USI Honours Inspirational IT Sligo Student Luke Savage

Third level students across the Republic have paid a poignant national tribute to Luke Savage, an inspirational IT Sligo student who died last year.Luke

He has been posthumously named as winner of the award for “Outstanding Contribution to Student Life” at the inaugural USI “Student Achievement Awards Ireland 2013”.

Twenty awards were made to students at Universities and Institutes of Technology at the Union of Students in Ireland ceremony, which was held in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin and hosted by comedian Colin Murphy.

The USI initiated the awards to recognise the work that is being done by third-level students for the benefit of their college, community and country in activities such as charity volunteering, student welfare and equality campaigning, and media work.

USI president John Logue said: “Our young people are engaging with projects that raise hundreds of thousands for charity, they’re giving thousands of hours to volunteering and they’re creating their own business and media enterprises. “

Luke, who had a disability, was singled out for his award in recognition of his selfless support and enthusiasm which helped so many of his student friends and other people. He was an active member of the Students’ Union and the student body throughout his time at IT Sligo where he was a student on the Higher Certificate in Business course. He passed away in June 2012

The award was accepted by Anita Hurst, IT Sligo Student Union Education Officer and Paul Smith, IT Sligo Student Union Welfare Officer.

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The ceremony was told that Anita had nominated Luke, and her citation was read out. In it she said that Luke gave himself to everyone: “Whether it was a hug or a prayer in times of need, a supporting phone call when things weren’t going so well or trying to heal rifts between people that mattered to him; he was constantly thinking of others.

“Looking back, it was just a part of who he was. But a part so many people are grateful for. He was the perfect ambassador for the union, he knew everyone, made everyone feel welcome and special. He brought people together, he loved everyone equally – which is what I feel this award should embody.”

IT Sligo President, Professor Terri Scott, said in a statement:  “The entire staff and student family at IT Sligo is thrilled that this award has been given posthumously to Luke. He was a dedicated student and a caring, loyal and loving friend. Luke was the embodiment of positivity and he truly touched the hearts of everyone at IT Sligo. His warm and generous personality and attitude were an inspiration to us all.”

Luke’s contribution to IT Sligo was marked at the Institute’s Conferring Ceremony in November 2012 when he was posthumously awarded the Corn Shein Mhic Mhagnuis. The annual award recognises exceptional achievements or contributions to the Institute by groups or individuals. In making the award, Ray MacSharry, Chairman of the Governing Body, described Luke as “an exemplar role model.”

Caption for  first photo above: The late Luke Savage and his friend Mark Timoney.

Caption for second photo above: At the award ceremony in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, were Luke’s parents, Martin and Margaret, who is an IT Sligo Science lecturer, and Student Union officers at the Institute, Anita Hurst (Education) and Paul Smith (Welfare).

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