A cheque for €103,000 has been presented to the UL President Professor Kerstin Mey by graduates of the Founding Class of UL at a special event in Plassey House on campus. The funds, which have been given through the UL Foundation, will be used to establish an endowment fund that will support scholarships for UL students who have attended the AccessCampus.
The Access Campus is a partnership between UL and the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, which concentrates on tackling educational disadvantage at all levels through financial assistance, but also by providing the social, family, community, teaching and specialist support needed to sustain the commitment to education.
Castleconnell man Paddy Meskell, spokesperson for the founding students, explained the background that led to setting up the fund: “Looking back to 1972, I’m not sure that we were always aware that we were playing a critical role in the transformation of Irish education and so the transformation of Irish society. But, we did have this sense, sometimes vague, that we were a special and unique band, entrusted with this huge responsibility and carrying the expectations of our families and communities on our shoulders. So what better way to add an extra dimension to our legacy than help transform the lives of some of today’s young people and their families?”
AccessCampus Co-Ordinator Donal O’Leary added: “This gift allows us to extend our support into third-level education, to allow those who, due to circumstances, cannot travel the full journey. Unlike other schemes based on ability, this is focused solely on those who would never be able to attend college without the financial assistance this bursary gives.”
Speaking at the event, UL Foundation CEO Harvey Duthie said: “This endowment fund will leave a last legacy ensuring that future generations of students will benefit from scholarships. We hope this model will serve as an inspiration for other UL classes to come together and establish their own funds”.