President Bain Honored by Irish American Cultural Institute
On Thursday evening, May 17, 2012, Dr. Donald Bain, President of St. John Fisher College, was honored by the Rochester Chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute with the Eóin McKiernan Achievement Award. This award was given to Dr. Bain in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the development of Irish education.
Specifically, Dr. Bain is credited with promoting an appreciation of Irish heritage through the establishment of the Irish Studies Program at St. John Fisher College. Fisher’s Irish Studies Program, announced in August 2011, clearly mirrors the mission of the Irish American Cultural Institute, which is to provide leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American cultures.
The new program, which is housed in Fisher’s School of Arts and Sciences, will offer students an opportunity to explore the literary, social, political, religious, and cultural traditions of Ireland’s past and present. The curriculum will draw upon new and existing courses offered in a variety of academic departments at the College. There will also be opportunities for students to study abroad in Rochester’s Sister City, Waterford, Ireland. A $20,000 grant to jumpstart the program was given to the College by the Rochester-Waterford Sister Cities Golf Tournament in the summer of 2011.
“It doesn’t get much better than this,” said Elizabeth Osta, President of the Rochester Chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute. “For an organization like ours, whose mission is to promote an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and the role and contributions of Irish in America, the landmark launch of the Irish Studies Program by Dr. Bain is one worthy of note, as is the man who initiated it.”
Bain, a third generation Irish American, traces his Irish roots to counties Kerry and Cork. In 2008 and 2011, he traveled to Waterford, Ireland, to meet with Waterford area business and higher education leaders to explore opportunities for educational partnerships for St. John Fisher College. The College also houses number 765 of a limited edition of 1,480 facsimiles of the Book of Kells, and a Great Famine Monument was installed on campus in 1997 by members of the local Ancient Order of Hibernians. Bain also proudly served as grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Rochester, NY, in March 2010.