In March of 2012, with the support of the Rochester-Waterford Sister Cities Golf Tournament Committee, St. John Fisher College established a new interdisciplinary Irish Studies Program in the School of Arts and Sciences that has begun offering students the opportunity to explore the literary, social, political, religious, and cultural traditions of Ireland’s past and present.
- Strengthen the ties between St. John Fisher College and the City of Waterford, Ireland (Rochester’s Sister City) as well as other cities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- Expand students' knowledge of Ireland from a multidisciplinary perspective.
- Promote the history and culture of Ireland, both of the past and present.
- Foster scholarship in the field of Irish Studies.
Irish History and Heritage at St. John Fisher College
Over the years, St. John Fisher College has honored Irish history and heritage through its programming, cultural treasures, and most recently by building a relationship with the Waterford Institute of Technology and the City of Waterford, Ireland. The College offers a number of courses that examine Irish history and culture. In addition to these academic offerings, the College has hosted a wide-variety of Irish cultural events, including A Day of Celebration, a cultural show with a focus on Ireland; annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations; and monthly lectures sponsored by the Rochester chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute.
Irish history and culture are also celebrated at St. John Fisher College through two memorials. The first is a Book of Kells memorial, a facsimile of the original Book housed at Trinity College, Dublin. The facsimile was a gift to the College and the Rochester community from Irish immigrants, Irish-American descendants, friends, and members of the Monroe County Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Auxiliary. It serves as a memorial to the loved ones of many of the contributors, and in a broader sense to all the Irish who came to the Rochester area and contributed to its richness. The second memorial is the Great Famine Monument, which honors the millions of Irish who died as a result of the Great Famine of 1845-1850. This monument was installed on the College campus in 1997 by members and friends of the Monroe County Ancient Order of Hibernians.