SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Leaders from Georgia Southern University traveled to Ireland last week to officially open its learning center in Wexford.
University officials say the center stems from a long-time partnership between Wexford and Savannah, and Georgia Southern’s Center for Irish Research and Teaching.
According to Georgia Southern, students and researchers have been working to trace “a large percentage” of Savannah residents who claim Irish ancestry, specifically to Wexford, and studying the larger historical connections between the locations.
During the initial phase of Georgia Southern University-Wexford, offerings will include honors humanities and international-studies courses focused on the connection between Wexford and Savannah.
The school is confident that the new learning center, housed in a historic building constructed in 1812, will not only bring success to their own students but set an example for other universities. Georgia Southern says it is the first public university in the country to open a facility like this in Ireland.
“The excitement from Irish leaders in Wexford was overwhelming – we heard repeatedly that having our delegation visit in person sent an important message about our commitment to this learning center and our intent to expand the scope of our new partnership,” said Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero.
According to the university, last week’s event led to a meeting with Ireland’s president, the first official meeting between a Georgia Southern president and a foreign head of state.