by Aliyah Kiesler
The Irish Echo, the oldest Irish-American newspaper in the U.S. that honors awardees at its annual Golden Bridges Conference, awarded William Rogers, the Associate Dean of the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, to recognize his contribution to the University’s Irish Studies program. The conference, which “spotlights community, business and education initiatives in northwest Ireland and promotes partnerships with their peers in Boston and Massachusetts,” took place at the Seaport Hotel in Boston on Nov. 18.
Rogers, who currently teaches Irish and Irish-American History at Caspersen and is the co-founder of the Transatlantic Connections Conference, which takes place in Ireland each January, is one of only eight people to receive the Irish Echo’s 2016 Golden Bridges Award. This award was made to honor individuals who work towards better connections through education, words of peace and other forms of relations between the U.S. and Ireland. Rogers has also been closely involved with the Irish Studies Program, which has had a successful year in 2016 by having the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, present the Drew University CRCC Peacebuilder Award to former Congressman Bruce Morrison in January. The award came from Drew’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict and reflect the significance of the role that Morrison played in the “Good Friday” peace process.The program also brought together Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, and the leader of the Unionist Party, Mike Nesbitt, for a joint keynote address at the Donegal Conference. The program also has more events coming up on its agenda such as the January Peace Studies Trip and the Transatlantic Connections Conference with the theme “Equality Emerging.” In his interview earlier with the University, Rogers said that it is a “special honor” just to be able to share his knowledge and be able to represent all faculty and professors who have contributed to this program in the Caspersen school for the past 15 years.