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U of U Groundbreaking for Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building to Celebrate ‘Spirit of Place’

Sept. 14, 2006 — The College of Humanities at the University of Utah will present “The Spirit of Place,” a celebration of the site dedication and groundbreaking for the new Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 4 until 5 p.m. and is for University students, faculty and staff, invited guests and the media. The celebration will take place at the building site, located south of the Alumni Association and east of the Union Building, on the University campus. Reserved parking is available in the lot north of the Alumni House.

The site dedication will include remarks by University President Michael K. Young and College of Humanities Dean Robert Newman as well as an American Indian hoop dance performance. A special dedicatory prayer will be offered by Ute tribal elder and spiritual leader Clifford Duncan. The celebration will conclude with remarks offered by the Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, for whom the building will be named. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided by the Hotel Monaco’s Bambara Restaurant, and architectural renderings of the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building will be on display. Construction of the building is scheduled to begin this November, with a projected completion date of May 2008.

University President Michael K. Young, notes, “Bishop Irish’s love for the University of Utah, and her strong desire that students learn the invaluable lessons of history, philosophy, literature, language and communication, has been instrumental in bringing about a renaissance of the Humanities on campus.”

The Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building is designed to induce lively collaboration and discussion among faculty, students and community members, while also allowing space for contemplative distance, says College of Humanities Dean Robert Newman. “Our vision for the new building is to reflect the role of the College of Humanities as the core of student life on campus-as well as a thriving center of disciplinary, interdisciplinary and international programs,” he says, adding that the 55,000-square-foot facility will be the dynamic hub of the many departments, programs and centers of the College of Humanities.

With a construction budget of more than $16 million dollars, the building will be home to the Departments of History and Philosophy and the College’s International, Asian and Latin American Studies Programs. The new building will also house the Obert C. and Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center, established in 1988, which fosters scholarly inquiry and dialogue on issues critical to the human condition by supporting the work of distinguished visiting fellows.

The building will include two large lecture halls, several seminar rooms, conference rooms and group study rooms as well as reading rooms, secluded courtyards and an outdoor labyrinth, designed to encourage reflection among students, faculty and visitors.

About Carolyn Tanner Irish

A native of Salt Lake City, Carolyn Tanner Irish became bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah in 1996, making her the fourth woman elected bishop to head a diocese in the Episcopal Church USA. She currently is one of only 12 female bishops in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She is spiritual leader to nearly 6,000 Episcopalians in 22 Utah congregations and one northern Arizona parish.

Bishop Irish entered Stanford University in 1958, then transferred to the University of Michigan, where she graduated in 1962 with high honors in philosophy as a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She received her master”s in moral philosophy from Oxford University, in 1968, and a master’s in divinity, cum laude, in 1983, from the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Prior to her ordination as a deacon (1983) and priest (1984) in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., Bishop Irish taught ethics history and literature at the Edmund Burke School, in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Irish was married in 2001 to the Rev. Dr. Frederick Quinn, a retired Foreign Service officer and author of several books. She has four adult children.