DIT Graduation ceremony a celebration of 'firsts'

12 February:

The final graduation of 'the class of 2003' at the Dublin Institute of Technology took place this evening in St. Patrick's Cathedral. As well as recognising the considerable achievements of all the students involved, the ceremony included a number of very significant 'firsts' for the Institute - the graduation of the first ever BSc in Property Studies, the first Certificate programme in Design Studies, and the conferring of an MPhil in Physics and Music Composition!

The BSc in Property Studies is run in partnership with the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI) and graduates are qualified to work in any area of property management. The thirty students in this first cohort of the degree have travelled to Dublin from all over Ireland, including Cork, Kerry and Donegal throughout their four year programme. Speaking at the conferring, President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, said 'This collaboration between the IAVI and DIT is an excellent example of how a partnership between a professional body and an academic institution enriches the academic experience.'

The Certificate in Design Studies is an innovation within the Faculty of the Built Environment, in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and the first graduates of the programme were also conferred tonight. The programme has attracted students who aspire to architecture, as well as those who may wish to broaden their base of knowledge in different design areas. Professor Norton noted that 'As well as a broad appreciation of design concepts, this programme boasts a module in car design which is unique to Ireland and which was developed with significant input from James Wyse as Managing Director of Gallic Distributors Ireland.'

Also graduating were students studying Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Congratulating the students, the President said "Not only is this the only programme of its kind in Ireland, but it also represents an excellent academic partnership between DIT and Trinity, and a close cooperation with industry". Among the awards presented for Academic Excellence, graduate Lisa Hurley was presented with no less than five awards, including the Flora Institute Nutrition Award for her study of the effect of oily fish on heart disease.

And perhaps the most unusual of all the 'firsts' of the evening, well-known jazz guitarist Mike Neilsen was conferred with M. Phil for his work which was a combination of physics and music. According to his supervisors, Mr. Paddy Healy (Physics) and Ms Ita Beausang (Music), 'Mike's work was based on acoustics research and musical composition for guitar employing microtones in addition to conventional notes.'

The graduation ceremony was followed by a reception in DIT Kevin Street.

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