NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House will honor National Book Award-winning writer Alice McDermott and Pittsburgh business leader James (“Jim”) E. Rooney at their 2019 gala.

Honorees James (Jim) E. Rooney and Alice McDermott

NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House will honor National Book Award-winning writer Alice McDermott and Pittsburgh business leader James (“Jim”) E. Rooney at their 2019 gala. The annual event will be held on Thursday, February 28 at the Kimmel Center for University Life.

The evening will feature a cocktail reception with toasts to the honorees followed by a seated dinner. The Seamus Heaney Award for Arts and Letters will be presented to McDermott by Marie Heaney, writer and the wife of late poet Seamus Heaney. Rooney will be presented with the Lewis L. Glucksman Award for Leadership by Loretta Brennan Glucksman.

About the Honorees
Alice McDermott’s critically acclaimed eighth novel, The Ninth Hour, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Fiction, and was awarded France’s Prix Femina. Three of her previous novels, After This, At Weddings and Wakes and That Night, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Charming Billy won the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 and was a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award. Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe New YorkerHarpersCommonweal and elsewhere. She has received the Whiting Writers Award, the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for American Literature, and The Mary McCarthy Award from Bard College. In 2013, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.  

Jim Rooney was born on the Northside of Pittsburgh, not far from where the legendary Steelers—an NFL team that is majority owned by the Rooney family—play their home football games today. Jim’s father, the late Dan Rooney, owner and President of the Pittsburgh Steelers, co-founded The Ireland Funds. For 25 years, Jim has worked alongside his father on initiatives related to his role as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, assisting with State Department relationships.  He also helped his father apply the Rooney Rule, the NFL’s initiative for greater diversity and inclusion. Jim is a co-partner of Rooney Consulting, which assists organizations with enhancing their culture, building stronger teams and growing their businesses. He founded FirstLink Research and Analytics, a world leader in building business cases for technology transition. He holds an Organizational Consulting certificate from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Boston College. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh, The Ireland Funds America and Gilmour Academy.  

The Seamus Heaney Award for Arts and Letters is awarded in memory of the late Nobel Laureate who was an honored guest at the 2013 Glucksman Ireland House Gala and a great champion of Ireland House’s dynamic program of activities. The Lewis L. Glucksman Award for Leadership is awarded in memory of the co-founder of Glucksman Ireland House NYU, whose career in finance and philanthropy is relived constantly through the teaching, learning and research fostered at Glucksman Ireland House NYU.

Media interested in attending this event should contact Sarah Binney at sarah.binney@nyu.edu. Tickets begin at $1000.00 per person. For more information and to purchase a, seat please email ireland.gala@nyu.edu or call 212-998-3953.

About Glucksman Ireland House
Glucksman Ireland House is NYU’s Center for Irish and Irish-American Studies and one of the top-ranked academic Irish Studies programs in the United States. Through innovative undergraduate and graduate academic curricula and extensive public programming, it provides access to the best in Irish and Irish-American scholarship and culture.

Press Contact

Sarah Binney
Sarah Binney
(212) 998-6829