Alumni Awards

Alumni Awards & Gala Banquet 2019

The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's 100,000 graduates worldwide.

The Alumni Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including President Michael D. Higgins, Olympian Olive Loughnane, Rugby great Ciarán FitzGerald, RTÉ broadcaster Sean O'Rourke, Attorney General Máire Whelan, Former Creganna CEO, Helen Ryan and Tony Award-winning actress, Marie Mullen.

The winners of the seven alumni awards presented at Gala 2018 were:

  • Lisa Coen, Co- founder Tramp Press - Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by Galway University Foundation
  • Aedhmar Hynes, CEO, Text100 - Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - sponsored by Bank of Ireland
  • Pat Rabbitte, former Leader of the Irish Labour Party and politician - Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government - sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn
  • Bernard McGuinness, Vice President, Flavor Supply, The Coca-Cola Company - Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology - sponsored by AIB
  • Professor Declan Sugrue, Cardiologist, Mater Hospital - Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - sponsored by Medtronic
  • Joe Connolly, Galway Hurler - Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport - sponsored by Bank of Ireland
  • Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, award-winning poet - Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge - urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh

Speaking on the announcement of the Award recipients, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: "For over 170 years our University has educated graduates of the highest calibre who have gone on to have significant impact in their field of endeavour in Ireland and internationally. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet"

Click here to view interviews with the 2018 Alumni Award Winners.

Click here to view interviews with the 2017 Alumni Award Winners.

NUI Galway Notable Alumni

City Engineer of San Francisco, Michael O'Shaughnessy (1864-1934) and Alice Perry (1885-1969), the world's first female engineering graduate (1906) are some of our most notable alumni. Performance artists including Mick Lally, Marie Mullen, Seán McGinley, Garry Hynes and Siobhán McKenna are also well known alumni.

In 2006, acclaimed actor and political activist Martin Sheen attended NUI Galway as a Visiting Student while in June 2003, Nelson Mandela, Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws at the University. Other notable recipients of this award include Hillary Rodham Clinton, then First Lady of the United States of America, who was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in May 1999.

In November 2012, Michael D. Higgins, Adjunct Professor with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, was elected the ninth president of Ireland. Michael D. entered the University as a student in 1962; serving as President of the Student Council; and going on to become a highly regarded lecturer in Sociology & Politics for many years.