Sláinte! Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Daniel M. Rooney

Symposium Agenda

8:00 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m.

Ken Gormley, Duquesne University President

9:15 - 10:15 a.m.
Dan Rooney: Faith, Family and Pittsburgh

Rooney's indelible spirit and unwavering commitment to faith and family underscored all that he did for his community and his church. As an alumnus of North Catholic High School and Duquesne University and an ardent supporter of the Catholic church, his humble nature and strong dedication to his faith shaped his ability to be a strong, moral leader and family man.

Moderator: Andrew Masich, Ph.D., President and CEO, Senator John Heinz History Center


  • General Michael V. Hayden, Former Director, CIA and NSA
  • Patricia Rooney Gerrero, MSW, LCSW, Daughter of Daniel M. Rooney
  • Reverend Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., Executive Vice President, Saint Vincent College
  • John Canning, "Dean of Northside History"
  • David Halaas, Ph.D., Historian
10:15 - 11:30 a.m.
Dan Rooney and Ireland

Nominated as ambassador to Ireland in 2009 by President Barack Obama, Rooney served his ancestral homeland with enthusiasm and great vision. He became the first U.S. ambassador to Ireland to visit all 32 counties and held this distinguished role until 2012. Rooney also co-founded The Ireland Funds, a philanthropic organization that promotes and supports peace, culture, education and community development across the island of Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.

Moderator: Mike Cronin, Academic Director, Boston College, Ireland; Duquesne in Dublin Professor


  • Katie Keogh, Director of Special Projects, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland
  • Jim Lamb, President, Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh
  • Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO, The Ireland Funds
  • Ted Smyth, Advisory Board Chair, University College Dublin Clinton Institute
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Exhibit: Ambassador Daniel M. Rooney Irish History and Literature Collection

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Keynote Address

Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States

2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Dan Rooney, A Professional Life: The Steelers, The Rooney Rule and The NFL

Rooney's leadership with the Steelers began with player contract negotiations while he was still a Duquesne student in the 1950s and progressed to positions as team president and chairman. Under his leadership, the team won six Super Bowl Championships and became one of the most successful and recognizable sports franchises in the world. Rooney was also a central figure in the development of the NFL, taking it from an "after-thought" sport to the preeminent sports entertainment vehicle that it is today. Additionally, he was instrumental in creating The Rooney Rule, a policy supporting diversity and fair hiring practices.

Moderator: Rob Ruck, Professor, University of Pittsburgh


  • John Clayton, ESPN
  • Mike Tomlin, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Jeff Pash, Executive Vice President, NFL; General Counsel, NFL
  • Jim Rooney, Son of Daniel M. Rooney
3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
Former Players Panel

Enjoy a spirited discussion as former players share treasured memories and provide an insider's perspective on Rooney's leadership, compassion and wisdom, both on and off the field. Described best by former players as a mentor, friend, and the heart and soul of Steeler nation, Rooney preached the importance of family and valued players as members of his own.

Moderator: Gene Collier, Sports Journalist, Speaker, Comedian and Author


  • Rocky Bleier (by video), Retired Pittsburgh Steeler
  • Charlie Batch, Retired Pittsburgh Steeler
  • Franco Harris, Retired Pittsburgh Steeler
  • Mike Wagner, Retired Pittsburgh Steeler
4:45 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Reflections from Arthur Rooney, II, Esq., Bill Cowher, Mrs. Patricia Rooney and President Ken Gormley.