Laois hurling captain and Abbeyleix native Enda Rowland pictured at home with his parents Frank and Eithne before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Management Practice from IT Carlow.
For the first time in its 50-year history, Institute of Technology (IT) Carlow has gone virtual for their conferring ceremonies that will see more than 3,000 graduands conferred over the coming week.
As the closest third-level institute to Laois, the Carlow college boasts a strong Laois population in their student body. Among the 3,000 graduands virtually collecting their degrees this week is Abbeyleix native and the current Laois hurling captain, Enda Rowland.
Rowland, pictured above at home in Abbeyleix with his parents Frank and Eithne before his online conferring ceremony, graduates with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Management Practice from Institute of Technology Carlow.
The All-Star nominated goalkeeper is now back attending the College and completing a Post Graduate in Digital Marketing, something that he hopes will increase his chances of securing employment down the line.
Addressing the graduands in a special virtual ceremony, IT Carlow said Dr Patricia Mulcahy said: “You now take your place as graduates of our institute, receiving internationally recognised awards that will stand the test of time and help equip you for all the opportunities that lie ahead.
"I have no doubt that the knowledge, skills and attributes you have developed during your time with us will give you the tools to face the future with confidence. You have accomplished great things and you are going to accomplish even more."
Acknowledging the tremendous cooperation, innovation and generosity of spirit that has prevailed right across IT Carlow’s 10,000 strong community of students and staff since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Mulcahy confirmed that a celebratory event will be held at an appropriate time in the future.
“I look forward to the time when we can once again come together to celebrate your accomplishments and mark your achievement in the usual way, with handshakes and speeches, with pomp and ceremony, and most importantly in one another’s company. Until then, know that we are exceptionally proud of each and every one of you. It has been our privilege to know you, to teach you and to learn from you," she said.
Dr Mulcahy said this year’s conferring ceremonies coincide with a significant moment for IT Carlow, as it marks 50 years since it first offered higher education programmes to learners in the South East and across the country.
“There have been many changes and achievements in the first half-century of our journey to becoming one of Ireland’s largest and most progressive institutes of technology and, in little more than a year’s time, a technological university. In reaching 50 years, we thank the people before us who made this possible and we look to the future as we continue to evolve and lead. We look forward to another 50 years of knowledge and innovation, of openness and engagement, and to the many successes that lie ahead for you and all our alumni," Dr Mulcahy said.
Welcoming the graduands and their families, John Moore, chair of the governing body of IT Carlow, told the graduands that they were about join the institute’s global alumni of almost 65,000 pursuing fulfilling careers around the world. He commended them on their contribution to the institute and spoke about the current challenging environment.
“As well as its challenges, the world you graduate into presents as much opportunity as ever. Earlier this year you, along with the staff of IT Carlow, demonstrated your ability to meet any challenge. The successful conclusion of your courses and your conferring today is a testament to that. So to all our 2020 graduands who will be conferred this year and to all the institute staff, thank you," Mr Moore said.
“We don't need to be physically together to be collectively proud and to celebrate your achievement and that is what we are doing today. As an IT Carlow graduate, you have an arsenal of attributes. Collectively and individually, you are equipped and able to face present and future challenges, common or personal, global or local. We look forward to your impact with confidence," Mr Moore added.
As part of the virtual conferring ceremony, graduands heard special recorded messages of encouragement and inspiration from the Oscar-nominated animator, producer and director Nora Twomey of Cartoon Saloon and from business leader Dr. David Dempsey, co-founder of Salesforce Europe and general manager at Salesforce Ireland where he leads a team of more than 1,800.
The occasion also included a video vox pop of graduands from across the institute’s many programmes of study who spoke about what their years at IT Carlow meant to them.