By Ray O’Hanlon
Tom Moran, one of Irish America’s most familiar, busiest, and respected business and philanthropic figures, is about to wear yet another new hat.
Not to mention an academic gown.
Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York-based Mutual of America Life Insurance Company, has been appointed Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast.
“Queen's University today announced the appointment of leading Irish-American businessman and noted humanitarian, Thomas J Moran, as its new Chancellor,” stated the announcement from the university.
A native New Yorker with ancestral roots in counties Fermanagh and Cavan, Moran, according the Queens release, is listed as one of the top 100 Irish-American business people, has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company since October 1994, and is the first person to have been appointed president from within the company.
Moran is also chairman of Concern Worldwide, the New York-based international humanitarian relief organization that operates in thirty of the poorest countries of the world.
“He has contributed to several humanitarian and community causes, including acting as one of a group of unofficial peace envoys to Northern Ireland throughout the 1990s,” stated the Queen’s release.
Rotha Johnston, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Senate, the university’s governing body, said: “I am delighted that Queen’s has chosen Tom Moran to be its new Chancellor.
“Tom is recognized for his steadfast commitment to helping others and for his charitable, philanthropic
and educational work. He joins Queen’s at an exciting time in its development and we very much look forward to the important contribution of our new chancellor.”
Said Tom Moran in accepting the position: “It is a great honor to accept the role of chancellor of this fine institution. Queen’s is known around the world as an innovative, dynamic and exceptional university that helps change lives for the better. I hope, during my time as chancellor, that I can make a positive contribution to the university’s continued success and to increase further its global impact on society.”
Mr. Moran will serve as the university’s chancellor for a period of five years with effect from May 1.
Tom Moran graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. In 2006, Queen’s University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) for services to business, commerce and to public service.
He and his wife, Joan, currently live in New York City.
According to the Queens release, the chancellor of the university fulfils three main roles: a ceremonial one which involves presiding at degree congregations, an ambassadorial role, where the office holder helps to open doors for the university as it seeks to fulfil its mission, and as an advisor, available to the vice-chancellor and senior management as a sounding board, and to provide counsel and guidance.