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March 16, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 13

William P. Leahy, SJ

Fr. Leahy Joins List of 'Top Irish-Americans'

Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ, has been named one of the top 100 Irish-Americans by Irish America magazine, joining such luminaries as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, NASA space shuttle Commander Eileen Collins and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

In its annual list, the magazine cited Fr. Leahy's drive to make Boston College "the foremost center for Catholic intellectual thought." Accordingly, the publication mentioned both his creation of the Church in the 21st Century initiative and his successful push to re-affiliate the Weston Jesuit School of Theology with BC.

Irish America said Fr. Leahy's interest in history and his devotion to the Catholic faith have united in his role as BC's 25th president.

"The history of Boston College is a narrative of response to society's call," Fr. Leahy was quoted as saying. "In 1863, that call came from an immigrant community that knew the day's hard wage but not the future's promise."

Thanks to Fr. Leahy, the magazine said, the university "continues to offer that promise."

Others from BC who have earned the honor in previous years are Irish Institute Director Mary O'Herlihy, Irish Studies Music Programs Director Seamus Connolly, Burns Librarian Robert O'Neill and the late Adele Dalsimer, co-founder and co-director of BC's Irish Studies Program, who was selected as an "honorary Irish-American."

Fr. Leahy also is included in a recently opened exhibition at Burns Library, "Irish Faces: The Heart and Soul of Boston," which consists of 150 portraits of some of the major figures in the Boston Irish community at the turn of the new century.

-Greg Frost

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