Jasmine Casey, Roscommon, Clara Hayden, Carlow, Hannah Connolly, Kimberly Edosa, Galway, Paula McCormack, Kildare and Sandra Wheatley, Wicklow who graduated Carlow IT (Picture: Pat Moore)
More than 2,700 degree, masters and PhD students will graduate at Institute of Technology Carlow during the coming two weeks, joining over 55,000 alumni since the Institute’s establishment almost 50 years ago.
Thursday morning’s conferring ceremony of graduates from the Department of Humanities is the first of 12 such ceremonies taking place across Institute of Technology Carlow campuses and locations in Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow.
“One of the reasons why graduation is such a joyous occasion is because this hall, and the grounds of this campus, are filled with hope”, said Dr Patricia Mulcahy, President.
“Hope that you will be secure, happy and content in your life; hope that you will go on to achieve even more. We are all immensely proud of you and we couldn’t be happier for you," she added.
Speaking about the environment of complexity in which graduates will operate, she said: “One of your most important assets will be your ability to view your life and the world in broader perspective. Dealing with complexity also means learning to grapple with more ambiguity than most might be comfortable with. Be open to the unexpected.”
The last five years has been a period of significant growth and success for Institute of Technology Carlow with a 70% increase in total student enrolments; an expanding academic portfolio in terms of discipline depth, breadth and diversity; and the rollout of an ambitious capital development programme.
The Institute’s investment in physical infrastructure continued throughout the years of austerity, bringing new buildings and facilities on campus every year to match its growth.
This is set to continue into the future with construction of a new €15mn 30-acre South Sports Campus already underway and construction of a new €25mn Science and Technology Centre scheduled to commence within the next 24 months.
The Institute is also in the process of appointing design teams for a new library and for an administration/staff offices building, while progressing plans for a new campus for Wexford.
Paying particular tribute to colleagues, Dr. Mulcahy said: “It is your talent, commitment and energy that has underpinned all our successes as a progressive 21st century European higher education provider. There is more to do and we will continue to develop, playing an ever-increasing and meaningful role in the society that gives us life and purpose.”
The Institute is now embarking on another new stage in its journey - towards re-configuration and designation under new Irish legislation as the multi-campus Technological University of South East Ireland.
This will see it lead and evolve once again.
“This development will bring together two well established institutes of technology to create a new Irish university of scale, meeting and exceeding complex legislative criteria required for designation,” said Dr Mulcahy.
“Alongside our partner institute in this endeavour, WIT, we are excited about putting forward our vision for a new type of multi-campus Irish university; a leading European technological university recognised for regional connectedness and global impact.”
She acknowledged the people and organisations across the six counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois from where over two-thirds of the Institute’s learners originate.
“These counties comprise our geographic, economic and cultural base. To the people of these counties in particular, know that you continue to be to the forefront of all our plans.
"You have contributed in no small way to our determination to provide the necessary leadership in the university initiative over the past six years on this project. You share our values and ambitious vision for the future in a highly supportive and pragmatic way. We thank you for this."
Offering her final congratulations to the new graduates, Dr. Mulcahy said: “Today you join an alumni of over 55,000 graduates from our Institute. An alumni of engineers and scientists, technologists and artists, lawyers and designers, business professionals and social care practitioners.
"You are role models for our 8,300-strong student body originating from every county in Ireland and from over 100 different nations. Take everything that our Institute has equipped you with and make the absolute most of it."