Alumni Ball 2011
June 11th 2011 - Pugin Hall
Celebrate and Connect was the theme of this year’s annual ball held in Pugin Hall on Saturday, 11 June. Alumni from the graduating classes of 1971, 1991 and 1996 celebrated on the night. Indeed graduates from every decade since the 1960s were represented at the Ball. Minister for State, Brian Hayes TD, who is a 1991 History and Sociology graduate, was guest at the President’s table which also hosted senior representatives from the Irish education sector.
With pre-dinner drinks in the sun soaked Bicentennial Garden and music in the Cloisters provided by the Maynooth Guitar Quartet lead by Daniel Reid (BMus 2011), the evening got off to a great start. Pugin Hall looked spectacular thanks to the professional assistance of Flor Madden (BA 1988) and his company Weddings@home.ie. Reverend Michael Mullaney, Vice President for Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth provided some opening words of welcome. A four course meal with wine followed by live music and dancing put the icing on the cake of a great evening. As one alumnus from the Class of 1996 commented to the Alumni Office “it was a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and many plans for future get togethers were made!”
Enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the Bicentennial Garden, Louise Gargan (BA 1996) and Áine McGrath (BA 1996)
Professor Tom Collins, President of NUI Maynooth added to the warmth and enjoyment of the night with a heartfelt, entertaining speech. Professor Collins, alumnus with nearly forty years connection to Maynooth in a variety of roles, also presented the two main awards of the evening. The President’s Alumni Award this year went to writer Mary O’Donnell. Mary is a prominent writer who has published six collections of poetry, three novels and two collections of short stories. She is an influential drama critic, has presented on national radio, and has written many articles across a span of academic journals and glossy magazines. Her status has been recognised by admission to Aosdána, the elite association of Irish writers and artists. She has been recognised with numerous awards and honours including the Listowel Writers’ Week prize, the William Allingham Award, the V. S. Pritchett Prize, and earlier this year, the Fish International Short Story Prize. Alongside her national and international prominence, Mary has maintained a close connection with Maynooth, serving as a member of the University’s Governing Authority and as a guest lecturer of creative writing to a select stream of our English students.
Professor Tom Collins, President NUI Maynooth and President’s Alumni Award Winner, Mary O’Donnell
Gemma Ennis, Made in Maynooth Award Winner, Professor Tom Collins, Ann O’Brien, Director of Access, NUI Maynooth
Gemma Ennis was inducted into the Made in Maynooth Alumni Hall of Fame.Gemma, an Access Student graduated with a BA in German and Mathematics in 2002. She worked in the NUI Maynooth Access Office where she developed a number of very successful school outreach programmes, in particular “Sowing the Seeds of Science”, before completing a Higher Diploma in Primary Education. She is currently acting deputy principal in Kilbride National School, Trim. “Maynooth made me” Gemma said in her moving acceptance speech in which she also commended the work of the Access Office and in particular, Ann O’Brien, Director of Access.
Guests of Professor Tom Collin’s (Pictured l-r); Patricia Farren; Alan Wall, Director MAC, Department of Education and Skills; Áine Lawlor, Director, Teaching Council of Ireland; Marie McLoughlin, President, Froebel College of Education
(Pictured l-r); Reverend Michael Mullaney, Vice President, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth
Nicky Tickner, BSc (1995)
Martin Nugent, BA (1972)