The 2015 Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade
was dedicated to those in the public sector who make
a difference for the better for others.
The everyday and unsung heroes.
Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade
2015 Grand Marshal
Dr. Margaret Mary McMenamin
Dr. Margaret Mary McMenamin is the President of Union County College,
the 1st of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges, founded in 1933.
She was born in New York City, the third of six children of the late
Hugh A. McMenamin and Elizabeth McMenamin with whom she now resides.
Dr. McMenamin traces her family’s history to the farmlands of Ireland,
to Counties Sligo, Mayo and Donegal, and ancestors named ODonnell,
Shovlin, Conaghan, McGinley, Mahon, Ferry, Finen, Jennings, McFadyen,
Larkin, and McMenamin. Their descendants sailed to America in the
1800’s, searching for a better life, and settled in northeastern
Pennsylvania. They lived in places like Scranton, South Heberton,
Freeland, and Jeddo. They worked in mines and railroads, and reared
The courage and tenacity of these men and women, coupled with their
appreciation for the value of education, enabled and inspired their
progeny to pursue higher education in Philadelphia, New York, New
Haven, Toronto, Rome, and South Bend, Indiana. They served our country,
and they flourished in dentistry, pharmacy, business, law, journalism,
information technology, comedy, social work, religious life, and, of
course, education. Dr. McMenamin’s extended family includes at least a
dozen gifted educators, who have taught everywhere from Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania and Newark, New Jersey, to the suburbs of Boston, and the
FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia.
More than a few of those educators, devout Catholics, offered their
gifts to the Church. Four of Dr. McMenamin’s aunts taught school as
members of the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters, Servants of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her uncle, a member of the Religious
Order of Passionist Priests, lectured widely. Her great great
uncle was Monsignor Hugh L. McMenamin, the Rector of the Cathedral of
the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. McMenamin’s mother, Elizabeth McMenamin, a 1938 graduate of Barnard
College in New York, writer, grandmother, and unofficial “Prez-Mum” of
Union County College, taught high school English. Perhaps the only true
non-teacher in the entire family was Dr. McMenamin’s father, Hugh A.
McMenamin, who once boasted, “I couldn’t teach a kid to lick a
lollipop.” He taught Dr. McMenamin and her siblings the most important
lessons of all: the meaning of unconditional love. He was a World War
II Army veteran, and a civil servant with the U.S. Department of
Defense, who retired from Fort Monmouth in the early 1980s. He lives on
in the heart of everyone who knew him.
Dr. McMenamin grew up in Ocean County, attended Temple University and
graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. She
earned a Master of Science from the University of Scranton and a
Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. Dr.
McMenamin has served as an adjunct professor of education at Rowan
University and is a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on
Higher Education. She is a member of the American Association of
Community Colleges’ President's Academy Executive Committee,
International Commission for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and
Universities, the National Junior College Athletic Association Board,
and the Temple University College of Health Professions Board of
Visitors. Dr. McMenamin is involved with numerous community
organizations, including the Boards of Trinitas Hospital, Union County
Performing Arts Center, UCEDC, EDC, Union County Crime Stoppers, Union
County Workforce Investment Board, and Union County Alliance.