Two of Tipperary’s top sports stars were among more than 250 Tipperary graduates conferred at WIT Conferring Ceremonies this week.
Tipperary sports scholarship students celebrated their achievements.
Hurler and footballer Liam McGrath was awarded a Bachelor of Business (Honours) and Olypian cyclist Sean Hahessy graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching & Performance.
Over three days 12 conferring ceremonies were held. Just over 2,500 students were conferred with academic awards up to doctorate level.
The ceremonies took place across Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, including the evening WIT Short Courses Conferring Ceremony 2017.
Among those being conferred are 14 PhDs and five Doctor of Business Administration recipients.
Out of the graduates being conferred with academic awards up to doctorate level in the 11 daytime ceremonies, 854 are from Waterford City and County. However, WIT graduates hail from all over Ireland with 259 from Tipperary, 312 from Wexford, 267 from Kilkenny and 107 from Cork.
Prof Willie Donnelly, President of WIT, gave the graduates of 2017 words of advice to help them in their quest for rewarding and fulfilling careers: “With the emerging digital economy the work environment is changing rapidly,” Prof Donnelly said in his conferring speech.
“Innovation in the business world is accelerating exponentially, with new disruptive technologies and trends emerging that are fundamentally changing how businesses and the global economy operate. This new economy provides exciting career opportunity for those that are prepared to embrace those changes."
Prof Donnelly commented there are many opportunities for graduates locally.
“From the perspective of Waterford and the South East we see a major increase in employment opportunities. Unemployment is falling thanks to the growth in investment in the Biopharma, ICT, Agri-tech and Advanced Engineering industries. The economic upturn in the region is spreading to the support industries of catering, entertainment and tourism. Waterford Institute of Technology is a major driver of this growth through its collaborative links with industry through teaching, research and innovation."
He noted that the leadership of the institute's partnership with industry in research and innovation which is one of the primary drivers in the increased growth of employment in high technology sectors in the region.
“WIT continues to lead the sector in research and postgraduate studies with one third of all PhDs graduated by the sector coming from WIT. Our research informed undergraduate curricula ensures that our graduates are highly sought after ensuring that the institute has one of the highest graduate employment rates,” he continued.
In his conferring speech Prof Donnelly also welcomed that legislation for the Technological University is expected to pass through the Dail in the next few months.
“The region has waited too long for the creation of a university in the region. It has held the development of the region back. Our focus has to be on the delivery of that critical need.”
The official hashtag for the event is #GraduWIT.