Glucksman Ireland House
Located in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village, Glucksman Ireland House is the center for Irish and Irish-American Studies at New York University, with courses in history, Irish language, literature, music, and politics. Glucksman Ireland House provides access to Irish and Irish-American culture and fosters excellence in the study of Ireland, Irish America, and the global Irish Diaspora.
In 1991, in response to the remarkable resurgence in Irish scholarship and creative arts, and at the initiative of New York University President L. Jay Oliva, the university made the commitment to create a center that would focus solely on Irish and Irish American studies and culture. Essential to this enterprise was the vision and philanthropy of Lewis L. Glucksman and Loretta Brennan Glucksman, whose energy and dedication enabled the transformation of two adjoining landmark townhouses at Washington Mews and Fifth Avenue to serve as the elegant home for the center, which was named Glucksman Ireland House in tribute to their pioneering endeavor. Since its inauguration in the spring of 1993, Glucksman Ireland House at New York University has evolved into a vibrant and prominent center for the presentation and understanding of Irish and Irish-American scholarship and culture.
In 1984, when Loretta met Lewis Glucksman, the CEO and Chairman of Lehman Brothers, she met a man who had fallen in love with Ireland. After landing there as a teenage sailor during World War II, he had gone on to develop a passion for all things Irish. It was Lewis who took her on her first trip to the land of her ancestors, and it was his devotion to Irish literature, especially the work of James Joyce and W.B. Yeats, that spurred their philanthropy. The couple became benevolent benefactors and fundraisers for Irish causes, specifically those that promoted the arts and higher education. With Lew’s passing in 2006, Loretta continued the work they had begun together through her role as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of Glucksman Ireland House, Chair-man of the American Ireland Funds, and as member of several boards here and in Ireland.
In all that she does, Loretta honors both the memory of her late husband and that of her Irish ancestors: her four grandparents who emigrated from Ireland. Her mother’s father was a miner and union organizer in Pennsylvania, and her aunt was the Mother Superior of Chestnut Hill College, where Loretta attended on a scholarship, eventually going on to become a college lecturer, a public television pioneer, and founder of her own very successful public relations firm.
Recently she was awarded the International Person of the Year Award at the Rehab People of the Year Awards in Dublin. The paternal side of Loretta’s family with the surname of Brewer come from Greencastle in County Donegal. She would love to find out more information on this side of her family. Loretta will stand down from her role as Chair of the American Ireland Fund at the end of 2013.