According to a University press release, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Fr. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., Fund for Excellence in Catholic Education at Notre Dame or to the Congregation of Holy Cross.“Fr. Ted had long prayed that God would allow him to say Mass on his last day on earth. Fr. Hesburgh, C.S.C., did just that at 11:30 a.m. Thursday among his brothers in Holy Cross,” Fr. Paul Doyle, rector of Dillon Hall, said in an email to the hall’s residents.