28 November 2006: NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh conferred the award of a Master of Arts (honoris causa) on well-known Galway horticulturalist and community activist Lorna MacMahon today. The award took place as NUI Galway hosted its Winter Conferring ceremony with over 650 students from across the faculties receiving their degrees and diplomas.
For more than 35 years Lorna MacMahon has been involved in garden design, including her own award-winning garden 'Ardcarrig', which was open annually to the public. Lorna has also spent many years working as a horticultural therapist in the Psychiatric Unit of University College Hospital Galway. She was a founder member of the Galway Branch of Mental Handicap Ireland, and has been the Chairperson and Director of Galway Mental Health Association Ltd.
Dr. Gerry Beggan, a former Lecturer in Education at NUI Galway, speaking at her conferring, said: "For her dedicated promotion of horticultural science and for her unselfish and untiring commitment to a very worthy charitable cause, it is most appropriate that Lorna should be the recipient of this award."
Three ceremonies took place during the day with graduates from the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Science, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Law, receiving their scrolls.
Speaking at the conferrings, NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said; "NUI Galway aims for excellence in teaching, the promotion of world-class research, commitment to and engagement with our region, support for third level education through Irish, and above all ensuring the University places the student at the centre of all its activities."
Some students at the conferring ceremony were the first to graduate from certain new courses, such as Honours Degree of Bachelor of Nursing Science; Master of Science (Software and Information Systems) (Distance) in association with Regis University, Denver USA; and Master of Laws in Public Law.