News

GMIT to mark 40th anniversary with range of events

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Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) celebrates its 40th anniversary this academic year with a range of events including a national symposium, conferences, graduate reunion, a photographic exhibition and a range of GMIT Students’ Union events and activities in all campuses.

GMIT first opened its doors to students on Monday 18 September, 1972, when it was known as the Regional Technical College, Galway with 1,213 students registered on a range of National Certificate and Diploma courses as well as apprentice, trades and craft ‘block’ courses. Today, GMIT has some 8,000 full and part-time registered students on degree and post graduate programmes in Business, Science & Computing, Nursing, Engineering, Tourism & Arts, and Furniture Design & Technology.

The first head of the RTC Galway was Gay Corr who directed the affairs of the college for thirty years, retiring in 2002. He was succeeded the same year by Marion Coy who led the college for eight years, retiring at the end of November 2010. Jim Fennell, the Secretary/Financial Controller, became Acting President until April 2011 when Michael Carmody, a UCG Engineering graduate and former President of Institute of Technology, Tralee, took over as President of GMIT.

The 40th celebration events planned for this milestone academic year include a number of exciting events: The Institute will host several national conferences with international guest speakers and alumni participating. In addition, GMIT will host the national Foodie Forum in February, and a family fun day and Christmas celebration has been planned in conjunction with the GMIT Students’ Union. Several graduate reunions will take place during the year, students and staff will exhibit work from the various schools and colleges, and the annual Student Achievement awards are a snapshot of some of the activities planned.

GMIT’s current student community is diverse and multi-cultured compared to the early 70s. The Institute has increased its international intake in recent years with students from the US, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Scandinavia studying a variety of programmes in all GMIT campuses; GMIT-registered students are also on a range of placements and exchange programmes in the US, China, Europe, and Australia.

The physical landscape of GMIT has also changed considerably in the past decade with refurbishments and new buildings on all campuses, most notably the award-winning ‘Green Sails’ IT Learning Resource Centre fronting the Dublin Road campus (opened in 2003); two new Innovation in Business Centres in Galway and Mayo (2005 and 2006); a new Nursing & Health Science Department at GMIT Castlebar (2008); and numerous internal refurbishments in all campuses in the past two years.

The Institute has forged a number of important strategic alliances and partnerships in recent times such as the Connacht-Ulster Alliance with IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT; NUI Galway; The Marine Institute; Lionra Network; and a new partnership with the public State broadcaster RTE. The Institute also has a number of active Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with international partners including Nanchang University, China; Johnson & Wales University, USA and Zaragoza University, Spain, to name a few.

GMIT staff, students and graduates have been acclaimed nationally and internationally, winning numerous awards and accolades for their academic achievements and creative abilities: GMIT Letterfrack graduate John Lee designed and made the Presidential Inauguration Chair for President Michael D Higgins inauguration ceremony in November 2011; and Hollywood film director and GMIT Film & TV graduate Gary Shore is currently directing a revival of ‘Dracula Year Zero’ for Hollywood’s Universal Studios.

President of GMIT Michael Carmody says: “The Institute has made a major contribution to the social, cultural and economic development of the region over the past 40 years. Our graduates are working and leading enterprises all over Ireland and around the world. Through our engagement with work placements and internships they have forged rewarding careers in business, tourism, engineering, science and humanities.”

Cáit Noone, Chair of the GMIT 40th anniversary committee, adds: “Working with our community partners is still very much embedded in GMIT programmes today, giving our students a good understanding of the communities in which they live. Our staff and students have a long and proven record of fund-raising and volunteering for local charity groups organisations including Galway Lions Club, Croi, COPE Galway and Galway Hospice to name a few, raising hundreds of thousands of euro over the years.” adds Ms Noone.

For further information on GMIT’s 40th anniversary plans this year, see: http://www.gmit.ie/40th/