Fairfield University commencement
Fairfield University's commencement will be held on Sunday, May 19, at 10 a.m.
Fairfield will confer honorary doctor of laws degrees on Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairman of The American Ireland Fund, and the Rev. George W. Bur, S.J., president of the Gesu School in Philadelphia; and an honorary doctor of science degree on John P. Sachs, Ph.D., a former trustee of Fairfield University and former president and CEO of Great Lakes Carbon Corporation.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman, a third-generation Irish-American who grew up in an Irish community in Pennsylvania, has been a leading force in garnering support for the people of Ireland and their culture. As chairman of The American Ireland Fund, she has played a key role in the fund becoming the nation's and the world's largest private organization funding constructive change throughout Ireland, both North and South. Part of an international network, the American Ireland Fund unites some 70 million people in eleven countries on five continents, and has raised over $120 million to support its growing grants program.
Mrs. Glucksman credits her husband, Lew Glucksman, with reuniting her with the homeland of her grandparents. A Hungarian Jew and Wall Street financier, Mr. Glucksman had a passionate interest in Irish literature and as a trustee of New York University, funded a center for Irish Studies at the university. Together they have raised over $75 million for Ireland and have witnessed dramatic economic and social change there.
Earlier in her career, Mrs. Glucksman was a producer for news and public affairs with PBS-TV and served as director of media relations for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. She is a trustee of the Trinity College Foundation and the National Library of Ireland and a member of the New Jersey Board of WNET-Channel 13 and the NYU College of Arts & Sciences.
As pastor of Philadelphia's Church of the Gesu in the 1980s, Rev. George W. Bur, S.J., oversaw the inner-city congregation as well as its elementary school, Gesu School. When the parish was one of three slated for closing in 1993 to consolidate the North Philadelphia area, Father Bur mobilized an impressive array of community leaders to keep the school open. Today, thanks to those efforts, Gesu has attained a national reputation for excellence in inner-city education and the school's future has been assured.
Located in a neighborhood where just 35 percent of students stay on track in school, more than 95 percent of Gesu graduates finish high school on time, and most go on to college. In addition to his responsibilities as president of the school, Father Bur teaches advanced math to 8th graders, tutors graduates and plays a vital role in the school and community.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Father Bur worked in Baltimore on housing justice issues, including a successful effort to expose and eliminate systematic racism in mortgage lending.
A graduate of Woodstock College with a bachelor's degree and a master's of divinity degree, Fr. Bur earned a master's degree in physics from Catholic University. A member of the Society of Jesus, he was ordained a priest in 1972.
Dr. John P. Sachs of New Canaan, Conn., served on the Fairfield University Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1992. His commitment to Jesuit education around the globe has been enhanced by his son, Rev. J. Randall Sachs, S.J., who taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Fairfield. John Sachs and his wife, Mary, made a major contribution to the University, during its last campaign, to support the construction of the Arrupe Campus Ministry Center, which is part of the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola.
Dr. Sachs spent most of his career with Great Lakes Carbon Corporation in New York, where he served as president and CEO from 1978 to 1986, and then as vice chairman and CEO. He joined Great Lakes Carbon in 1966 as group vice president. Before that he was an operations manager with the Union Carbide Corporation.
Born in Germany, he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He served in the Army during World War II, before returning to the Illinois Institute where he completed master of science and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering.
Dr. Sachs served as president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was chairman of the board of the General Refractories Company and a director of the Chemical Manufacturers Association.
Posted on April 15, 2002
Vol. 34, No. 210