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Rev. Joseph M. McShane, SJ

Each year at its Annual Dinner, the AIHS presents its Gold Medal to a chosen individual of Irish or Irish-American descent. The medalist is chosen for their exemplary life which highlights the continuing mission and purpose of the Society.  On Wednesday November 1 2017, Reverend Joseph M. McShane will be presented with the 120th Gold Medal of the AIHS, one of the highest expressions of esteem from the Irish American community. The presentation will take place at 583 Park Avenue in New York. A Dinner Committee is in formation and will be led by Chairman John N. Tognino, along with Co-Chairs Kim Bepler, Robert E. Campbell, Maurice J. & Carolyn Dursi Cunniffe, Paul B. & Diane Guenther, Edward R. Leahy, Jr., Owen P. McShane and Thomas A. McShane.

A native of New York, Father McShane entered the Society of Jesus in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He received both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Boston College, and master's degrees in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1977. He completed his doctorate, in the history of Christianity, at the University of Chicago in 1981.

He served as a member of the Department of Religious Studies at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, from 1981 to 1992. He served as the dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill from 1992 to 1998. In 1998, he became president of the University of Scranton, a post that he held until he returned to Fordham in 2003 to assume the Fordham presidency. The AIHS are honored to be presenting Father McShane with the 120th Gold Medal of the Society.

Previous AIHS Gold Medalist honorees include: Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan; Cardinal John O’Connor, Bono, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Keough, Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Senator George J. Mitchell and many other distinguished men and women from all fields of endeavor.

The American Irish Historical Society is a center of Irish culture and knowledge located in New York City.  It hosts a full calendar of cultural and scholarly events and is home to a research library and archives.  In continuous operation since 1897, the Society has been non-partisan and non-sectarian since its inception. The Society welcomes new members and is pleased to make its library and select events open to the public.

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