The magnificent setting of the Parade Tower was full to capacity on Friday night last as Ormonde College of Further Education hosted it’s annual graduation and awards ceremony. Over 120 students, from a range of disciplines, were conferred with awards, the fruit of their hard work over the previous year. These included FETAC Level 5 awards in Animal Care, Art, Childcare, Business Studies, Nursing Studies, Community Healthcare, Security Studies and Print Journalism as well as Higher National Diplomas in Art and ITEC and CIBTAC Diplomas in Beauty Therapy.
For the students it was a chance to bask in the glory of their achievement and to catch up with former classmates, many of whom are pursuing their chosen careers in Universities and Institutes of Technology both in Ireland and abroad while others have secured employment positions in a range of sectors. In her opening address Ms. Betty Hannon-Flavin, representing the Further Education and Training Awards Council, acknowledged the national and international recognition afforded to the FETAC qualification and wished the graduates well in their future careers. This sentiment was echoed by the Chief Executive Officer of Co. Kilkenny VEC, Mr. Rodger Curran who encouraged the graduates to continue to ‘drink deeply from of the fount of learning’ and paid tribute to the work of the staff of the College.
The Deputy Principal of the College Mr. John Kavanagh expressed his pride in the graduates and asked them to reflect on the endeavour and effort that had gotten them to this point and acknowledged the support of families and loved ones in their success. He paid tribute to the professionalism of the staff of the college which he described as the cornerstone of the current success that the college was enjoying.
Hosted by Guidance Counsellor Ms. Margie Wall, the ceremony also saw special merit awards conferred on Samantha Edwards (Animal Care), Ekaterine Tvildiana (Business Studies), Helen Clarke (Childcare), Marie Cahill and Catherine Crowe (Beauty Therapy), Rachel Nolan (Print Journalism), David Burke (Community Healthcare), Majella Stewart (Nursing Studies), Emma Butler (Security Studies) and Gloria Holohan and Catherine McMillan (Art). The special merit award is awarded in recognition of outstanding contribution by a student over the duration of the course,
Music was provided by current student Joe O’ Toole and a poignant rendition of ‘The Parting Glass’ by teacher Emer Dowling drew down the curtain on a night of celebration.
Ormonde College of Further Education has gone from strength to strength in recent times and currently offers over 15 programmes leading to internationally recognised qualifications. The college enjoys a very good track record in providing opportunities for employment and progression to higher education for its graduates. The college is the largest provider of further education programmes in Kilkenny.