Archive for March 18th, 2009
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
At a reception marking St. Patrick’s Day yesterday at the White House, President Obama nominated Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney to be U.S. ambassador to Ireland. Rooney, who spoke at Smeal last year, has long been a supporter of Irish charities, including helping to found The Ireland Funds, an international organization that raises money around the world to support causes in Ireland.
“The strong ethnic heritage and fabric of Pittsburgh and his family are good backdrops for his nomination,” according to Smeal’s Andrew Bergstein, associate director of the Center for Sports Business & Research. “It also doesn’t hurt that the family business wins super bowls.”
More from Bergstein:
It’s hard to imagine Dan Rooney being anything other than a caring, thoughtful, and ethical representative of his country to his native land. Having owned the team for so many decades “Mr. Rooney,” as he is called, his family, and his legendary father have become icons not only to Irish Americans and the multi-ethnic Pittsburgh community. Their hard work, family values, and ethics have made the family and their team popular with people around the world. But the nomination of Dan Rooney might resonant all the more today as people react to the forces that led the United States and the world to their current economic situation.
Mr. Rooney represents what many people feel is one of our nation’s greatest assets. The strength of the American experience would never have been possible without people and families coming to the United States seeking better lives. As the world turns its attention to the post-Bush Obama United States, it might see the successful ascent of immigrants as a reminder of an inherent goodness of the nation he represents.