ALMOST 1,000 graduates who were conferred with academic awards at Mary Immaculate College last week have the skills to lead “not only a successful career, but also a flourishing life”, the new college president said.
In total, 957 students from 23 counties across the country graduated from the South Circular Road campus over two days, including over 250 students from Limerick.
No longer just viewed as a ‘teacher training college’, the breath and diversity of the 23 disciplines which students graduated from, is testament to the college’s growth.
Over 20,000 women and men have now graduated from the college, one of the oldest Catholic institutions in the State, since 1898.
There was double the cause for celebration in one Corbally household, as twins Sarah and Jennie Gilleece both graduated with a Bachelor of Arts on Thursday.
Opening the ceremony, Rev. Tony Mullins, acting chair of their governing body, welcomed the new president of the college, Professor Michael Hayes who has just begun his term as president, following the retirement of Peader Cremin.
“Professor Hayes brings to the post of president a wide range of international experience in third level education, he is highly respected for his own academic work in theology and for his many achievements in that field of study. His international experience and connectivity will assist Mary Immaculate College to continue to develop and expand into the future,” said Rev Mullins.
Congratulating all graduands, Prof. Hayes said, “Mary Immaculate College is confident that you have been superbly prepared, not only for a successful career but also for a flourishing life.
“You have been helped here to develop as a whole person: intellectually, personally and spiritually, as symbolised on our campus by the proximity of wonderful teaching spaces, state of the art sport facilities and the chapel.”
“And for now, let me, on behalf of the college, wish you all the best for your lives and careers, today and in the future, and with this rite of passage concluding, bid you God speed.”
This year 10 students were conferred with PhD awards, the highest number of Doctoral awards ever conferred at the college, as well as the first ever conferring of students on the Certificate in Youth & Community Work programme.
Special tribute was paid to Elaine Harte Doyle, this year’s recipient of the award for outstanding achievement, who was goalkeeper on the Cork Senior Ladies Football team that won the All-Ireland Final this year, receiving her sixth All-Ireland Senior Medal.
Paula Lehane, from Castletownbere, county Cork, was recognised for multiple academic achievements.