IT Sligo held a very unique conferring ceremony for the class of 2020. For the first time in its 50 year history the Institute held graduation online spread over two days. The 50th anniversary also marks the highest number of graduates conferred with over 1,800 students receiving their parchments virtually form their homes.
Congratulating the students achievements in the face of adversity, President of IT Sligo, Dr Brendan McCormack said;
“For the first time in our 50 year history, sadly we are unable to gather in person. Conferring is a day of great celebration, a time for family to witness your achievements and to fully appreciate the effort and sacrifices you all have made. It is also a day where formed friendships over the past few years on campus are celebrated well into the night.
Our lecturers and staff are also disappointed not to be able to join you in celebrating the fruits of their years of teaching. For us in the institute it is always a proud day and an opportunity to congratulate our students who we hold very dear.
Thank you graduates of IT Sligo 2020, it has been a most memorable journey and I hope some day we can gather with you all here to celebrate together in person. Until then stay safe, hold firm and best of luck in the next chapter of your life.”
The Institutes received many messages from graduates from around the country and further afield. One such student is Sligo native Seamus Bannon who shared a photo of his conferring from his sitting room in Michigan in the USA. Seamus graduated with a BA(hons) in Sociology & Politics, Political Science and Government.
Unfortunately students were not able to gather for the annual celebration of academic and personal achievement this year which was of great disappointment to students, staff, family and friends. IT Sligo Registrar, Dr Michele Glacken said:
“Graduation is always the highlight of our college calendar. It is a culmination of hard work and dedication. It is a special and proud occasion for us to celebrate with you, your families and friends. Due to restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with great regret that we are unable to hold our graduation ceremonies in person this year.
We can however through technology mark the occasion. Technology is allowing us to be socially close albeit physically apart today. It provides us with a means to celebrate your success and recognise the strength and resilience you have all demonstrated in your final academic year.”
During the online ceremony the winner of the Corn Sheáin Mhic Mhagnais award for the academic year 2019 – 2020 was presented to Dr Bill Crowe for his enormous contribution to the Institute through outreach and student engagement.
Dr Bill Crowe has worked in IT Sligo since 1993 and during this time has worked with the student experience at the forefront of his mind. He founded IT Sligo diving club and has managed it for 25 years. He also ran the Northwest arm of SciFest, the National STEM fair for second level students, in IT Sligo for over 10 years. Bill retired in the midst of the pandemic in June 2020.
The institute extends its congratulations to all its new graduates and hopes to hold a special event for the class of 2020 when it is safe to do so.