Dr. Martin McAleese awarded Honorary Doctorate by DIT
DIT’s spring graduation – a celebration of excellence as Dr. Martin McAleese receives honorary doctorate from DIT
21st February 2011
Dr. Martin McAleese was today awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Dublin Institute of Technology at the Institute’s Spring Graduation Ceremony held in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin 8.
DIT conferred the award on Dr. McAleese in recognition of the contribution he has made ‘to reconciliation between communities and to supporting community activism and development on the island of Ireland.’
Dr. McAleese was accompanied to the ceremony by his family - President Mary McAleese, their son Justin and daughters Emma and Sara.
President Mary McAleese and Dr. Martin McAleese
at DIT's Spring Graduation Ceremony
According to Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT “In DIT, honorary awards are conferred on a small number of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to society and whom we recognise as standard bearers for our graduates who are embarking on their own life journeys”. Dr. Martin McAleese, who is married to President Mary McAleese, has been widely acknowledged for his instrumental role in peace-building in Ireland and also for the “Your Country, Your Call” initiative in which he launched a challenge to every citizen to submit ideas for economic stimulus and regeneration.
Professor Norton said: “DIT is delighted to honour the quietly significant role played by Dr. McAleese in building a peaceful society on the island of Ireland through efforts at bridge-building between all Irish communities”. Dr. McAleese, a qualified dentist and accountant, has also carried out voluntary projects overseas - such as in Honduras, where he put his dental skills to use for the benefit of the poor.
Community initiatives and links are also at the heart of DIT and DIT is highly regarded in leading the way in developing innovative routes to extend the mission of education to the widest reaches of our community and society. The Community Links programme at DIT is a very significant multi-stranded initiative targeting educational disadvantage at primary, secondary, tertiary and community levels, on projects ranging from the ‘ Digital Community’, which provides supported computer access rooms in Dublin City Council flat complexes, to ‘Pathways through Education’, which is a classroom-based project, building on students motivation and self-esteem.
Speaking about his award, Dr. Martin McAleese said “I am privileged and very honoured to be a recipient off this award, which was totally unexpected. When Mary became President in 1997, I never could have imagined that opportunities would arise to do something helpful that would result in arriving at this place today. But, you take those opportunities, do your best and it’s for others to judge your success or otherwise. I would like to say a big thank you to DIT for a great honour and a great day for me and for my family.”
Dr. McAleese's conferral took place during DIT's spring graduation ceremony at which over 600 students graduated from a range of disciplines. From International Selling to Community and Local Development; from Molecular Pathology to Sustainable Development and from Human Nutrition and Dietetics to Criminology the graduates not only represented many fields of study, but together they provided a snapshot of the scale and scope of provision of DIT. Today saw the final graduation ceremony for the class of 2010. Over the last number of weeks DIT's annual graduation ceremonies have seen almost 4,000 students graduate across all disciplines in the Institute.