Nov 30 2008 Posted: 00:00 GMT
NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Maryland in the United States. The arrangement has been made to create future study and research ties between the two universities. President Browne, said: "This agreement of cooperation between NUI Galway and the University of Maryland is the product of a culture which is collaborative and where individuals are willing to work together for a common purpose. This collaboration represents an important step in shaping our futures as we share and build on our respective educational and research strengths. I look forward to fostering our relationship with the University of Maryland for our mutual benefit". Governor of Maryland, Martin O Malley also met with President Browne and President of the University of Maryland, Dan Mote Jr.. Governor O Malley visited NUI Galway in June of this year, when he received an honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University. The memorandum signing coincided with the NUI Galway University Foundation Gala event which hosted former President Bill Clinton, Founder, William J. Clinton Foundation and Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman of the American Ireland Fund, in honour of their contributions to delivering peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland over the past two decades. The event was held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City and was attended by NUI Galway alumni and friends including Druid Theatre Director, Garry Hynes; Niall Burgess, Consul General of Ireland in New York; and RTÉ broadcaster Seán O Rourke, who was MC for the night. Loretta Glucksman spoke of her first visit to Galway and recalled when she met then President Colm Ó hEocha, subsequently she interacted with Pat Fottrell and Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh as Presidents, and she and the American Ireland Fund now looked forward to working with Dr Browne in his presidency role. President Clinton in his opening remarks spoke of when his wife Hilary was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate at NUI Galway some ten years ago and of his own Irish connection through his mother with Roslea, Co. Fermanagh. President Clinton also spoke of his involvement with the peace process and how the people were ahead of the politicians in their desire for peace. He emphasised that research in Universities should focus on alternative energy notwithstanding the fact that oil prices had once again fallen to a low level. In his remarks, President Browne referred to President Clinton's achievements since he left office particularly in relation to the William J. Clinton Foundation, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. The President went on to praise the outstanding work of philanthropist Loretta Glucksman for her contribution to Ireland though the American Ireland Fund. He said "The goodwill generated by this event will leave a favourable and lasting impression of NUI Galway on all who attended". The fundraising event was attended by over 300 people including alumni and friends of the University and all proceeds will go towards the development of the Research Library at NUI Galway.