UCD School of Veterinary Medicine Celebrates the Conferring of over 200 Graduates

Virtual Conferring Ceremony Takes Place for New Graduates

Click here to view the Virtual Conferring Ceremony video

The UCD School of Veterinary Medicine is delighted to confer over 200 graduates today (15 June) with undergraduate and graduate qualifications from a range of programmes: Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Nursing, Graduate Certificates in Dairy Herd Health and Small Animal Medicine, Masters and Doctorates. We are also joined by graduates from Veterinary Public Health and Food Regulatory Affairs programmes which are jointly run with the University of Ulster.  As Ireland’s ‘global university,’ UCD is proud to have many nationalities represented in today’s ceremony - graduands in the Class of 2020 come from countries across Europe, North America and Asia.  The annual conferring ceremony is always one of the highlights of the School’s calendar, but due to the current COVID-19 related restrictions, it is taking place as a virtual event this year.

Professor Michael Doherty, Dean & Head of the School of Veterinary Medicine, opened the ceremony by welcoming the graduates and their families and friends to today’s event.  He noted that graduation day is normally a ‘wonderful occasion where you and your families can embrace one another and share a very special day.  However, we are all together in spirit across the length and breadth of Ireland, in Great Britain or across the wild Atlantic in the US or Canada.  Never has our School motto of ‘One Health, One Welfare’ been more appropriate.  We salute the resilience that you, the Class of 2020 has shown in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are proud of you.’

Addressing the Class of 2020, Michael Creed, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine acknowledged the importance ‘albeit in different circumstances, that this occasion is celebrated and that you have the opportunity to enjoy your achievements in the company of your friends and your family.’  Minister Creed noted the challenges that this group of graduates had faced collectively in completing their studies over the last number of months.  Rising to these unprecedented challenges has brought into ‘sharper focus the ‘One Health’ concept and the challenges around antimicrobial resistance, around environmental and public health, and around diseases that the Department of Agriculture deals with all the time.’  

‘Arising from your experience in UCD, you are uniquely qualified now to make your contribution to this interdisciplinary challenge that faces us as a global society.  I am delighted for that reason to celebrate with you and to acknowledge your achievements and to wish you well in the very exciting and challenging careers that lie ahead of you,’ concluded Minister Creed.

Also speaking at the virtual conferring ceremony, Dr Martin Blake, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and UCD alumnus acknowledged that this year’s graduation was different to other years, taking place as it is during a global human health pandemic.  The pandemic has served to emphasise the ‘absolute interconnectedness of animal health, human health and the health of our shared environment.’  Dr Blake described the work of veterinary professionals in supporting medical colleagues across the world as ‘the living embodiment of One Health.’ He also highlighted that the lockdown had shown the need to ‘support animal welfare when humans are under stress and strain, but also to recognise the therapeutic benefit to human well-being from their engagement with animals.’ Dr Blake advised the new graduates to ensure that they always look to these underlying principles as reference points as they embark on their professional careers.  When faced with challenges in the coming years, the Class of 2020 should ‘always remember and recall the friendships you’ve developed in UCD.  Look out for each other and support each other,’ said Dr Blake.

The ceremony will be available for live viewing on Monday 15 June at 1530 IST via https://www.ucd.ie/vetmed/about/conferring/ 

Other speakers include:

  • Professor Andrew Deeks, UCD President
  • Professor Cecily Kelleher, College Principal, UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences
  • Mr Joe Moffitt, President, Veterinary Council of Ireland
  • Maria Lagan, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2020, MVB (Veterinary Medicine) Student Representative
  • Jadine Buggy, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2020, Veterinary Nursing Student Representative

The UCD School of Veterinary Medicine is the only school of Veterinary Medicine on the island of Ireland.   Accredited by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI), the School’s  MVB degree programme is one of a small number in Europe fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).  Its track record in education is second to none and its excellence in teaching & learning, clinical and research work is widely recognised - Veterinary Science in UCD is currently ranked at 32nd in the world, according to the QS World University Subject Ranking.

Enquiries to Dr Helen Graham, Communications Manager, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine: helen.a.graham@ucd.ie