| University of St. Thomas Irish Gala Raises $450,000 |
The University of St. Thomas William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies raised more than $450,000 at the annual Irish Gala on Nov. 6 at The Houstonian Hotel. The event honored the Most Rev. Brendan J. Cahill ’85, bishop of the Diocese of Victoria and UST alumnus.
2015 Irish Gala chairs Kari and Sean P. Tracey, Lori Gallagher, J.D., director of the William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies and honoree Bishop Brendan Cahill
The Gala chairs were Kari and Sean P. Tracey ’88, both of whom are longtime friends of Bishop Cahill. Daniel N. Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and the Most Rev. Joseph Fiorenza, archbishop emeritus, served as honorary chairs of the Gala, which attracted more than 450 guests.
Bishop Cahill has served as a member of the William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies Advisory Board. He is of Irish descent and a supporter of the Irish Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. This year marks Bishop Cahill’s 25th Jubilee of priesthood.
The annual Irish Gala provides scholarships for University of St. Thomas students, including study abroad in Ireland and Northern Ireland. In addition, the Gala raises funds for the Center endowment, distributions from which are used to operate the Center. During the reception and dinner, guests were treated to traditional Irish music by the local band Wyndnwyre. After the program was finished, guests enjoyed Irish coffee and sang along to well-known Irish songs.
During the reception and dinner, guests were treated to traditional Irish music by the local band Wyndnwyre.
Special guests for the 2015 Gala included Consul General of Ireland Adrian Farrell from Dublin, Ireland, and Austin; Honorary Consul General of Ireland John B. Kane; Bill Flynn, namesake of the Center for Irish Studies; the Rev. Bill Shaw, director of the 174 Trust in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dr. Robert Ivany, UST president; and Marianne Ivany, UST first lady.
Supporters and guests included members of the Cahill family, Dr. Bert Edmundson, Jes and John Hagale, Mikki Hebl and David Harvey, Ginger and John Niemann, Cheryl and Guy Malden, Phyllis and Tony Mandola, Michele Malloy, Ginny and Dennis Malloy, Bob Earthman, Blanche Earthman Morello and Charlie Morello, Sue and Jim Power, Kari and Sean Tracey, Raye White, Sally and Bill Slick, Pat Moran and other members of the Center Advisory Board.
The 2016 Irish Gala will be held on Nov. 4 at The Houstonian Hotel.
UST’s Center for Irish Studies is rated among the top 10 Irish Studies programs in North America by Irish Central.
The University established the Center for Irish Studies in 2003, and named the Center for Irish Studies after William J. Flynn in 2010. Under the direction of director Lori Gallagher, J.D., the Center has awarded study abroad scholarships to more than 90 students and secured study abroad funding in excess of $375,000, prior to this event. The Center also sponsors monthly cultural events open to the public related to all aspects of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Irish America.