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‘Transform your regions’: TUS president calls on graduates to play their part in creating a brighter future

TUS Confering 007
  • 6th November 2023

• 3,500 graduates were conferred this week across TUS, among then 26 PhDs and 19 research masters

Graduates have a central part to play in strengthening the civic, social, and economic fabric of their local communities, TUS President Prof. Vincent Cunnane told the Class of 2023 at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) this week.

His remarks came in an address to the almost 3,500 TUS graduates across the Midlands and Midwest who received their parchments over the course of four days and 10 ceremonies.

Prof. Cunnane stressed the importance of graduates using their voices to advocate for their regions and use the skills and talents honed throughout their time at TUS to make a real impact, emphasising that this is about people and communities, contribution over profit.

Jason Collins, Dooradoyle, Co. Limerick; Yixin Li, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and Daragh McNamara, Charleville, Co. Cork, graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Digital Animation. Photo credit: Alan Place.

“Your education provides you with opportunities in your region. You in turn contribute to the economy and society, strengthening the local economy, and this economy becomes better positioned into the future to capitalise on opportunities and to innovate for the betterment of the region, the country and the world,” he explained.

The transformative role of TUS in the Midlands and Midwest regions was underscored, with particular emphasis on two significant initiatives ­— the Just Transition programme, which sets the model for transitioning to a net-zero future, and the Shannon Estuary’s potential to become a renewable energy powerhouse.

Mother and daughter Sasha and Kalin Goldstone, Co. Cavan, graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Business, Enterprise and Community Development and Bachelor of Business, respectively.
Mother and daughter Sasha and Kalin Goldstone, Co. Cavan, graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Business, Enterprise and Community Development and Bachelor of Business, respectively. Photo credit: Jeff Harvey.

Prof. Cunnane said that TUS graduates, by staying firmly rooted in the regions in which they will work, live and raise families, will be the ones to drive forward these green, renewable energy initiatives and propel Ireland to a new and brighter future.

“These are great developments – they are not abstractions, they are not aspirations, they are reality, and it is here in the regions that reality happens, it is here that sustainable change will happen,” he said.

TUS Governing Body Chair Josephine Feehily echoed this, explaining that an investment in education and in knowledge is an investment in a shared future and emphasised the role of TUS and of its graduates as a catalyst for sustainable change that transforms lives.

TUS, a young university, also acknowledged the special place the class of 2023 holds in its story as only the third graduating class to be conferred since its inauguration in October 2021.

The conferring of academic awards marked the culmination of an arduous journey for the graduates, who navigated challenges from a pre-pandemic world, through the pandemic, to the new normal.

Despite the challenging circumstances, the graduates earned their internationally recognised qualifications, reflecting their ability to meet and overcome adversity.

Kieran Gill, Castlerae; Odhran Adamson, Mullingar; Michael Cannon, Kinnegad; Frankie Phelan, Moate; Oisin Lough, Athlone, holding Annya Coyle, Roscommon, after graduating with a BSc in Music and Sound Engineering. Photo credit: Jeff Harvey.

The TUS Governing Body Chair commended the Class of 2023 for the “character” they have shown and encouraged them to “think big” and to stay in touch with TUS, the university of which they are now alumni, as it continues to “meet the challenges and opportunities of the future”.

This year saw the highest number of PhD candidates, 26, ever conferred by TUS or its forebears, AIT and LIT, and the first PhD awarded in the area of civil engineering to Dr Ana Caroline da Costa Santos, whose research looked at the suitability of vegetable fibres for the reinforcement of concrete.

TUS also awarded PhDs in areas like polymer engineering, nursing, sports science, science and software engineering, as well as 19 research master’s degrees.

In Pictures: TUS Conferring of Awards 2023