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Mary Immaculate College Graduates: "Superbly Prepared for Successful Careers and Flourishing Lives"

There was great cause for celebration at Mary Immaculate College on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th October as almost 1000 students were conferred with academic awards. The quality of advanced scholarship in the College was evident in the sheer breadth of programmes (23 in all, not including individual research at MA and PhD level) from which students graduated, proving that the College has come a long way since the days when it was known as simply a teacher training college.

Not only were students conferred with awards on the College’s four Undergraduate programmes, diploma, graduate diploma and Masters programmes but this year ten students were conferred with PhD awards, the highest number of Doctoral Awards ever conferred at the College.

Opening the ceremony Rev. Tony Mullins said “As Acting Chair of An Bord Rialaithe, it is my honour to welcome you all to Mary Immaculate College for this graduation ceremony. I especially wish to welcome parents and family members. It is a particularly fulfilling day for you, as you see your son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife or partner reach this high point in their academic studies. All who have supported and encouraged our graduands towards this day of celebration are to be congratulated for their love and support.”

He continued, “I also wish to welcome the new President of the College, Professor Michael Hayes who has just begun his term as President and who is today presiding over his first graduation ceremony. Professor Hayes who was Vice President of St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London, prior to taking up his post here in Mary Immaculate College, 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.”

Congratulating all graduands, Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC, 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. For in this place education is not the utilitarian pursuit of skills, rather it is based on the transformation of lives directed towards the building of the common good of society in Ireland and beyond.

Special tribute was paid to Elaine Harte Doyle, this year’s recipient of the Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award presented by the College to students who, in the year of the award, demonstrate outstanding achievements in any field of endeavour. Elaine, who was conferred with a Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary Teaching) on Friday morning, was goalkeeper on the Cork Senior Ladies Football team that won the All-Ireland Final 2011. This was Elaine’s 6th All-Ireland Senior Medal as she has been goalkeeper for Cork’s wins in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC and Elaine Harte Doyle,
this year’s recipient of the Award for Outstanding Achievement

Amid the recipients of various prestigious medals and awards for first place on academic programmes of study, one graduand, Paula Lehane, from Castletownbere, Co. Cork, was recognised for multiple academic achievements. Not only did Paula receive the College Medal for 1st Place on the BEd in Education & Psychology Degree Programme, she was also joint recipient of the Vere Foster Medal, presented by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO)since she was awarded first place in Teaching Practice and Curriculum Education. The Department of Education & Skills presented her with the Carlisle & Blake Prize for achieving first place in the College in Education, Theory and Practice and she also received the Kieran Burke Fellowship, which is awarded by the College in memory of the late Kieran Burke, Lecturer in Psychology 1974-1994, to the student who achieves First Place in Education (Foundation Subjects). On top of this, Paula also received the College Medal for First Place in Psychology.

Prof. Teresa O'Doherty presents to Paula Lehane

Prof. Teresa O'Doherty with Paula Lehane and her sister Deirdre, who was also recognised,
for her multiple academic achievements when she graduated from MIC in 2003

Bringing the ceremony to an end President Hayes congratulated all the students, their parents, family and friends who supported them through their past few years and urged them to stay in touch, saying, “Mary Immaculate College is not just a community of current staff and students. It remembers its alumni, including you who graduate today, and looks forward to those who are to come! We will not forget you and we will do all we can to keep you involved with us so that you remain part of the life and experience of Mary I. Today you join a band of some 20,000 women and men who have graced this place and graduated from here since 1898. 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.”

The full press release can be accessed here.


Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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