Irish Repertory Theatre is proud to honor our friend, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, with the 2020 Visionary Leadership Award in recognition of her philanthropic support of Irish communities and her tireless work in promoting Irish culture and heritage in the US and around the world.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman has been involved in philanthropic endeavors for more than two decades, focusing on education, the arts, health care and peace initiatives in both the United States and Ireland, a passion she shared with her late husband Lew Glucksman.
Loretta is the Chairman Emeritus of The Ireland Funds America, where she served as its Chairman for over 20 years before stepping down in December 2013. During that time, The Ireland Funds exceeded its goal of raising $100 million under the Promising Ireland Campaign and reset the target to $200 million.
Loretta is Co-Chair of Glucksman Ireland House founded in 1993, the center for Irish Studies at New York University, and she serves on the Board of Arts and Sciences at NYU. She also is Chairman of the University of Limerick Foundation. Loretta is also a long-time staunch supporter of FACES (Finding A Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures), which is affiliated with the NYU Langone Medical Center.
Lew and Loretta established the Glucksman Chair of English and American Letters at NYU, and the Glucksman Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen. In 2002, University College Cork officially opened the Lewis Glucksman Gallery; in 2001, Lew and Loretta established the Map Conservation Library at Trinity College, Dublin; and in 1998 they helped build the Glucksman Library at University Limerick.
In Ireland, Loretta served on numerous boards including IDA Ireland (national private sector economic development), The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Library, The National Concert Hall, The Abbey Theatre, Trinity College, University College Cork, The Royal College of Surgeons, Smurfit School of Business at the University of Dublin, and Cork Airport Authority.
In 2002, Loretta was conferred an Honorary Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the highest honor for a non-British citizen, for her work toward peace in Northern Ireland. She also received honorary degrees from the Universities of Scranton, Fairfield, Trinity, Cork and Queens College in Belfast and she is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Irish Academy, The Royal Dublin Society and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.
Loretta was a teacher of third and fifth grade and a lecturer in English Literature at several universities. She was a television producer and on-air host for news and public affairs with PBS.
She was elected Grand Marshal of the Rainbow Parade for LGBT Association in 2016 and Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Parade in 2017.
Loretta is grateful to her three children, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.