Former WJU benefactor honored in Ireland

  WJU News
  Friday, August 31, 2018 1:21 PM
  WJU News, Alumni

Wheeling, WV

John McShain, a former benefactor of WJU, was recently honored at Killarney House and Gardens, a visitor attraction, at Killarney National Park in Ireland. The event, “The McShain Legacy,” took place on Aug. 26, and was a part of National Heritage Week.

The event featured a presentation and shared memories of the McShain family and paid tribute to their lasting legacy and contribution to both Killarney National Park and the Irish government. The event was organized by Conor Doolan, visitor guide at Killarney House and Gardens.

McShain and his wife, Mary, spent their retirement at Killarney House and Gardens from 1960-1998. “The McShain family was highly thought of and was considered very good to work for by the people of Killarney. There has been a great resurgence in interest in the McShain story as their former estate is gaining a reputation as a must see attraction,” said Doolan.

The McShain’s first became involved with Wheeling College, now Wheeling Jesuit University, in the 1980's with a visit from Fr. Thomas Acker. Fr. Acker thought a building project would reinvigorate the school and decided it needed a chapel. In 1983, the McShain's began a long tradition of supporting WJU with a donation of $100,000 to initiate the building of the Chapel of Mary and Joseph.

John McShain passed away in 1989, and his wife's death followed in 1998. In honor of the McShain's substantial contributions to the University, the plaza in front of the campus chapel was dedicated in their name. It became the McShain Plaza on May 7, 2000.

"Mr. and Mrs. McShain made a substantial impact on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University through relationships with two of our Presidents, Fr. Charlie Currie and Fr. Tom Acker. Mr. and Mrs. McShain's generosity was critical in the construction of our campus' chapel, as well as the gathering space outside the chapel -- McShain Plaza. The campus community at Wheeling Jesuit is forever grateful to the McShain’s for their kindness and friendship,” said Mark Phillips, WJU chief of staff.

Wheeling Jesuit University is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the country offering more than 30 undergraduate programs of study and five graduate degrees. The University provides a Jesuit, Catholic, liberal arts education, and our affordable programs unite the Jesuit tradition of intellectual excellence allowing students to receive an education for life, leadership and service with and among others. The 65-acre campus is situated on the Ohio River 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, and two hours east of Columbus, in Wheeling, WV.

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