Olympic champion Aifric Keogh, Kenny’s Bookshop and Gallery director, author, and historian Tom Kenny, and World Food Program representative Mary-Ellen McGroarty are among the recipients of the 2022 University of Galway Alumni Awards. The winners, announced this week, will be presented with their awards at a gala banquet on Friday October 21.
The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the university’s 120,000 graduates worldwide. The awardees are leaders who have demonstrated impact and excellence in their fields on a local, national, and international level.
Now in their 21st year, the awards boasts an impressive roll call of more than 100 outstanding university alumni. Among the distinguished recipients of awards are President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, Gráinne Seoige, Aedhmar Hynes, Eamon Gilmore and Máire Whelan, Ciarán FitzGerald, Olive Loughnane, Marie Mullen, and Nicola Coughlan.
Eight awards will be presented at the Alumni Awards Gala Banquet next month.
Tom Kenny, BSc 1966, will receive the Alumni Award for Arts, Literature & Celtic Studies, sponsored by Deloitte. He is a director of Kenny’s Bookshop and Art Gallery, Galway, and writer of the ‘Old Galway’ page in the Galway Advertiser.
Aifric Keogh, BSc 2014, Irish Rowing’s first women’s Olympic medal winner, will receive the Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport.
The Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, sponsored by Medtronic, will be presented to Dr Marie Healy, MB BCh BAO 1982, director of critical care and divisional director of the Surgical Directorate, Royal London Hospital.
Mary-Ellen McGroarty, BA 1987, LLB 1993, LLM 2019, and representative country director for the World Food Program, Afghanistan, will receive the Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy, and Society, sponsored by RDJ.
Mark Butler, BSc 1987, executive VP - European operations, R&D and strategy at Merit Medical Systems Inc will be presented with the Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology.
Ger Rabbette, BComm 1984, CEO of Uniphar PLC, has been announced as the winner of the Alumni Award for Business and Commerce, sponsored by Bank of Ireland.
Gradam Alumni don Gaeilge, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, will be presented to Ré Ó Laighléis, BA 1978, writer, and director of An Scríobhlann.
Finally, Catherine Ludden, PhD 2014, director of operations for the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium, will be the first recipient of the Alumni Award for Emerging Leaders, newly introduced this year.
“At University of Galway we place a huge importance on being here for the public good and of living our values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability,” president of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said this week. “Along with that, we are a community and when we come to host great events like the university’s Alumni Awards, recognising people in our community speaks to those ideals.
“All of those receiving awards in 2022 embody in diverse ways what we stand for as a university, and are being recognised for their leadership and for the difference they are making in the and for the world. It is an honour for me and Ollscoil na Gaillimhe - University of Galway to share in that difference. I am particularly pleased that we can recognise their endeavours and achievements in person this year after such a forced hiatus.”