Owen Connolly book launches November 30

Tells the rags-to-riches story; Connolly’s estate has helped thousands of students on PEI
Posted: 
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Leonard Cusack stands in front of the Connolly Block in Charlottetown

Since 1888, the Estate of Owen Connolly has helped thousands of Prince Edward Island students of Irish Catholic heritage gain a higher education. Leonard Cusack (SDU ’69) has written the rags-to-riches story of Owen Connolly, the remarkable man behind the money. We invite you to celebrate the launch of Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy on Thursday, November 30, at 7:00 pm at the PEI Brewing Company in Charlottetown. The event will feature the Irish group, Omos. All are welcome.

Owen Connolly first stepped onto the docks in Charlottetown in 1839 as a poor young Irish immigrant escaping the poverty and repression of his homeland. Forty years later, he was one of the wealthiest men on Prince Edward Island.

Connolly was a special kind of entrepreneur; with little formal education, he could write well and was good with figures. When he died in 1887, he left almost all his fortune to provide bursaries to poor Irish Catholic students from PEI.

The Connolly bursary has funded more than $3 million to help Island students of Irish Catholic heritage gain a higher education, many of them at SDU or UPEI. But because the bursary was handled externally, there are no easy records of which students received it.

The UPEI Alumni Office is issuing a special call to SDU and UPEI alumni who benefited from the Connolly bursary over the years. If you received the Connolly bursary, please contact Anthony Gill at adgill@upei.ca.
Soft cover and souvenir copies of the book will be available for sale and signing at the launch on November 30. Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy is published by Island Studies Press and the Estate of Owen Connolly.

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.

Dave Atkinson
Communications Officer
Department: 
Marketing and Communications
Phone: 
(902) 620-5117
Contact UPEI