On Wednesday February 8 2017, the first international presentation of the UCD Foundation Day Medal was made to UCD Arts & Humanities alumnus Colm Tóibín in the Metropolitan Club, New York. The UCD Foundation Day Medal is presented annually to a distinguished alumnus of national and international recognition whose influence and contribution are a source of great pride to the University.
Speaking at the presentation the President of UCD Professor Andrew J. Deeks said “UCD is proud to honour Colm and celebrate the distinguished career and literary achievements of one of our most outstanding UCD Arts and Humanities graduates. Colm’s successes reflect UCD’s quest for excellence and uphold the values that UCD hold dear – integrity, excellence, collegiality, engagement, creativity and diversity – values that we believe are in the DNA of our University”.
In delivering the citation fellow UCD graduate, Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York, said, “Colm’s work is distinguished by an elegance, brilliance and precision of style. His gifted artistic talents enable him to transfigure the minutiae of everyday life, to reach readers from very different times and places, and to lead us to a greater imaginative understanding of a shared and diverse humanity – qualities comparable indeed to another UCD graduate, James Joyce.” The President of University College Dublin, Professor Andrew J. Deeks presented the medal in front of 250+ UCD alumni, supporters, friends and Irish diaspora who had gathered in New York to celebrate and honour the global success of Colm Tóibín.
Professor Margaret Kelleher, Chair of Anglo Irish Literature and Drama conducted an animated interview with Colm Tóibín to the delight of the audience. Our thanks to colleagues in UCD College of Arts & Humanities, Professor Sarah Prescott, Principal; James Ryan, Director of Creative Writing; & Professor Margaret Kelleher for their support of this event.
Click here for images of the evening, and below for the testimonial video shown on the night, featuring Fintan O’Toole, Anne Enright, James Ryan, Sheila Pratschke, Garry Hynes & Marie Mullen, and also the event highlights videos.