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SXU launches non-credit Irish Studies program at Orland Park campus

Key community members on hand to celebrate new program Chicago

(Feb. 14, 2007) – Saint Xavier University celebrated its new non-credit Irish Studies program Friday evening with Irish dancing, live traditional music and key leaders from Orland Park and Gaelic Park.

Classes for the new program begin in spring 2007. Students will explore Ireland’s heritage through an interdisciplinary program of history, the Gaelic language, literature, art, film and music. Saint Xavier, which traces its roots to the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, offers the non-credit certificate program at its Orland Park campus through the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.   

“The Southland is home to a large community of Irish-Americans who continue to practice the rich traditions of their ancestors,” said Leslie Petty, dean of the School for Continuing and Professional Studies. “The Irish Studies certificate program was developed to provide an avenue to explore and appreciate Ireland’s heritage through the study of its history, language, literature, art, film and music.” 

Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin thanked the University for bringing the program to his village, saying, “I congratulate Saint Xavier on this endeavor and offer any assistance to make this a world-class program.” 

Gaelic Park President John Griffin noted Saint Xavier University’s own Irish heritage, beginning with the first six Sisters of Mercy to come to Chicago. “After 160 years and all obstacles that have been overcome and all of the good works that have been done as a result of those six young, brave Sisters of Mercy, a small part of their efforts will result in the study of their Irish culture and heritage,” Griffin said. “It’s come full circle, and it’s truly fitting.” 

For more information on Saint Xavier’s Irish Studies program, please contact Barbara Walder at (708) 633-4711 or e-mail walder@sxu.edu. You may also visit the School for Continuing and Professional Studies homepage (http://www.sxu.edu/cps/) and click on the link titled "Certificate in Irish Studies" on the left side of the page.  

Contact: Joe Moore
(773) 298-3937 


Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest. 

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3937
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp