URI professor emeritus to deliver St. Patrick’s Day address in Providence

Nationally renowned labor, Irish history expert to speak March 17

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KINGSTON, R.I.- March 14, 2017- A University of Rhode Island professor emeritus of labor and industrial relations and expert in labor history, Irish heritage, the Industrial Revolution, and labor relations will speak to a crowd of more than 200 on the eve of the Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Professor Scott Molloy, this year’s deputy grand marshal for the parade, will address the gathering, which will also include Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and the Providence City Council, Friday, March 17 at 12:30 p.m. on the third floor of City Hall, 25 Dorrance St. His free presentation will detail the compelling story of Patrick McCarthy,  the first mayor of Providence born in a foreign country. The native of Ireland served as mayor of the city from 1907-1908.

Then, on Saturday, March 18 at noon, Molloy will join other dignitaries for the parade that begins at noon on Smith Street.

“As the grandson of an Irish immigrant, I was always interested in my heritage but never knew much about it” said Molloy, a resident of West Kingston. “In 1970, I traveled to Ireland, which kickstarted my need to learn more about the culture. To my knowledge, I introduced the first and only class on Ireland and Irish America that URI has to offer.”

Molloy served at URI’S Schmidt Labor Research Center for 30 years. He gas distinguished himself as an expert on American labor, both professionally and personally. As a child, Molloy’s father worked as a Providence police officer and his mother as a Providence schoolteacher. Later, while studying for his doctoral degree at Providence College, Molloy worked as a bus driver and union agent for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.

His job was no accident – his grandfather immigrated to Rhode Island from Ireland in 1900 to begin working as a trolley driver in 1909, and Molloy’s uncles worked as bus drivers. Additionally, Molloy founded the Rhode Island Labor History Society in 1987, and was also a key collaborator in the creation of the Irish Famine Memorial in Providence, which was officially dedicated in 2007. Molloy was awarded the URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 1995, and the Carnegie Foundation named him Rhode Island Professor of the Year in 2004. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2009.

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.