NUI Galway welcomes graduates back to campus for conferring ceremonies

Galway Daily news NUIG holding virtual graduation ceremony for over 300 students
Photograph by Aengus McMahon

Thousands of NUI Galway graduates are being welcomed back to the campus this week with families and friends for almost two weeks of conferring ceremonies.

The celebrations take place from Thursday March 31 to Tuesday April 12 involving graduates and graduands of the University’s four colleges and the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development.

The ceremonies are being held for graduates who completed studies in 2021 and whose winter conferring was postponed and special graduation celebrations are also being held for graduates who completed studies in 2020 and were conferred in absentia due to public held restrictions during the pandemic.

Several thousand graduates from 2020 and 2021 have registered to attend the ceremonies. All ceremonies will be live streamed to accommodate students and their families and friends who cannot attend in-person.

Speaking ahead of the conferring ceremonies, NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said that it is great to see the return of the conferring ceremonies in person, welcoming all those students back to our campus with family and friends.

“I would like to commend all of our graduates from 2020 and 2021 for learning through the pandemic, and congratulate them on their unparalleled achievements,” he said.

“We cherish all our graduates and each of the eight extraordinary Honorary Degree recipients has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of the arts, business, literature and journalism, education, and science and medicine. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to openly respect the excellence of these individuals.”

NUI Galway has also announced the names of the eight individuals to be conferred with Honorary Degrees at the ceremonies:

  • Jean Kelly – Retired Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Saolta University Health Care Group, University Hospital Galway.
  • Professor David Harper – Professor of Palaeontology at Durham University and leading international expert on palaeontology and evolution.
  • Evelyn O’Toole – Founder and CEO of Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS).
  • Professor Hubert McDermott – Former Professor of English at NUI Galway and former Governing Authority member.
  • Dick Byrne – Architect by profession and life-long contributor to the arts in Galway.
  • Ronnie O’Gorman – Founder and owner of Galway Advertiser.
  • Ailbhe Smyth – Irish academic and activist.
  • Bob Quinn – Filmmaker, director, photographer, writer, editor and member of Aosdána.

The full schedule for the winter 2021 and 2020 conferring ceremonies is available at