Inaugural Meeting & Luncheon
September 30, 2019 | by Colleen Dube
Uversity 2018 and 2019 Scholars and guests gathered in the Westin Hotel, Dublin for the first time to celebrate the Scholars’ achievements and to begin creating a community of Scholars and stakeholders to support the Scholars’ educational journeys and Uversity’s evolution.
During the first session, Scholars shared their journeys, their preparation for higher education, the courses and institutions they were attending, their future ambitions and expectations for the day. Scholars were relieved to learn that “We are not alone, we are similar” and that they were all sharing the ‘terror’ together.
Uversity’s Chief Executive Officer, Colleen Dube, moderated a panel discussion with Trinity College Dublin alumni Senator Lynn Ruane and Tech Entrepreneur Matthew Moore. The panellists outlined their reasons for enrolling on a degree, their initial challenges as mature students and their greatest achievements along with their advice to Uversity’s Scholars.
Senator Ruane noted that her primary reason for going to college was to acquire the understanding and language to be able to advocate for her community. For Matthew, it was to exit bankruptcy and get a fresh start. The panellists assured the Scholars that it is possible to balance being a mature student along with being a parent, partner, son and daughter. They reassured the Scholars that even though they may feel that they are not getting it right and feel guilty, those around them will understand. They also encouraged the Scholars to get involved in extracurricular activities and ask for help or assistance if they need it.
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D. congratulated the Scholars on securing their Uversity Scholarships, reminded them of the importance of education and encouraged them to always be ambitious. Following the Minister’s remarks, the Scholars, speakers and invited guests including Uversity’s Board and representatives from the Department of Education and higher education networked over lunch.