Veteran PR Man Lou Connelly Retires

2/12/2004

BOSTON, MA - Lou Connelly, who worked as the director of public relations at Suffolk University for nearly three decades, has officially announced his retirement from his alma mater – this time as sports information director.

“After working at Suffolk for half my life, I feel it's the right time to move on,” said the 73-year-old Connelly, who graduated from Suffolk University in 1957 with a bachelor of science in journalism degree, and received his masters in education degree from Suffolk in 1974. “Suffolk has always been my home away from home and I consider the people I've worked with over the years as my extended family.”

In November of 1967, Connelly was appointed Suffolk University's first full-time public relations director and held that post for 29 years before retiring in June of 1996. Since that time, he has worked at Suffolk in a part-time capacity as sports information director.

“Sports has always been a big part of my life, so making the transition from public relations to sports information was a perfect fit for me,” said Connelly, a former basketball player at Suffolk under Charlie Law, Suffolk's first head coach and athletic director. “I worked three days a week and it kept me involved in a very busy environment. During the last number of years, the sports program at Suffolk has come a long way and I felt fortunate to have been a part of it.”

One of Connelly's closest friends over the years has been Suffolk University athletic director Jim Nelson, who began his career at Suffolk in 1966, one year before Connelly arrived. “It has been the good fortune of this university, as well as the athletic department, to have been associated with Lou Connelly for more than three decades,” said Nelson. “His wealth of knowledge relative to the history and charm of Suffolk University has been invaluable in promoting the positive image of athletics on behalf of our student athletes throughout New England and beyond.”

Following his graduation from Suffolk, Connelly pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a reporter. He joined the staff of the New Bedford Standard-Times and less than a year later he became a reporter for the old Boston Herald-Traveler. He served that newspaper for nearly a decade covering the courts in Suffolk County, police headquarters and general assignments. In 1965, he moved to the sports department, covering various events for three years. His major beats were the Patriots and the Red Sox, including the 1967 Impossible Dream team.

While at Suffolk, Connelly was the consummate public relations professional, well respected and admired by everyone he met. “If we at Suffolk pride ourselves in being a family, then Lou is the uncle everybody loves,” said Robert Rosenthal, Chairman of the Communication and Journalism Department at Suffolk University. “He has touched the lives of so many people – students, faculty, administrators, staff and alumni.”

In 1999, Connelly received the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Suffolk University Communication and Journalism Department and was the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Service Award by the Suffolk University General Alumni Association.

During his overall 36-year career at Suffolk, he has seen and done it all. He has worked for four presidents, and is continually impressed how the school has progressed over the years.

“With the addition of our own gymnasium, dorms and the new law school, the growth and expansion of our campus has been unbelievable,” said Lou Connelly. “It's encouraging to see how far Suffolk has come from when I started to where it is today.”

Suffolk University, located on Boston's historic Beacon Hill, with campuses in Madrid, Spain and Dakar, Senegal (Africa) is a comprehensive global institution distinguished by its teaching and the intellectual contributions of its faculty. Suffolk offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 70 areas of study. Its mission is to provide quality education at a reasonable cost for students of all ages and backgrounds, with strong emphasis on diversity. Suffolk has a combined enrollment of more than 7,500 full-time and part-time students at its Law School, College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer School of Management.

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