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Just as CIRT has provided exceptional service to its neighbors, it has benefitted from their generous support. Facilitating everything from general expenditures (such as paper and printer-ink) to student scholarships, tax-deductible financial donations continue to be vital to the unit’s viability and success. Over its quarter-century of existence, CIRT has received just 1% of its funding from the College of Arts and Humanities, the university entity under whose budget it falls. In fact, in most years that College has provided a budget allocation of zero dollars. From students who receive scholarship support for study in Ireland to faculty members who organize and deliver public programming, everyone engaged in Irish Studies at Georgia Southern deeply values — and, thus, applies careful stewardship to — donations to CIRT’s fund accounts at the Georgia Southern University Foundation.

We welcome and value your gift, whatever its size. You can contribute online via the University Foundation’s secure web portal. Use the “Designate My Gift” feature and indicate one of the funds presented below.

  • Fund # 0496 — the Irish Studies General Fund: Equips CIRT with most of its day-to-day operating budget.
  • Fund # 0777 — the Fred and Donna Sanders Fund for Irish Studies Lectures and Performances: Facilitates much of CIRT’s public programming, both on campus and in the community.
  • Fund #0968 — the Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Fund: Furthers scholarly inquiry into the unique historical connection between County Wexford, Ireland, and Savannah, Georgia, but also provides scholarship support to students who study at Georgia Southern University’s Wexford Campus.
  • Fund #3760 — the Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship in Irish Studies: Empowers one recipient per academic year with $1,500 in aid; special consideration is given to students from financially less advantaged backgrounds.
  • Fund #3604 — the Eddie Ivie Scholarship for Study in Ireland: Annually awards $1,200 to a student who has committed to studying in Ireland under the auspices of Georgia Southern University.
  • Fund #0650 — the Dr. Gary B. Sullivan Irish Studies Scholarship: Is being built to the endowment threshold of $30,000 so that, in each academic year, it will be able to support one student formally pursing the interdisciplinary minor in Irish Studies.

For the the 2018-2019 academic year, Konner Smith received the Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship in Irish Studies, one of the awards made possible by donations to CIRT. As an undergraduate combining a passion for Ireland and a focus on religion, Konner found the scholarship transformative. She reflects, “The Collins Scholarship enabled me to study in Ireland for five weeks. The absolute highlight was seeing the oldest copy in existence of St. John’s Gospel, housed in the Chester Beatty Library at Dublin Castle. We were so privileged to be guided at the library by Dr. Cathriona Russell of the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin.”

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.”

Both on its own and via partnerships, CIRT has been active and successful in procuring external grants. Consider just two examples. First: As a single entity, the unit has received $70,000 to support primary-source research by faculty members and both graduate and undergraduate students in connection with its Wexford-Savannah Axis research project. Second: In early 2020, Wexford-Savannah TradeBridge® — CIRT’s trade-and-investment development initiative with the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Wexford County Council, and Wexford Enterprise Center — was awarded grant-funding in the amount of $407,326 to advance its Phase 2 goals. That project aligns with GS’s core commitment to facilitating economic growth (“more and better jobs”) in Georgia and the other communities it serves.

Last updated: 10/17/2023