Pat Lam, head coach of Connacht Rugby, and former rugby international is to be recognised at NUI Galway with an honorary degree for his achievements which have significantly enriched both Connacht and the wider community.
The ceremony on 17 October, will form part of NUI Galway’s Autumn Conferring Ceremonies at which over 2,500 students will graduate between 13-19 October. Pat Lam joins sporting luminaries including the late Christy O’Connor Snr and Jr, and Mick Loftus, in being recognised with an honorary degree by the University.
Pat Lam is a New Zealand born rugby union coach who in May, led Connacht Rugby to their first championship win and first trophy in 131 years by winning the Guinness PRO12. Of Samoan descent, he was previously an international player representing New Zealand and Samoa as well as playing in the English Premiership.
In advance of the conferring ceremonies, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said:
“On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate all our graduands and extend a warm welcome to their parents, families and friends. We are delighted to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and wish them continued success in the future.”
President Browne added: “Earlier this year, NUI Galway offered its heartiest congratulations to Pat Lam, his heroic players and committed backroom team on their massive win in the Rugby PRO12 Final. We are delighted to now formally recognise the contribution of Pat Lam with an honorary doctorate as members and former members of his squad and from the Rugby Academy also graduate.
“Their performance over the past season made the University, the province - and indeed the nation - proud and has set hearts racing across Connacht. NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and we are very pleased to be in a position to recognise this major sporting achievement.”
Five players from Connacht Rugby to graduate along with their coach on Monday, include Jack Dinneen (BComm ), Conor Finn (BA ), Eoghan Masterson (BA ), Saba Meunargia (BA ), and Danny Qualter (BA ).
Degrees, Higher Diplomas and Masters will be awarded to students graduating over the five days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.