Saint Patrick's Day Foundation, NYC
Loretta Brennan Glucksman
Loretta Brennan Glucksman was raised in an Irish neighborhood in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the granddaughter of four Irish immigrants. Her maternal grandfather was a miner from County Leitrim, and was involved with the first unionizing efforts in Coaldale. Loretta’s father was a proud member of the US Postal Service for 50 years and worked on the railroads during World War II.
Loretta earned a scholarship to Manor College, Pennsylvania and subsequently went on to teach at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey). In the early 70’s Loretta changed career to television, introducing a book program at the then new Newark-based public television station WNET Channel 13. She subsequently went on to host a public affairs program, “The Thursday Report.” She produced news and pub events for over a decade before moving into public relations.
Loretta met Lewis Glucksman in 1983 when he was a Commissioner of the Port Authority on New York and New Jersey. They married in 1985 and lived in New York. In 1987, Lew took Loretta to Ireland for her first visit, and the Glucksman’s then bought a home near Cobh in County Cork. In 2006 Lew sadly passed away in his beloved emerald isle.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman has been involved in philanthropic endeavors for more than two decades, focusing on education, the arts, health care and peace initiatives in both the United States and Ireland, a passion she shared with her late husband Lew Glucksman.
Loretta is the Chairman Emeritus of The Ireland Funds America, where she served as its Chairman for 18 years before stepping down in December 2013. During that time, The Ireland Funds exceeded its initial goal of raising $100 million under the Promising Ireland Campaign and ultimately went on to exceed the revised target of $200 million.
Loretta is Co-Chair of Glucksman Ireland House founded in 1993, the center for Irish Studies at New York University, and she serves on the Board of Arts and Sciences at NYU. She also is Chairman of the University of Limerick Foundation. Loretta is also a long-time staunch supporter of FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures), which is affiliated with the NYU Langone Medical Center.
Lew and Loretta established the Glucksman Chair of English and American Letters at NYU, and the Glucksman Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen. In 2002, University College Cork officially opened the Lewis Glucksman Gallery; in 2001, Lew and Loretta established the Map Conservation Library at Trinity College, Dublin; and in 1998 they helped build the Glucksman Library at University Limerick.
In Ireland, Loretta served on numerous boards including IDA Ireland (national private sector economic development), The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Library, The National Concert Hall, The Abbey Theatre, Trinity College, University College Cork, The Royal College of Surgeons, Smurfit School of Business at the University of Dublin, and Cork Airport Authority.
In 2002, Loretta was conferred an Honorary Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the highest honor for a non-British citizen, for her work toward peace in Northern Ireland. She also received honorary degrees from the Universities of Scranton, Fairfield, Trinity, Cork and Queens University Belfast; she is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Irish Academy, The Royal Dublin Society and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman has worked tirelessly to promote Irish culture and to establish strong ties between America and the island of Ireland. Loretta served as a strong advocate for Ireland at a pivotal and difficult time in Irish history, – increasing awareness and interest in Irish history and culture throughout the U.S., and rallying much-needed support for the country.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman has three children from her first marriage to Jack Cooney, her high school sweetheart: John Cooney, Christopher Cooney and Kate Cooney Picco; five grandchildren, Adam Cooney, Megan Cooney Pearsall, Caitlin Cooney, Liam Picco and Sean Blumenfeld. Her beautiful blessings continue with four great grandchildren.Type your paragraph here.