About

I am a university administrator and professor who lives and works in Harrisonburg, VA. My great-great-grandfather, Michael Mulrooney, was a publican in the town of Headford, County Galway. The original Mulrooney’s Pub (short for Public House) was licensed to sell alcohol to the general public, hence its name. Michael also had a farm in the small village of Claran Ower, just a few miles west of Headford. There, he and his wife, Bridget, raised nine sons of whom seven emigrated to Wilmington, Delaware, in the 1870s. The eldest of the nine brothers, Patrick, quickly became a publican and a prominent figure in Delaware’s Irish-American community. The current Mulrooney’s Tavern, pictured on my home page, is the ancestor of Patrick’s venture. My grandfather, Patrick’s younger brother, Martin, eventually opened a butcher shop, where he served the public in a different way.

My digital Public House serves yet another function. Instead of ale or bacon, I use it to sling ideas–about the state of public higher education, about my work as a public historian, and about projects I am involved in to promote the public good. Check back from time to time to see what’s on tap!

(What? You don’t like puns?)

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