More than 300 students at NUIG will be foregoing the usual robes and gowns for an online graduation ceremony next week as the university remains closed.
Due to restrictions imposed for the Coronavirus pandemic, NUIG will be holding two virtual conferring ceremonies next week which will be broadcast live for families and friends.
This is the first time in its 175 year history that NUIG will not be holding physical conferring ceremonies for its graduates.
On Monday, 6 April, at 10am the University will confer 190 future doctors with an Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree.
The University took the decision to bring the final year medical examinations and graduation forward to ensure that the Medical graduates would be available to enter the healthcare workforce amidst this crisis.
On Wednesday, 8 April, at 12pm the University will hold the Research Conferring ceremony with over 110 students graduating.
Nearly 90 students will be recognised by NUIG when they are conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). A number of students will also be conferred with Masters and Doctor of Medicine degrees.
President of NUIG, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “These are extraordinary times and our graduates are extraordinary people.
“While we are deeply disappointed that we cannot share this special day with our graduates in person, we are looking forward to marking the occasion and sharing good wishes online.”
During 175 years of history at NUIG, staff and students have “shaped many world events” he said, adding that it is with great pride that they think of those involved in the fight against Covid-19 at home and abroad.
“This community joins those who were involved in previous challenging times, by committing to the public good and the values we hold dear.
“Our students and staff are on the front lines, testing and treating victims of this devastating illness, and their selflessness and commitment is an inspiration to us all.”
“We look forward to celebrating the achievements of our students with them and their families in a virtual, but no less special way.”
That’s not to say that the people graduating at NUIG next week won’t get their chance to don a suit and puff their chests down the line.
The university hopes to hold more informal gatherings in Autumn for the people graduating next week, circumstances permitting.
“These are important days in the life of our university and our students and we look forward to marking them together in better times,” Prof Ó hOgartaigh said.
The graduating class of 2020 next week not only includes students from all over Ireland and Europe, but also Malaysia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Brunei, Singapore, USA, China, South Korea, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Brazil, Ecuador and Vietnam.
Both conferring ceremonies will be streamed live at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.
image credit: Aengus McMahon