Stonehill College has instituted the Distinguished Richard B. Finnegan Professorship in Political Science and International Relations in honor of the Dorchester native who earned his BA from Stonehill in 1964 and returned to the campus in Easton in 1968 as a member of the Political Science Department.
In announcing the professorship, which will allow a faculty member to conduct advanced research on major political themes, Stonehill called it “a tribute to all that Professor Finnegan accomplished as a teacher, scholar, author, administrator, ambassador, and mentor for scores of students over almost five decades at the college.”
During his long tenure as a member of the faculty at the Catholic liberal arts institution, he founded the International Studies program and the Irish Studies program and served as department chair, director of the Honors Program, and dean of the faculty.
“Stonehill has been a portal for me to worlds that I could never have anticipated that I would inhabit,” said Finnegan at a dinner held in his honor earlier this summer. “I am grateful and truly moved that this occasion has also afforded me a private opportunity to reflect on the work itself: the time in front of the classrooms full of students, or alone at my research and writing. The miles logged and hours clocked. The day-by-day carrying of these years that began with hitchhiking as a freshman from my parents’ house in Dorchester to class at Stonehill, and have taken me so many more places since. The gratification I found in studying, in teaching, and in the simplicity of working my hardest at them.”
The author or co-author of six books, Finnegan was awarded the Moreau Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the College on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 1998. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, where he taught a course on Irish Politics, and University College Dublin. During his career, he received prestigious grants from the Fulbright Program, National Science Foundation, Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Whiting Foundation.
Anna Ohanyan, a political scientist colleague at Stonehill, is the first faculty member to hold the new professorship.