More than 1,800 graduates were be conferred at IT Sligo at its annual Conferring Ceremonies last week.
The Sam Maguire Cup and a number of the All Ireland Winning Donegal team were special guests at one of the conferring sessions including current All Star Player of the Year Karl Lacey and current IT Sligo student Mark McHugh and his father, Martin McHugh who once coached the IT Sligo team.
In recognition of the Institute’s scholarship scheme with Sligo Rovers, the Airtricity League Premier Division Trophy also attended a conferring session.
President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott, said it’s a fitting tribute to the team and to the IT Sligo management team that worked with the players during their time at the Institute; “The IT Sligo representation at the All Ireland Football Final this year was outstanding. Between the Donegal and Mayo panels, 21 of them had studied with us at one point. Their talent was further recognised at the recent GAA All Star Event with one of our graduates Karl Lacey recognised as player of the year.
“Sport is a very important part of college life at IT Sligo and we’re delighted that the Sam Maguire Cup and the Airtricity League Premier Division Trophy are joining us for what is a huge highlight in the academic calendar,” she said.
Commenting on the National Strategy for Higher Education, which is currently being implemented by Government, Professor Scott said IT Sligo is working with its strategic partners in GMIT and LYIT to achieve Technological University designation for the Connacht Ulster region. “Since the outset of the process, IT Sligo has had a clear and resolute vision of what we want to achieve for this region. We want to maintain the same level of high quality education we currently provide, and we want to enhance it further. We also want to continue to act as a catalyst for job creation and economic growth.
“When you look east of the Shannon the numbers of Universities are twofold but the same cannot be said of Connacht and Ulster. For too long this region has suffered from marginalisation and regional imbalance and we are deserving of this designation,” she said.
Encouraging the graduates to be entrepreneurial in their outlook, she quoted the President of the USA Barak Obama who said that; “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realise your true potential.”