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Posted 18 November 2014

UCD Foundation Day Medal awarded to Jonathan Sexton and 12 outstanding alumni awarded

The UCD Foundation Day Medal has been awarded to Jonathan Sexton, UCD graduate and international rugby player, in recognition of his leadership and success in sport.

The Medal is awarded annually to a University College Dublin graduate who demonstrates great achievement.

In delivering the citation, Derek McGrath, CEO of the European Rugby Cup and UCD graduate, said “In Jonathan Sexton’s career to date he has collected 3 Heineken Cup medals; one Amlin Challenge Cup; a Pro12 title; a Lions test series winner;  a Six Nations title

He has accumulated almost 50 caps for Ireland; scored over 1000 pts for Leinster; over 400 pts for Ireland; he still retains the ambition of winning the Bouclier de Brennus with Racing Metro.

Johnny, in the opinion of Coaches, players and fans, you are deserving of your status as world class, and deserving of wide acclaim from your peers and many fans.

And it is the opinion of University College Dublin that your sporting success, prowess and contribution is marked and honoured, in selecting you to receive the UCD Foundation Day Medal.”

Jonathan Sexton is the youngest winner of the Foundation Day Medal to date. Previous recipients include: Peter Sutherland, Maeve Binchy, Brian O’Driscoll and Bill Whelan. It was inaugurated in 2004 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the opening of UCD’s antecedent institution, the Catholic University of Ireland.

At the event a new tradition to mark the foundation of the University was inaugurated with the awarding of Alumni Awards to celebrate the success and contribution of UCD’s most distinguished alumni world-wide. Each programme Dean nominated a recipient for their programme who through their drive, leadership, commitment and desire to make a difference impact on society both at home and aboard.

“Founder’s Day celebration was established to honour Newman’s vison for a university which would make higher education accessible to a broad sweep of Irish people, creating a new class of educated Irish who would become the civil servants, the politicians, the lawyers, the architects, the historians and philosophers, the authors and playwrights, the doctors and engineers - the thinkers and doers who were to shape Irish society into the proud nation we are today. The 2014 UCD Foundation Day Alumni Awards continues a 160-year-old tradition of honouring the founding of UCD. This year introduces a new tradition of celebrating the success and contribution of our most distinguished alumni world-wide” said UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks.

Recipients of the 2014 UCD Alumni Awards (listed alphabetically by programme):

  • Agricultural Science - Mairead McGuinness: In recognition of her dedication and commitment to European Agriculture development
  • Architecture - David McNulty: In recognition of his outstanding creative contribution within the architectural design industry
  • Arts - Rosaleen Linehan: In recognition of her outstanding success acting on stage and screen for over 50 years
  • Business - Gary McGann: In recognition of his great leadership and success in the business world
  • Engineering - Donal O'Riain: In recognition of his outstanding entrepreneurial achievements in carbon-neutral construction
  • Human Science - Sr Stanislaus Kennedy: In recognition of her longstanding commitment and dedication to improving the lives and living conditions for the under privileged in Irish society 
  • Law - Maeve O'Rourke: In recognition of her outstanding humanitarian work securing justice for the victims of the Magdalene Laundries  
  • Medicine - Dr Patricia Scanlan: In recognition of her work within the paediatric cancer treatment revolution Tanzania
  • Midwifery & Nursing - Siobhan O'Halloran: In recognition of her longstanding commitment to nursing and the Health Service in Ireland
  • Physiotherapy - Clodagh Barry: In recognition of her continuous dedication to working with paediatric Spina Bifida in Ireland, the Lebanon and Pakistan  
  • Science - Evelyn Cusack: In recognition of her leadership in Meteorology in Ireland 
  • Veterinary Medicine - Noel Fitzpatrick: In recognition of his revolutionary work in the treatment of small animals including his cutting edge surgery techniques

  • Gallery of award winners (12 photos)

  • Videos presented by each Dean outlining why the awardees were chosen can be viewed at

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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UCD Foundation Day Medal awarded to Jonathan Sexton and 12 outstanding alumni awarded
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