O’Rorke Bust Dedication Draws Crowd of 120
St. John Fisher College and the Col. Patrick O’Rorke Memorial Society dedicated a new bust of Colonel Patrick O’Rorke in Lavery Library on Saturday, September 23. The event attracted a crowd of 120 and included Civil War re-enactors, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Knights of Columbus, the Emerald Society, and the Irish American Cultural Institute, a representative from West Point, and several Fisher faculty, staff, and students.
The event began with a Memorial Mass at Coleman Chapel where Father Al Cylwicki, CSB, served as the mass celebrant. Mass was followed by a procession to the Irish Famine Memorial on campus, and a remembrance wreath was laid on the memorial. The bust dedication took place in Lavery Library, where it is now on display.
Speakers included Dr. Donald Bain, President of the College; the Honorable Rick Dollinger; Tom O’Connell, Col. Patrick O’Rorke Memorial Society; Dr. Tim Madigan, Director, Irish Studies Program; and other O’Rorke experts and historians.
O’Rorke was born in County Cavan in 1837, emigrated to Rochester in 1842, and graduated first in his class from West Point in 1861. A Colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War, he fought valiantly and was killed on Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.
The College’s new Irish Studies program will feature an annual “Col. O’Rorke Seminar” concerning the contributions and experiences of the Irish Americans during the Civil War period.