A large group gathered in St. Patrick’s College, Thurles on Friday, October 19 to witness the graduation of students from the College’s B.A. in Education, Business Studies and Religious Studies programme.
The conferring ceremony was a joyous occasion, enjoyed by the graduates, their families and friends, the academic staff who guided the graduates to their degrees, representatives of the university and the many others who contribute to life in the college.
It was a particularly notable occasion given that the degrees were awarded by Prof Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick, for the first time since the signing of the Academic Linkage agreement between the University and St. Patrick’s College.
As a result of the signing of this agreement in 2011, the Teacher Education degree programmes in St. Patrick’s College are now accredited by the University of Limerick.
Chairman of the Board of Governors of the college, Robbie Kelleher, welcomed guests. Prof Barry congratulated all of the graduates in his speech and urged them to cherish the moment.
President of St. Patrick’s College, Fr. Tom Fogarty urged the graduates to embrace their learning and to engage in lifelong learning and continuously strive to improve both academically and professionally. He encouraged them to remain enthusiastic and quoted the revered American football coach Vince Lombardi, whom when addressing his team on the occasion of an important match, said with conviction that they needed “to be fired with enthusiasm or they would be fired with enthusiasm.”
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Award for Professionalism presented to Marie Flanagan from Dualla. The award recognises the many positive attributes that a graduating student demonstrated during their time in the College.
Marie was deemed to have demonstrated the best balance of professional respon-sibilities including excellence in subject knowledge across all areas of study, engagement in her programme of study, a high standard of teaching competence, involvement in professional development and extra-curricular activities, and an overall sense of commitment to St. Patrick’s College and to the teaching profession.