The UCC Class of 2020 has been addressed by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin as they graduated through virtual conferring ceremonies this week and last. Almost 5,000 students graduated in the Autumn Conferrings, moved from the Devere Hall to a livestream on the university website as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. There were twenty-six dedicated ceremonies from all four Colleges and Adult Continuing Education held from Wednesday 18th November until Tuesday 24th November.
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, an alumnus of a BA, HDipEd and MA at UCC and a member of the Class of 1981, was the guest speaker for the Autumn Conferrings. In a short video addressing the new graduates, An Taoiseach told the class that “UCC is not just my old alma mater, it was and is my old friend, my gateway to a world of learning and a great place to be young in.”
“UCC is a special place for me,” An Taoiseach continued, “it’s where I met Mary, my wife, and where in the President’s Garden I proposed.”
“Its famous motto—“where Finbarr taught, let Munster learn”—was and is a message of hope for countless thousands of undergraduates embarking on life’s journey. It’s an assertion that resonates in an imperceptible way into one’s very DNA. It’s an invitation–indeed, a challenge to the curious, the expectant, the shy and the bold to explore the riches of the human experience across the four colleges that make up this great university.”
Interim President Professor John O’Halloran has also congratulated the Autumn graduating class for the way in which they navigated a final year struck by unprecedented circumstances. “I think completing a degree at any time is difficult; at this time, it was incredibly difficult – but you have endured.”
“You have persisted through these times and achieved something remarkable,” the Interim President concluded. “Your resilience, your hard work and your commitment have brought you to this special moment today.”