From left to right, Tom McCollum ’83, trustee, Michael Cryan, administrative assistant, Kate Jones, Irish programmes officer, Gráinne Hand, assistant director.
Arcadia University Trustee Tom McCollum ’83 and wife Maureen traveled to Ireland over winter break to meet up with their daughter Elizabeth, who had finished a program in Ireland with her college. On a journey to Dublin, they visited the Temple Bar area, stopping at the Arcadia Dublin Center.
Assistant Director Grainne Hand, along with Kate Jones, Irish programmes officer, and Michael Cryan, administrative assistant, greeted the McCollum family warmly with "Céad míle fáilte”—Irish for a hundred thousand welcomes. The McCollums were treated to a tour of the center as the staff was preparing for Orientation with a new group of spring semester students, due to arrive within the week to start their program.
“It was enlightening for me,” said McCollum. “As an athlete in college, I didn’t have the opportunity to study abroad. It was amazing to meet the staff and see how they set up for the new group. They were a hardworking, caring, and humble staff [and] all about the students.”
The Dublin Center’s efficiency, organization, and physical layout made a significant impression on McCollum. The center’s four main rooms are in a boxcar fashion, and each is named after one of the four provinces of Ireland—the Ulster Room, Leinster Room, Munster Room, and Connacht Room.
While the Center’s locale is often noted for its thriving cultural atmosphere and learning environment—the courtyard rests upon a site that was once home to New City Music Hall, where Handel’s Messiah was first performed in 1742—the surrounding landscape also provides simple, natural pleasures, such as an idyllic backdrop for a meal.
“We thoroughly enjoyed having a lovely lunch over the Liffey River,” said McCollum. “We were so grateful they would give the time to welcome us.”
McCollum said he and his family feel a strong connection with their new Arcadia family in Ireland and look forward to hearing updates on the Center.