More than 1,500 graduates of the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) made history this Tuesday and Wednesday by becoming the inaugural graduates of Ireland’s newest Technological University.
The Class of 2021, including six PhDs graduates, from across the university’s Moylish, LSAD, Thurles, Clonmel and Ennis campuses came together at TUS Gaelic Grounds to receive their parchment, with a further cohort graduating from the Athlone campus two weeks previous.
Over 4,500 people in total gathered at the four ceremonies in the purpose-built outdoor arena in the TUS Gaelic Grounds to celebrate the momentous occasion.
At the conferring ceremony in Limerick, the Chair of the TUS Governing Body Josephine Fehily acknowledged the unprecedented challenges the class of 2021 faced during the last 18 months.
“The Class of 2021 are, and always will be, the first ever to receive an award from TUS. As the first graduates of TUS, I hope you will remain fiercely proud of your alma mater and work with us to collectively advance the Midlands and Midwest regions for all who live and work here, as we move towards a post-pandemic life – a life which feels as if it will be different somehow.”
In his address President of TUS Professor Vincent Cunanne asked graduates to stand independent and strong against pandemic disinformation by drawing on their education and their experience over the last year and a half.
“The latter part of your journey through college saw you face challenges which were unknown until their emergence. Your graduation is a further mark of your achievement and your resilience, something that my colleagues and I wish to recognise and congratulate.
“But of course, with experience comes responsibility. You, the Class of 2021, with your unique experience, bear a particular responsibility to apply your knowledge and resilience to better your world.
“In recent times, we have seen the emergence of what is sometimes referred to as the pandemic of disinformation – the ignoring of fact and the dismissal of those with expertise. This is played out in many aspects of life and fuelled by the ubiquity of online engagement.
“Your responsibility is to stand independent and strong against this pandemic of disinformation. Just as you have prevailed through the Covid-19 pandemic, so you will prevail in this one, because you have been taught to think critically, you have been taught to use facts and you have been taught to apply logic. You have proved your ability in this regard, and you have succeeded in adversity.”
Vice President Academic Affairs and Registrar Marian Duggan also paid tribute to the graduates’ resilience and congratulated them on being the inaugural graduates of TUS.
“The conferring of academic awards is the highlight of the academic calendar and a special occasion for our community, but this year is unique and you, the class of 2021 will always occupy a particularly special place in the unfolding story of TUS,” she said.