Schools With Irish Traditions
St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, and celebrations will take place around the country this weekend to commemorate the holiday. A strong Irish presence exists at many colleges throughout the country, and at those schools St. Patty’s Day is an important time of year to not only have fun, but also celebrate a strong heritage. With traditions like wearing green and marching in parades, some schools find special ways to showcase their Irish pride.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some colleges and colleges in cities with strong Irish roots!
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, DePaul students enjoy one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the country. Chicago celebrates St. Patrick’s day by dyeing the Chicago River green and throwing a giant parade downtown. Additionally, DePaul offers students the opportunity to minor in Irish Studies, bringing together courses in a variety of disciplines to study the history, culture, geography, and literature of Ireland.
DePaul is one of the largest private universities in the country and is the largest Catholic university with nearly 25,000 students. With five campuses around Chicago, students hail from 100 countries and all 50 states. DePaul has been recognized for its commitment to service-based learning and community outreach.
Fordham University, New York, NY
March is an exciting month for Fordham, as this Jesuit school celebrates their Irish heritage in a big way. Along with participating in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, Fordham’s Gaelic Society hosts concerts, dances, and other Irish-themed events throughout the month of March. Fordham was the first school to have a program in Irish Studies in the United States and the school maintains a strong connection to New York’s Irish community. Fordham founder, John Hughes, was also the founder of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the grand Catholic church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Fordham University is a private Jesuit college located in New York City. Fordham’s nearly 8,500 undergraduates choose from over 50 concentrations, and can study at either their Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, or their Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan. The undergraduate core curriculum is meant to give students a sound liberal arts foundation, and includes requirements in philosophy, ethics, classical languages, and religious studies, among others.
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Boston College has a very strong Irish connection, as it was founded in part to accommodate the growing Irish Catholic population in Boston. Today, their Center for Irish Programs oversees all of the Irish programs within the school including the Irish studies department, the Burns Library Irish collections, the Centre for Irish Programs in Dublin. Students may minor in Irish studies, or earn a master’s degree in Irish literature and culture. Boston College – Ireland at St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin is open to students, faculty, and alumni who work, study, or travel in Ireland.
Boston College is a Catholic university with 14,600 students, and is one of the most selective schools in the country. Their 9,100 undergraduate students may choose from degree programs in BC’s schools of liberal arts and sciences, management, education, and nursing. The school is host to 140 Jesuits, making it one of the largest Jesuit communities in the world.
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
Home of the Fighting Irish athletic program, Notre Dame’s Irish foundation is very much apparent in the school’s various academic programs offered to students today. The school’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies offers a minor in Irish studies in addition to a major and minor available through Notre Dame’s department of Irish language and literature. The department of Irish language and literature is the only one of its kind in the United States, wherein students become proficient in Irish language as well as the study of Irish literature, culture, and folklore.
Notre Dame is a highly competitive university located less than and hour from Lake Michigan and less than two hours from Chicago. Undergraduate students have access to a variety of disciplines and research opportunities in the schools of arts and letters, business, science, engineering, and architecture. More than 80 percent of students engage in volunteer activities through Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns in their years at the school.
Iona College, New Rochelle, NY
Iona College was founded in 1940 by the Irish Christian Brothers, and as a result, their athletic teams are known as the Gaels. A Gael is anyone of Irish-Gaelic ancestry, and Iona’s mascot is a strong and spunky Irishman holding a wooden cane. Along with celebrating Irish culture throughout the year, Iona’s Gaelic Society and Pipe band march in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade each year. A study abroad program at Trinity College in Dublin allows Iona students to immerse themselves in Irish culture, politics, history, and more.
Iona College is located less than an hour outside New York City, and has just over 3,000 undergraduate students. Students may enroll in the school of arts and sciences or the business school, and Iona offers over eight accelerated master’s programs in which students may earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in only five years.
Schools with strong cultural ties can offer students a unique look into exciting new traditions and heritages. Colleges like these will no doubt be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with enthusiasm, and may have already started! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!