Dan Rooney's life and legacy to be celebrated

Posted Feb 26, 2018

Duquesne University and The Ireland Funds will host a day-long symposium honoring Rooney.

The life and legacy of late Steelers Chairman and United States Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney will be celebrated and remembered throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend, beginning on Friday, March 16, during Slainte! Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dan Rooney.

The day-long symposium, hosted by Duquesne University and The Ireland Funds, will focus on Rooney’s impact on the things he loved, including Pittsburgh, Ireland, the Steelers and the NFL, and the Catholic Church.

The keynote speaker will be former Vice President Joe Biden, who was in office while Rooney served the Obama administration as Ambassador to Ireland.

Others who will be participating as moderators and panelists include Coach Mike Tomlin, former coach and NFL Today analyst Bill Cowher, former CIA and NSA director General Michael V. Hayden, Ireland Funds President and CEO Kieran McLoughlin, NFL Vice President Jeff Pash and Steelers alumni Charlie Batch and Rocky Bleier as well as members of the Rooney family.

“Dan Rooney was an extraordinary member of the Duquesne family,” said Duquesne University President Ken Gormley. “Through his personal, business and civic leadership, he inspired me personally and generations of our students and alumni. The symposium will reflect upon Dan’s accomplishments and salute and celebrate his impact on the lives of people in Pittsburgh and throughout the world.”

The symposium will kick off a variety of events honoring Rooney during the weekend. This year’s Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade will be dedicated to Rooney. Members of the Rooney family and representatives from the Steelers’ organization will participate in the parade, while his legacy will be celebrated.

Later that evening The Ireland Funds Pittsburgh Gala at Heinz Field will celebrate the life and legacy of Rooney.

Rooney, along with Pittsburgh businessman Anthony J.F. O’Reilly, created The Ireland Fund, which later merged with the American Irish Foundation (AIF) to create the American Ireland Fund, the leading charitable organization benefiting Ireland.

Rooney was a driving force in the success the AIF has seen over the years, helping with the American Ireland Fund’s mission of promoting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development throughout Ireland.

The symposium is not open to the public, but will be simulcast live at: A full schedule can be found at: