When Secretary of the Penn State Irish Society Alyson Gabel found out that former president of Ireland Mary Robinson will be speaking at the university, she felt “proud of [her] heritage” and planned on telling members of her club immediately.
Robinson, the country’s first female president, will be speaking on March 13 in the Eisenhower Auditorium about global leadership and ethics.
The lecture, “The Future of Ethical Leadership in a Global Society” is sponsored by the Schreyer Honors College, the Presidential Leadership Academy, the Student Programming Association and the University Park Allocation Committee, according to a press release by the Schreyer Honors College.
Megan Mansell (senior - public relations), marketing chair for the Student Programming Association, said that her organization tries “to get as much diversity as possible” with their lineup of speakers and performers, and being able to host a global leader “complements the lineup.”
Robinson was elected in 1990 as Ireland’s seventh president. Before finishing her seven-year turn, she was named United National High Commissioner for Human Rights, which she was from 1997 until 2002, according to the press release.
She also founded and was president of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Global Initiative, an initiative focused on human rights in developing countries, according to the press release. President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Robin’s memoir, "Everybody Matters" My Life Giving Voice," will be published on March 5. They will be for sale when she speaks in Eisenhower Auditorium, according to the press release. Tickets will be available to students starting Feb. 25 and will be made available to the public March 1.
Advisor of the Penn State Irish Society Jessica O'Hara said she was “incredibly excited” that Robinson will be speaking.“She’s about the most important Irish person I can think of,” she said, noting how important she is in Irish and international politics as well as her work with human rights.
Gabel (senior- journalism and psychology), who joined the Penn State Irish Society her freshman year when it was created, said she was impressed that Penn State was able to get the former president to speak and had no idea that the university had been planning this event.