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
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
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
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
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.