Alumni & Parent Programs

Dr. Edward L. Shaughnessy '58 M.A. '63

Butler Service Medal, 2001

There are certain people in the Butler family who define generations, who exemplify the educational and ethical mission of Butler, who rise above the rest in service and dedication; Dr. Edward Shaughnessy was one of those rare, outstanding individuals.

Dr. Shaughnessy received his bachelor's degree from Butler in 1958 after a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. He taught at Park Preparatory School for Boys and earned his Butler Masters in 1963. While at Park School, he taught several English classes at Butler and so impressed Dr. Werner Beyer that, beginning in 1965, he was invited to take on a full-time position.

During the next several years and with much personal sacrifice, Ed pursued and received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. In his years teaching at Butler (1965-1992), he was one of Butler's most effective and popular professors, rising from an instructor of English, to an assistant, then associate professor of English and ultimately being named the Edna R. Cooper Professor of English Literature. As Professor Emeritus, Dr. Shaughnessy continued to work on campus from his office in Irwin Library.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Shaughnessy held many professional responsibilities during his time at Butler, including acting as a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Indiana Magazine of History . He also served as chairman of the Freshman English Committee, chairman of the University Curriculum Committee and advisor to Phi Eta Sigma, University College and English majors.

Dr. Shaughnessy achieved international reputation as a seminal interpreter of the works of playwright Eugene O'Neill. One of the founding members of the national Eugene O'Neill Society in 1978, he was the author of two books on O'Neill, the first of which, Eugene O'Neill in Ireland: The Critical Reception (1988), presented new and important material. The second, Down the Nights and Down the Days: Eugene O'Neill's Catholic Sensibility , received the Hibernian Publication Award in a competition for publications by the Notre Dame University Press. Dr. Shaugnessy was an invited lecturer at such varied locations as Bermuda and Stockholm, Sweden.

Dr. Shaughnessy wrote numerous monographs, articles, book reviews and feature essays, as well as presented papers and lectures across the world. He was awarded a prize for his essay in Arts Indiana and is the recipient of the Hibernian Research Award.

Dr. Shaughnessy also held memberships in the Modern Language Association, the Indiana Teachers of Writing, the American Irish Historical Society, the American Conference for Irish Studies and the Santayana Society. He served as a member of the advisory board for the Christian Theological Seminary Repertory Theatre and the Indianapolis Literary Club. He was a member of St. John Catholic Church.

Dr. Shaughnessy married Janet Maddox in 1957, and together they raised four children, Margaret, Katharine, Molly and Kevin. Janet earned a Masters degree from the College of Education in 1975. Peg has two Butler business degrees, a BS '84 and an M.B.A. '88. In 1984, Molly, who had done splendid work at Butler, went on to study Irish literature in Dublin. Katie Shaughnessy McManus graduated from Butler in 1985.

Through professional triumph and personal adversity-including the death of two of his beloved children-Dr. Shaughnessy's commitment to education and to Butler University has been unwavering. With his well-loved, gentle nature and quiet quest for academic achievement and artistic excellence, Dr. Shaughnessy personified the spirit of Butler University.

Updated 2001