Sligo Champion

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IT launches 50th anniversary book

Staff & Students, past and present gathered at IT Sligo on Wednesday evening for the launch of their 50th Anniversary book with guests from across the region.

The publication, "Of what is past, or passing, or to come", a line taken from WB Yeats' "Sailing to Bysantium", is a compilation of memoirs from 40 contributors made up of present and former President's, staff and students.

Launching the book, President of IT Sligo, Dr Brendan McCormack said: "As this book shows, IT Sligo has a record of being the first RTC and IoT to take the initiative on a range of new developments across our sector.

"This includes being one of the first to be delegated authority to award our own degrees, the first to receive chartered recognition from Engineers Ireland, the first to produce a PhD graduate, the leader of online higher education in Ireland, the first to provide a higher level apprenticeship, as we have done with the Insurance Institute.

"And, most recently, the first Institute to be recognised by the regulatory body, CORU, as a provider of training for social workers."

For 50 years the Institute has been the talent pipeline for regional development and has helped to attract new investment to the region over the past five decades.

"I would like to thank all of the people who contributed to the content of this book, and I would especially like to thank our Head Librarian, Jim Foran who took on the onerous task of editing it and did so very successfully."

Head of Faculty of Engineering & Design at IT Sligo, Una Parsons also spoke at the launch. Una was a student at the then Regional Technical College in the 1970's becoming only the second women in Ireland to graduate as a tool-maker. Una shared memories of her student days in Sligo and described the massive transformation of the Institute from her time as a student.

The final word was left to the editor of the book, Head Librarian, Jim Foran who described the process behind the final publication.

"Over a few meetings we discussed ways to develop content. Given that none of us had the time required for extensive research on the history of the Institute we put out a call to present and former staff and suggested they might write contributions in the form of stories or memoirs.

"We also put out a call for alumni experiences of life after graduating.

"As the time passed, we began to get contributions. The question was, how to merge them together as a collection. We had been thinking in terms of past, present and future and the contributions began to fall into a series of sections.

The 156 page full colour publication is available in the "Book Nest" at IT Sligo priced €5 and marks the start of many events planned for the fiftieth anniversary.

Sligo Champion