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HIT CEO Stephen Coyle Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree from Ulster University

Stephen Coyle

AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) CEO Stephen Coyle was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ulster University in recognition of his support for economic regeneration and peace building in Northern Ireland. Ulster University acknowledged Mr. Coyle’s part in the development of the Foyleside Centre, an $85 million grand marketplace in Derry that stands as one of the first major regeneration projects during the “Troubles,” a bloody conflict that spanned three decades in Northern Ireland.

“Steve is a prominent and public Irish-American advocating for development on the island of his ancestors,” said Professor Brandon Hamber, the John Hume & Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University’s International Conflict Research Institute. “Steve has developed close ties with Ulster University and led the development of a significant philanthropic scholarship program—the John J. Sweeney Scholarship—which supports one US student a year to study at the University.”

The Foyleside Centre project was initiated by Nobel Peace Prize Winner John Hume and then Northern Ireland Secretary of State Richard Needham. The project generated over 1,000 jobs and an economic impact of $100 million while also providing a marketplace where individuals from both sides of the conflict could come in contact in daily economic life. Coyle was joined by other prominent Bostonians, including former Boston mayor Raymond Flynn, in making the project a success.

“Steve Coyle is committed to helping all people regardless of their race or ethnicity, where they live in this world, or whether they are rich or poor,” said Raymond Flynn who hired Mr. Coyle to be his Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). “I’ve seen first-hand his dedication to our homeland in Ireland. This award is appropriate as recognition of his decades of work to make a better society in Ireland, Boston, and across the country.”

*To read more about Mr. Coyle’s work in Ireland please visit the Boston Herald, Irish News, and PR Newswire.

For more information on the John J. Sweeney Scholarship, please visit