Irish Room Committee

Committee History 

The Irish Room at the University of Pittsburgh recreates the experience of an Irish Oratory, celebrating Irish scholarship and education.

June 26, 1931 the idea of an Irish Nationality Room was presented by Frank Tyson and Francis Feehan of the School of Mines to the University.  On October 26, 1933, a committee was formed.  At an April 18, 1934 meeting, campaign methods were discussed, and two committees were formed on Primary gifts (for donations, solicitations and fundraising) and on Organized Irish Societies to contact various societies that would canvass the Irish community at large in the interest of the Irish room.

Politics, religion, funding, and construction played major roles in the development of the room. However, on May 18, 1957 the Irish Classroom in the Romanesque Style  was dedicated in the Commons Room at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning.  The Committee Officers at that time were: Chairman Mr. James J. Hayden; Vice Chairman Miss Adelaide Mitchell; Secretary Mrs. Peter T. Dana; and Treasurer Mr. James W. Knox. 

For more information on the history of the room and committee, please visit Pitt Nationality Rooms | Documenting Pitt and search Irish Room Committee.

Membership Benefits and Responsibilities 

Becoming a member of the Irish Room Committee embodies the purpose of the Irish Room: to promote Irish culture and impact students' lives. The Irish Room Committee hosts and participates in numerous events throughout the year to promote Irish culture. Additionally, two scholarship funds created by the Committee have enabled more than 50 University of Pittsburgh students to travel to Ireland since 1960. Scholarships for summer study in Ireland are available to undergraduate and graduate students from all of Pitt's schools. Awardees have studied culture, literature, archaeology, sociology, publishing and editing, medicine, and even the Irish language. Becoming an Irish Room Committee member allows you to participate in lectures, festivals, and other events at the University of Pittsburgh.

Key Annual Events 
St. Patrick's Day - March 17; Bloomsday - June 16; Europe Day Festival - Fall; Celtic Culture - October; Samhain - October; Decorating Day - November; Holiday Open House - December
Other Highlights 
The Irish Room is a memorial to our ancestors. These immigrants left their native Ireland to make a new home, start a new life, and establish an Irish community across the ocean. The Irish who settled in Pittsburgh were determined to celebrate their heritage and to initiate and leave a lasting, significant symbol of their homeland. The community banded together to fund and develop the project. The Irish Room was dedicated on May 18, 1957. The Irish Room stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of both the Irish people's heritage and the mission of the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs. The room recreates the experience of an Irish oratory. These small chapels, dating back to the 6th century, represent scholarship during Ireland's golden age. The Irish Room celebrates the Irish community's continuing dedication to scholarship and education.

Committee Programming & Resources