24 May 2022

More than 280 students from Kilkenny among last group of graduates in WIT's history to be conferred

Ceremonies this week


File picture: WIT

Graduates of 2021 possess all the capabilities to become the next generation leaders in their chosen profession, the President of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has said as the first of more than 20 conferring ceremonies begins.

The conferring of academic awards ceremonies for WIT’s class of 2021 take place between Tuesday, March 1, and Thursday,  March 3, with a conferring celebration for 2020 graduates taking place on Friday, March 4.

Of the 2,534 graduates of 2021 being conferred this week 785 are from Waterford City and County (31%). However, WIT graduates hail from all over Ireland with 335 from Wexford (13%), 281 from Kilkenny (11%), 259 from Tipperary (10%), 72 from Carlow (3%), 194 from Cork (8%). In total, 68% of the class of 2021 were from the south east counties of Waterford, Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

As the first of the ceremonies took place on Tuesday at WIT’s College Street Campus, Prof Willie Donnelly, President of WIT in his conferring address highlighted the impact of smart technology on career paths.

“The emergence of the digital society mainly driven by the internet and smart technologies is transforming all aspects of our life to the benefit of society as a whole. No matter what your primary degree and chosen profession it is clear that technology is having a profound impact on your profession. The rate of change in technologies and the emergence of new and exciting career opportunities opens a world of endless career opportunities and job satisfaction,” he said.

“I am confident that you will embrace these opportunities and that you possess all the capabilities to become the next generation leaders in your chosen profession.”

Prof Donnelly also acknowledged the students’ resilience to the pandemic. “Nobody could have predicted the impact that Covid-19 would have on your final years in college but you can take real pride in completing your academic studies under such challenging conditions. It is a true mark of your dedication to your chosen area of studies and your future profession.”

He finished his speech remarking that the conferring ceremonies are tinged with a degree of sadness. “After 51 years since our foundation we are celebrating the last group of WIT graduates. WIT has always led the way in the delivery of education offerings from our sector responding to the needs of our community and ensuring that all students had the opportunity to reach their full academic potential. That sadness is balanced by pride and excitement at the creation of the region’s first university.”

In his address, Chairman of the WIT Governing Body Jim Moore said: “The institute community, and particularly the teaching staff who delivered each programme, joins with the families and friends of all the graduates in being justly proud of their achievements. They graduate today not only with an internationally recognised qualification but with the skills needed to better meet life’s challenges.”

The graduates of 2020 were conferred with their awards in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and as didn't have that last opportunity to come together in celebration of their efforts and achievements. In recognition of that, Waterford Institute of Technology is holding a conferring celebration for 2020 graduates on Friday.

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