Information Update - Spring 1997

Charles Buckley: The Man Behind the Gift

In so many was the gift of the facsimile of the Book of Kells reflects the personality of the man behind the gift, Mr. Charles Buckley. Our conversation with Rev. Robert Barone, a good friend of Mr. Buckley, who was with him the evening he passed away, shed some light on the many talents and interests of this truly remarkable person.
 
First and foremost, Mr. Buckley was interested in the arts. He traveled extensively, and in every country he visited he was particularly interested in the architecture and the museums. In Dublin he had seen the original Book of Kells. His home was filled with paintings and art books, and his music recording collection was extensive.
 
Although "classical," he was quick to point out that his friend himself was not a museum piece." He was extremely interested in computers and wanted his students to do their accounting problems on the computer. In fact, one of the things that fascinated Mr. Buckley about the facsimile edition of the Book of Kells was the technology that enabled such a perfect reproduction to be created.
But the Book of Kells was not just an artistic creation to Mr. Buckley; it was also a copy of the Gospels. He was a very devout and religious man and active in his church. The Book of Kells to him was a beautiful manifestation of an important and beautiful spiritual truth.
 
Finally, Mr. Buckley was proud of his Irish heritage. The Book of Kells was to him one of the icons of Irish culture and civilization.
 
All these factors -- art, technology, religion and nationality--came together in the facsimile of the Book of Kells. Fr. Barone said his friend talked constantly about it, and it was even a topic of conversation at dinner the night Mr. Buckley passed away. It is so appropriate that this gift should come to the University, which Charles Buckley loved so much, and where he served for so many years.
Kevin Norris
Pride, Passion, Promise: Experience Our Jesuit Tradition