Quinnipiac has many Irish ties, whether it be the Cork University study abroad program or the fact that President Lahey was named Irish American of the Year by Irish America Magazine in 2011.
However, one of Quinnipiac's more unique testaments to Ireland is found in the Arnold Bernhard Library in a small museum across from the help desk titled "An Gorta Mór," which translates to the Great Hunger.
The collection of Great Hunger books and artifacts is intended to educate people on the Great Hunger, also commonly referred to as the potato famine, which decreased Ireland's population from 8 million to 2 million.
The room contains a portion of one of the world's largest collections of Great Hunger material and artifacts, including 350 books on the subject.
Also included in the museum are brochures and pamphlets filled with information about the devastating effects of the famine and are available for students to take inside the collection room.
While the An Gorta Mor museum has been in the Arnold Bernhard Library for about decade, it will be moving to Whitney Avenue and recognized as an official "Ireland's Great Hunger Museum." This museum will be open to the general public with access for tourists and students alike.
"This museum will house the majority of the collection, which has now expanded well beyond the room in the library," Vice President for Public Affairs, Lynn Bushnell said. "The collection is extensive, and the separate museum will enable the public to visit and view the collection with greater ease and better parking."
Renovations on the new museum are currently underway and should be completed around the fall of 2012 with an opening ceremony in either late September or early October. While the museum will no longer be on the Mount Carmel Campus, students will continue to be encouraged to take advantage of the collection.
"We do envision students interested in this aspect of Irish history, art history, or in museum work which will be able to serve as volunteers or interns when it eventually opens," Bushnell said.
When asked about the museum and artifacts in the library, not many students know the exact significance of the pieces or that Quinnipiac has one of the world's most extensive collections.
"I didn't know that there was an Irish museum in the library. I think it's a very unique thing for the school to have and it would've been nice if it had been included when I was touring the school", says Suzy Steeves, an undergraduate student here at Quinnipiac.
Another undergraduate student, Leanne Griffith said she recognizes the importance and benefits that will come with the new museum,
"Some of the artwork in the library is really interesting and I think putting the museum on Whitney Ave will allow the general public to experience Irish history and culture".
Some of the artwork and An Gorta Mór room will still have a place in the Arnold Bernhard Library after the off-campus museum opens.
"I think the Irish museum is a very unique thing for the university to have," freshman Susan Steeves.
.. The room titled An Gorta Mór and all the various pieces of artwork in the library are part of the Lender Family Special Collection and belong to Quinnipiac thanks to a donation by the Lender Family. The room was dedicated to Murray Lender, Marvin Lender, and other members of the Lender family on Sept. 21, 2000.