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South West College Graduates celebrate at Annual Graduation Ceremony

On Wednesday 13 December Higher Education students from South West College joined with family and friends to celebrate their efforts and academic achievements at the annual graduation ceremonies held at The Strule Arts Centre, Omagh.

The graduation ceremonies recognised and honoured the hard work and dedication of the ‘Class of 2023’ to a congregation of over 600 family, friends and tutors and featured addresses from College Chief Executive and Principal, Celine McCartan, Dr Nicholas O’Shiel Governing Body Chair, Padraig McNamee, Director of Curriculum, and guest speaker originally from Sion Mills Peter Boyle, CEO of Argento who captivated the audience with his extraordinary journey to success.

Congratulating students on their achievements, Celine McCartan, College Principal and Chief Executive said:

‘Graduation day is always a memorable occasion and an important milestone for our students. It is an opportunity to reflect upon their individual achievements, the knowledge gained, friendships made, and experiences shared. It is a proud day not only for the students, but their families, friends, colleagues, and the staff of South West College who have helped guide them to this point.

I am delighted that the College is able to offer unique higher-level qualifications which have been developed to support local business. We know from our many industry partners that South West College students have the skills and qualifications they need to build successful careers. I congratulate each one of our graduates on their efforts and wish them every success for the future. I know they will do South West College proud and be strong ambassadors for the college.’

During the ceremony, Brian McIlduff, Head of Quality, announced the names of the graduates, with certificates presented by Celine McCartan. Certificates were presented in subjects ranging from Automotive, Engineering, Construction, Counselling, Media and Business Management. Over thirty special ‘Student of the Year’ awards were also presented by Dr Nicholas O’Shiel to graduates who have achieved outstanding success in their various disciplines, while a student vote of thanks was delivered by Conor Gallagher from Enniskillen, who graduated with a Foundation Degree in Visual Media Arts Film and Barry Donnelly from Dungiven, who graduated with a BEng (Hons) in Building Services with Sustainable Energy.

Speaking on the day, Barry highlighted the significance of the day and expressed gratitude for the support received throughout his academic journey. He said:

"Today is a momentous occasion for all of us who have embarked on this incredible journey. As a proud graduate of the class of 2023, I am filled with gratitude and a profound sense of accomplishment. Age is not a barrier to acquiring knowledge. Education is a lifelong journey.

“Today, we celebrate not just the completion of a degree, but also the triumph of determination and the belief that it is never too late to pursue our dreams. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who supported us on this journey – faculty, support services, administrative teams, as well as our families and friends.

“As we step into the next chapter of our lives, let us embrace the future with open minds and hearts. The skills and wisdom we have gained will serve us as we navigate through opportunities and challenges. Congratulations class of 2023! May the future hold endless possibilities and may each of you continue to achieve greatness."

In the closing address, College Principal and Chief Executive Celine McCartan delivered an inspiring message, commending this year's graduates and wishing them every success in their future endeavours.

The College are now open for applications for all full and part-time courses starting in September 2024. For more information, please drop into SWC Open Day events or view or apply online.

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