2014 Patrick Healy Award Biography

The Patrick Healy, S.J. Award is named for Rev. Patrick F. Healy, S.J., the 29th president of Georgetown University (1874-1882). Established in 1969, this award is conferred upon an individual who is not an alumnus/a, but whose achievements and record of service to Georgetown, community and professional achievements, exemplify the ideals and traditions of Georgetown. Eligible candidates for the Patrick Healy Award include recipients of an Honorary Degree from Georgetown University. A maximum number of one Patrick Healy Award is conferred annually.

Irene Ryan Shaw (Parent’94, ’98, ’98), Greenwich, Connecticut

Though she didn’t attend Georgetown, Irene Ryan Shaw has never hesitated to work beyond the call of duty in service to her husband’s and children’s alma mater.

Irene Ryan graduated cum laude from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., in 1966 and Brown University in 1967. While she was at Trinity, she attended the Georgetown Junior Prom, where she met L. Edward Shaw Jr. (C’66), her future husband. After college, she served as a speechwriter for New York Mayor John Lindsay and has been involved in many philanthropic activities over the years.

She embraced her family’s connection to Georgetown as her own, serving on the Board of Regents for 12 years and becoming a regent emeritus in 2013. Under her leadership, the Student Affairs Committee built the Village C Alumni Lounge and laid plans for the future student center in New South.

The Shaws have been loyal supporters of Georgetown’s athletics program. Edward Shaw is himself a 2012 John Carroll awardee. The two are responsible for starting Georgetown’s women’s soccer program. Irene Shaw loves the game—she coached soccer and in 1991 was a member of the U.S. delegation to the first Women’s World Cup in China.

Committed to bringing the best and most deserving student-athletes to Georgetown, the Shaws established the first endowed scholarship for women’s soccer in 1993. In 2012, the Shaws gave the largest gift in history to athletics at Georgetown. As firm believers in the value of athletics to build school spirit and enhance the undergraduate experience, the couple directed most of their gift toward the new Intercollegiate Athletics Center. The remainder was used to upgrade the on-campus field for the Georgetown’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. The Shaws also funded the renovation of the Healy Gates in 1999 in memory of Irene’s father.

Irene Shaw has served on numerous boards and committees over the years, including the Legal Aid Society of New York and the Boys and Girls Harbor of New York City.

The couple have five children—Hope (C’94), Holly (C’98), Julia (C’98), Christopher and Rory—and 12 grandchildren.