2004 Press Releases

13 Dec 2004

Proud Day for UCC Students and Graduates at Annual Prizegiving Ceremony

UCC's top graduate is Paul Wycherley. The Graduate of the Year was announced at the 2004 Prizegiving Ceremony at UCC yesterday (10 December 2004) at which 67 undergraduate and postgraduate prizes were presented to over 63 prizewinners by Professor Gerard T. Wrixon, President, UCC.

An outstanding student from Kinsale, Cork, Paul Wycherley graduated with a First-Class Honours in BSc (Finance) in September 2004. Throughout his undergraduate career he played a key role in the Soccer Club (UCCAFC) becoming Collingwood Club Chairman for 2003/2004 when UCC hosted the senior soccer All-Ireland Intervarsities. He was nominated as Club Person of the Year for 2001/2002 for his role as Quarry Cup officer. In his final year he coached a side to the club's first ever AUL title. He also played every year at junior level. In 2001 he displayed his entrepreneurial skills by becoming Secretary of the Entrepreneurship Society. In accepting the 'Graduate of the Year Award' Paul said "I am deeply honoured to accept this award and proud to be a graduate of UCC where I formed enduring friendships and benefited so much from my participation in the UCC Soccer Club. I feel I have been lucky to get the opportunities that UCC, and my family, have given me." Paul is at present pursuing a graduate programme in the London financial institution, Nomura International.

Two new prizes are being awarded for the first time this year. Alan A. Hennessy, from Cappoquin, Co. Waterford is the recipient of the Professor Michael Grimes Student Prize. Professor Michael Grimes (Professor of Dairy Bacteriology 1940 to 1961, UCC) was the first microbiologist to be employed by UCC. He became Professor of Dairy Bacteriology in 1940 thus creating the Department of Microbiology. Professor Grimes made a very significant contribution to the development of Microbiology as a discipline in UCC, both as a teacher and researcher. Today the Microbiology Department in UCC is one of the largest in Ireland and contributes to teaching across a number of academic programmes.

The Lord Mayor's Perpetual Trophy for Environmental Studies biennial prize was established in 2002 by Cork City Council and Fehily Timoney & Co. It is awarded for outstanding performance in the Honours year of the Evening BSc Degree in Environmental Studies. The prize consists of a perpetual trophy donated by the Cork City Council and a cash award donated by Fehily Timoney & Co. The winner of the prize is Brian M. Sheil from Cratloe, Co. Clare.

Professor Gerard T. Wrixon, President, University College Cork presented the awards at today's prizegiving and congratulated the prizewinners for their hard work, dedication to their studies and their excellence in academic scholarship. He also offered his congratulations to their parents for the support they have provided and continue to provide. In his speech Professor Wrixon referred to UCC's position as a leading university in Ireland and in Europe. "UCC is dedicated to achieving excellence in teaching, learning and research. The university has achieved a top rank position in developing world-class research capability in key national areas such as Biosciences and ICT. We have made major improvements in our teaching facilities and have created a beautiful and environmentally sensitive campus" said Professor Wrixon.

Professor Wrixon also expressed his delight that so many first-class students choose UCC as their university of first preference. "In 2004/05 the university's CAO first preferences increased by 10% against a national fall of 4%. The university, through its ever-changing student population, continuously renews itself. Our students bring a great strength and energy to our campus. It is now very much an international, multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan campus with students from many lands - 1,700 international students from 75 different countries. Students are the lifeblood of the university. It is for that reason we especially celebrate our prizewinners" said Professor Wrixon.

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