Villanova, Pa. – Villanova University’s continued connection with Ireland is being highlighted with a donation of 300 signed first-edition Irish poetry books to Falvey Memorial Library. The donation by James Murphy, PhD and his wife Kathryn is being celebrated on November 12 at 4:30 pm in Falvey Memorial Library Speaker’s Corner.
Dr. Murphy is the founder and former director of the Irish Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The event marks Dr. Murphy’s contributions to Irish Studies which includes expanding the Program from the English and History departments to include courses in Political Science, Theatre, Irish Film, Art History and Business. The event also celebrates the University’s longstanding relationship with leading Irish writers such as Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon and Ciaran Carson.
Villanova University was founded by a group of Irish Augustinians in 1842. The Irish Studies Program was established in 1979 as one of Villanova’s first interdisciplinary programs. Over the years, the Program has expanded to support the annual exchange students between the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway and Villanova, two Martin McGuinn Irish scholars to study at Villanova, and numerous faculty exchanges to NUI-Galway. In 2000, the Charles A. Heimbold ’54 Endowed Chair of Irish Studies was inaugurated and has become one of the most prestigious Irish Studies positions in the United States. Each spring semester, a distinguished Irish author holds the position. More recently, the Abbey Theatre Summer Studio was established. The Studio invites undergraduate students to the Abbey Theatre, the national theatre of Ireland to study literature, history and practice of Irish theatre from Irish practitioners.
The public reception will feature a poetry reading by award-winning poet and former Heimbold Chair Moya Cannon. It is co-sponsored by the Irish Studies Program and Falvey Memorial Library.