Ireland’s former president Mary McAleese named Burns Scholar at Boston College
McAleese will be the visiting Scholar in Irish Studies a the Boston univeristy
"The life of Mary McAleese represents an abundantly appropriate model for Boston College now celebrating its sesquicentennial year,” said Center for Irish Programs Executive Director and University Professor Thomas Hachey.
“Our institution's journey, from modest Irish immigrant roots to that of a globally distinguished university,” he said, “mirrors Mary's own life in which she persisted from early adversity to the pinnacle position of head of state in her native country. And in that career she has unfailingly projected the Jesuit focus on being ‘men and women for others.’"
McAleese’s achievements have not been confined to the political arena. She earned a law degree from the Queen’s University of Belfast and became a barrister, then was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin. She later served as director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University, where she subsequently became the first female pro-vice chancellor.
McAleese also is an experienced broadcaster, having worked as a current affairs journalist and presenter in radio and television with Radio Telefís Éireann. She and her husband Martin have three adult children.
There will be a familial dimension to her tenure as Burns Scholar, McAleese noted recently: When McAleese was nine, her beloved cousin moved to Philadelphia, an event that “was like a death.” Her cousin’s daughter is now a doctoral student at BC.
“Now in the way that the saints have of showing us their care,” she said, “we will gather the generations again, this time in Boston, and marvel at the indissolubility of familial love over time and oceans and generations.
“Thank you, Boston College, for giving me such a gift."
Established in 1989 with a grant from the Burns Foundation of San Francisco, the Burns Chair is held by a person who has made significant contributions to Irish culture or intellectual life. Past holders, affiliated with some of Ireland's most prestigious cultural and educational institutions, have represented the fields of history, literature, bibliography, language and art.
Dedicated in honor of John J. Burns, a 1921 graduate of Boston College who rose from humble origins to become a Harvard Law School professor, Massachusetts Superior Court justice, and the first general counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Honorable John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections opened at Boston College in 1986. Considered among the best research libraries in the United States, the Burns Library contains archives, manuscripts, rare books and special collections of art, photographs, prints and artifacts, with special emphasis on the religious, cultural, intellectual and political history of Western Civilization.
The Irish Collection of Burns Library, the largest and most comprehensive in the United States, includes materials from Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and Seamus Heaney. Additional collections include the work of philosopher Thomas Merton; British Catholic authors Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh and John Henry Cardinal Newman; Jesuitica including original letters from Jesuit Saints Francis Xavier, Francis Borgia and Robert Bellarmine; and the papers of the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr., and Congressman Edward P. Boland, both 1936 graduates of Boston College.
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I would simply add that this writer, if he finds America such an antediluvian uncultured place, should GTFO. Plenty of flights back to the land of ghoIrish university suspends Legion of Mary for anti-gay literature
Religious fundamentalists who don't even listen to their leader, the Pope. Glad to see my old alma mater giving this shower of upstarts a proper slapSamantha Power recalls her Irish brogue when appointed as U.S. Ambassador to UN
"I sat in front of the mirrors for hours, straining to drop my brogue so that I, too, could quickly speak and be American." I don't know whaIrish university suspends Legion of Mary for anti-gay literature
What happened to the "rights" of the Legion of Mary? Don't they have a right to express their opinion?