Skip to main content

Serving Our Communities

Spanning and Serving Communities, from Coastal Georgia to Southeast Ireland

In addition to its work in the Coastal Georgia region, CIRT was the lead entity in developing and delivering Georgia Southern University’s first overseas campus, located in a landmark historic building in Wexford Town, a coastal town of Viking origin in beautiful, safe southeast Ireland. CIRT’s director secured approximately $800,000 in outside funding for the Wexford Campus project. Among other compelling factors, the choice of location reflects the fact that during “prime time” for Irish emigration to Savannah — the half-decade beginning in 1848 — over 56% of newcomers arrived from County Wexford. Savannah became and remains the “most Wexford” city in North America. While growing its Wexford Campus, GS is deepening its strategic collaborative initiatives with three Irish institutions of higher learning: Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow (both based in southeast Ireland); and the University of Dublin (better known as Trinity College Dublin).

In the presence of the Chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, GS’s President, and Georgia and Wexford dignitaries, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (i.e. its Secretary of State) opened the Wexford Campus, a state-of-the-art learning facility, on November 20, 2019. GS’s footprint in Wexford Town, just 100 minutes south of Dublin, complements European investments by our sibling USG institutions, such as: Georgia Tech Lorraine (France); UGA at Oxford (England); and Kennesaw State University in Tuscany (Italy).

To celebrate the November 2019 opening of Georgia Southern University’s Wexford Campus, the President of Ireland, Dr. Michael D. Higgins (far left), welcomed GS’s President, Dr. Kyle Marrero (far right), to Áras an Uachtaráin, the presidential mansion in Dublin. Next to Marrero is Don L. Waters, Chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Wexford Town counts among its cultural assets the Irish National Opera House, an iconic twenty-first-century edifice. As regards industry, the town’s portfolio features a substantial research and production center operated by the Georgia-based Coca-Cola corporation. At the 2011 launch of a $220-million extension to the plant, the corporation’s Chair and CEO, Muhtar Kent, visiting from Atlanta, reflected, “Our continued investments in Wexford … will ensure we sustain and enhance our growth globally in the coming years. … The Coca-Cola brand has been in Ireland for more than half a century, and our long history here gives us continued confidence in the strength of the Irish workforce, the commitment of the Irish Government, and the know-how of Irish people to support our business.”

Last updated: 10/17/2023