Boston College To Open Center In Ireland

(4-8-99) -- Boston College announced today that the University has purchased property on the east side of St. Stephen's Green in Dublin to house the Boston College Center in Ireland.

The center, which will serve as the cornerstone of the newly-created non-profit BC-Ireland Corp., will provide a permanent location for the Dublin Office of BC's Irish Institute, while also providing in-country resources for the University's Irish Studies Program, Burns Library and student exchange program. The center is expected to open this fall.

"The opening of the Boston College Center in Ireland is a natural extension of our commitment to working with the Irish people in both Ireland and Northern Ireland," said University President William P. Leahy, SJ. "For us, it also has great symbolic meaning as it represents a recommitment to the homeland of BC's Jesuit founding fathers who invested so much of themselves in establishing Boston College 136 years ago."

The BC-Ireland Corp. will be chaired by Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella, who described the purchase as the logical next step for Boston College as the leading American university in Ireland. "The Boston College Center in Ireland will provide invaluable resources for the University in its outreach to political, business and educational leaders in both the Republic and Northern Ireland," said Campanella. "It will also serve as a tremendous resource to BC faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate."

The property, located at 42 and 43 St. Stephen's Green in Dublin's most historic Georgian Square, is across from the Shelbourne Hotel and is just minutes from the Irish Parliament and Government Buildings. It was constructed in 1745 and has been recently renovated and rewired to accommodate the latest communications technology. Space not used by BC-Ireland will be leased out to local businesses, Campanella said.

"Boston College has a growing presence in international higher education," said Irish Institute Director Sean Rowland. "This acquisition clearly solidifies our position as the preeminent American university working in Ireland, and offers us an attractive base for our future international initiatives."

The Irish Institute offers international inter-disciplinary programs to the business, political and educational communities in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Its mission is to advance the cause of peace in Northern Ireland through the personal exchanges it facilitates on both sides of the Atlantic.

Boston College's Irish Studies Program offers courses in Irish literature, history, culture and music for graduate and undergraduate students. Directed by Prof. Adele Dalsimer (English), and Assoc. Prof. Kevin O Neill (History), it was established in 1978 and is considered to be one of the foremost American Irish Studies programs.

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