Friday last saw the annual graduation ceremony for students of St. Sheelan’s College of Further Education, Templemore. The ceremony was held in the Templemore Arms Hotel and saluted a graduating class of more than 300 full-time students who received awards in a wide range of courses including Childcare, Hairdressing, Tourism and Travel, Computer Applications, Networks and Software Systems, Computer Technician, Office Technology, Security Studies, Greenkeeping, Advanced Administration, Interior Design, Architectural Design, Complementary Therapy, Beauty Therapy as well as Leaving Certificate Applied and Return to Education.
Graduation is always the main event in any college calendar and provides the perfect opportunity for us to recognise the outstanding achievements and hard work of our students. The awarding of certificates not only highlights the commitment and dedication of recipients to their courses, but also aims to provide inspiration for the students of the future.
The graduation was held over two sessions to accommodate the large numbers of graduates and their families. Jane Quinlan oversaw the proceedings and introduced a variety of speakers including representatives of the St. Sheelan’s Board of Management, Michael Connell and John Hogan, College Principal, Dr. Noel Colleran and Dr. Patrick Ryan of University of Limerick all of whom were keen to voice their congratulations to the graduates.
In his address Dr. Ryan reminded those in attendance that the purpose of education is to answer a deep seated curiosity that we all have inside of ourselves. We all have potential and need to recognise it in ourselves. However we equally have a responsibility to help others to recognise their potential also. He suggested that educational achievements allow us as individuals to have hope and that we also have a responsibility to instil that hope in those with whom we come into contact.
John Hogan offered his congratulations to the students on behalf of the Board of Management, before he recalled the dark days of St. Sheelan’s College when numbers at second level were dropping. He praised the resourcefulness of the college staff in identifying the need for a Further Education College in Templemore and it’s surrounds. He publicly thanked them for their commitment and work on course development and on the physical buildings that now comprise the centre of excellence that is St. Sheelan’s College.
In his address Dr. Noel Colleran also congratulated the graduating class and paid tribute to all those who chose to take the step of engaging in further education. He acknowledged the contribution of the families and friends who supported the students through their time at St. Sheelan’s College, many of whom were present on the day. This reflected the fact that graduation is a proud occasion not only for the student concerned but for their friends and families also. A special tribute was paid to Dan Condren on his retirement as Principal of St. Sheelan’s College. Dr. Colleran was keen to acknowledge the part played by Dan Condren to ensure St. Sheelan’s future as a college of further education.
True success lies in knowing that you have done your very best to become all that you are capable of becoming and the graduates of St. Sheelan’s can indeed be proud of all that they have achieved over the past year.