Labor Leader John Moylan Honored by Henning Institute

Special Ale Created to Celebrate an “Everyman and Model Citizen”

The San Francisco Pipers serenaded Moylan and his wife before the award ceremony. John Moylan, who has served the union cause for more than 60 years, was extolled as an “Everyman and model citizen.” He is a member of the board of directors of the Golden Gate Bridge Authority, appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to represent the City of San Francisco. Moylan was the original advocate of a median barrier on the bridge to reduce head-on accidents as well as the suicide barrier. He has also served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the S.F. Recreation and Parks Commission.

A special John Moylan’s Ale was created in recognition of the honor by Moylan’s Brewery, where  the honoree’s son, Brendan Moylan  ’83, is a partner. The Moylans are great supporters of Saint Mary’s, so much so that last year the brewery created a Gaelebration Ale in honor of the College’s sesquicentennial. 

More than 100 people attended the Henning Institute award dinner, and members of the Irish Piper Band of San Francisco played in Moylan’s honor. During the ceremony, the vice consul of Ireland, Kevin Byrne, presented a letter of appreciation to the honoree, and SMC President James A. Donahue presented papal blessings to Moylan and the past two Henning Institute honorees, Maria Elena Durazo ’75 and Dennis Kelly ’66. 

Maria Elena Durazo and John Moylan with a papal blessing presented by SMC President James Donahue.Durazo is the head of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, co-chair of the AFL-CIO’s National Mobilization Campaign for Immigration Reform and was national co-chair for the Obama for President campaign committee in 2008 and 2012. Kelly is president of the United Educators of San Francisco and vice president of the California Federation of Teachers.

The John F. Henning Institute is inspired by the life and work of John F. Henning, a Saint Mary's College graduate and former U.S. undersecretary of labor who also served for 26 years as the executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

View a photo gallery of the event.

Photos by Courtney Lohmann