Statement from President Ken Gormley on the Passing of Alumnus Dan Rooney
Ambassador Dan Rooney was a giant among Duquesne University alumni, just as he was a giant in professional sports and on the world stage.
A 1955 graduate of our school of business, Dan was a soft-spoken man with a heart of gold and a deep devotion to his family, his hometown and his university. Dan helped to spearhead the development of Duquesne's football stadium, which is named Arthur J. Rooney Field in honor of his father. His entire family’s history has been rooted at Duquesne—from his dad (“the Chief's”) leadership on nationally ranked football teams to Dan’s son, Art II, serving as a member of the University board. Dan was proud of those connections and humble about his own accomplishments; yet the extraordinary example he set through his personal, business and civic leadership were an inspiration to generations of our students and alums. At my own inauguration as president in September of this past year, I recognized Dan as a man of great compassion and integrity who has been an inspiration to me, personally. His presence in the front row of the ceremony that day with his wife, Pat, was extremely meaningful to me and my family, because he represented the very best qualities that built towns like Pittsburgh and great institutions like Duquesne.
On behalf of the entire Duquesne University community and 90,000 alumni, I express my sincere condolences to Pat and to the entire Rooney family. The ways in which Dan Rooney has helped to lift up the people of Western Pennsylvania, his alma mater and those fortunate enough to have known him are far too great to enumerate. We will miss him deeply; yet we will be forever grateful that God put him in our midst.
Ken Gormley, President
Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.
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