University of Limerick prepares for 40th celebrations

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick is preparing to welcome the local community on to the campus in a year-round celebration of its 40th anniversary this week.

THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick is preparing to welcome the local community on to the campus in a year-round celebration of its 40th anniversary this week.

A number of special events are being planned to coincide with the celebration, and these will be announced in greater detail in the coming days.

UL, then the NIHE, accepted its first cohort of 113 students on October 2, 1972. At that time there was only one building on campus; now there are 39 buildings spread across more than 330 acres in two counties, with the €16m Living Bridge linking counties Limerick and Clare.

The Limerick Leader will be producing a special supplement this week to document the long, hard fight by Limerick citizens to gain a university for the region, which began in 1959. As revealed in the picture above, famous actor Richard Harris was among many notables who stood up for Limerick.

However, it would take another 30 years before it was granted university city status in 1989, first becoming a National Institute of Higher Education 17 years earlier.

The full academic year will be marked with a series of events and initiatives involving staff, students, alumni and the many friends, supporters and members of the wider community who have been part of the UL story over the past four decades.

The official launch of the UL40 year will take place on campus from Friday next, September 28 – to Sunday, September 30 and members of the public are being encouraged to come onto the campus and enjoy a huge array of free activities and events that will be taking place.

From Friday next, the public can enjoy the UL40 photographic exhibition in the Foundation Building, which features images of how the campus has developed over the last 40 years; a photographic exhibition of some of its longest staff members; an art and craft fair from 9am-5pm in the Foundation Building (UCH atrium); the farmers’ market in the Main Plaza; an international food fair with 15 countries exhibiting their traditional food, amongst live entertainment.

Professor Paul McCutcheon, chair of the UL40 steering committee, wished to encourage all to join in the range of UL40 events and “to celebrate the university’s proud record of achievement in its relatively short history”.

All events are open to the public and free of charge and there will be free parking throughout the campus over the weekend.

See UL40 for full information on upcoming events.