Virginia Hibernians Award 17 Scholarships

Seventeen scholarships were recently awarded to high school and college-bound students by the Lt. Col. John A. Dowd Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Woodbridge, Va.  During the past fourteen years, the AOH has awarded $127,000. in scholarships to 139 students through a fund established in 1996 by Hibernian John F. Kane in memory of his parents.

Erin Cushing, an honors graduate this spring from Gettysburg College now enrolled in a master’s degree program at George Mason University and winner of AOH scholarships to Bishop Ireton High School in 2002 and to Gettysburg in 2006, thanked Kane scholarship directors for their support.  She advised this year’s recipients to make the most of their learning opportunities during these important years of their lives.

Barbara Tivnan, president of the Ladies AOH Division and scholarship director, presented awards to the following high school students:  Ryan Bradley, Christine Conner, Julia Ranieri,  Mikayla Sherman, Reniah Carlos, Alec Polansky, Kenneth Diaz and Cameron Kotwicki, all headed to Pope John Paul the Great High School, and to Timothy Loiseau for Pope Paul VI High School.

Receiving college scholarships were Jennifer Nussio for Christendom College, Nicholas Velesz for George Mason University, Aaron Bradley for Virginia Military Institute, Thomas Kiesner and Meghan Nagle for Old Dominion University, Nicholas McGovern for Mary Washington University, Allison Gottman for Lynchburg College, and John A. Dowd for Miami University of Ohio.  Mr. Dowd is the grandson of Lt.Col. John A. Dowd USMC for whom the AOH division is named.  Lt. Col. Dowd was killed in Vietnam in August of 1969 while leading his battalion in combat and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism.

Scholarship Awardees

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the U.S. Military Services recently celebrated the first Mass in the new Semper Fidelis Chapel at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Va.  Concelebrants were Navy chaplains Father Michael Duesterhaus and Father John Hannigan.  The Mass was sponsored by the Lt. Colonel John A. Dowd USMC Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Woodbridge, Va.

Lt. Colonel Dowd was killed August 13, 1969 while leading his 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment in battle against North Vietnamese forces about 20 miles southwest of Danang.  He left his wife Barbara and six children.  Barbara is active in the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians in Woodbridge.

Patrick T. Cushing, president of the Hibernian Division, and Margie Madsen, one of Colonel Dowd’s children, were readers at the Mass.  Her daughter, Kiersten, now a Marine 2nd lieutenant in The Basic School and Infantry Officers Course at Quantico, brought up the gifts, along with 2nd Lt. A.J. Ghongkedze.  Music was provided by Jennifer Nussio, Frances Sullivan and Kimberly Zarnick.  John Schlageter was master of ceremonies.

Special guests included retired Marine General Carlton Fulford, Colonel Mike Riley USMC, Francis X. Riley, AOH president emeritus, and Colonel Rick Nussio, USMC.

Following the Mass, a reception was held in honor of the Archbishop at the Globe & Laurel Restaurant in Stafford.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio processing to begin the Mass

News from Virginia

John F. Kane Scholarship Awards

Erin Cushing, an Ancient Order of Hibernian John F. Kane Catholic High School Scholarship winner in 2002, and a Gettysburg College Scholarship winner in 2006, returned to address the families and friends of this year’s Scholarship winners at the Montclair Country Club in Dumfries VA on August 8th. Erin thanked the John Kane Scholarship Directors for the opportunity to pursue her higher education. She stressed to this year’s Scholarship Winners the importance of higher education and the need to properly apply themselves in their academic pursuits.  Erin is a 2010 Honors Graduate of Gettysburg College in PA and is currently enrolled in a Masters Program at George Mason University. Woodbridge Division Hibernian Charter Member, Jack Kiesner opened the John F. Kane Scholarship Award Reception with a prayer.  AOH Lt. Col. John A. Dowd, USMC Division President, Pat Cushing, welcomed the Scholarship winners and their families, Ladies AOH Division President and Scholarship Director, Barbara Tivnan, awarded the following Scholarships: John A. Dowd to Miami of Ohio University. (John is the grandson of Lt. Col. John A. Dowd, USMC, and namesake of the Woodbridge AOH Division)  Shannon Connolly to James Madison, Allison Gottman to Lynchburg College, Thomas Kiesner to old Dominion University, Nicholas McGovern to Mary Washington University, Meghan Nagle to Old Dominion University and Jennifer Nussio to Christendom College. Special Award Scholarships were awarded to Aaron Bradley to Virginia Military Institute, Ryan Bradley to Pope John Paul High School, and Nicholas Velesz to George Mason University. High School Scholarships were awarded to Timothy Loiseau to Paul VI, Christine Conner, Julia Ranieri, Mikayla Sherman, Reniah Carlos, Alec Polansky, Kenneth Diaz, and Cameron Kotwicki, all attending Pope John Paul the Great High School. The John F. Kane Scholarship Fund was established in 1996 by Hibernian Jack Kane in the memory of his parents. This is the 14th year and the Fund has awarded a total of 139 Scholarships worth $127,000 to deserving students.

Wine Tasting at Chateau O’Brien

The Prince William County AOH Board and the Virginia State LAOH co-hosted a wine tasting at Chateau O’Brien Winery in Markham Virginia.  Besides the wine all enjoyed a wonderful bagpiper, an excellent Irish stew, a gorgeous view, and –best of all-good Irish company!  We appreciated working on the “Friendship” bit of our motto so much; we plan to do it more often.

First Catholic Mass in Marine Memorial Chapel

The Lt. Col. John A. Dowd USMC AOH Division sponsored the first Catholic Mass to be celebrated in the National Museum of Marine Corps’ Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel.  The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Broglio, with Fr. John Hannigan and Fr. Michael Duesterhaus concelebrating.  Several distinguished guest attended, including members of Lt. Col. Dowd’s family, General (Ret.) Carlton Fulford USMC, Col. Michael Riley USMCR, Francis X. Riley AOH President emeritus, and Colonel Rick Nussio USA.  Members of the Dowd family and members of the Dowd Division AOH and LAOH assisted with the readings and music at the Mass, while Norm Weaver welcomed the attendees with traditional Celtic piping.  An elegant reception followed the Mass at the Globe & Laurel Restaurant.