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Foundation Day 2023

The College Principal welcomed guests to a presentation on campus transformation which was introduced by Bishop Donal McKeown, Chairperson of the College’s governing body.

Professor Peter Finn KSG said:

On behalf of the community of governors, staff, and students at St Mary’s University College I am very pleased to welcome you to our Foundation Day event which celebrates a journey of campus transformation.

We celebrate the College’s Foundation on October 27th because it was on that date in 1899 that Bishop Henry, the then Bishop of Down and Connor, laid the foundation stone of what was to become St Mary’s Training College.

One hundred and twenty-four years later to the day we celebrate the building of new foundations for the future of what is now St Mary’s University College: A College of Queen’s University.

Our vision for campus modernisation is to provide students, staff, and visitors with top class facilities to enable excellence and dialogue to flourish and to facilitate educational, social and economic progress.

The student body is at the very heart of St Mary’s and all that we do. We therefore aim to have the best possible campus facilities to attract students, retain them and provide high-quality certification that will facilitate personal fulfilment in both life and work, and prepare them well for contributing to the common good.

Today you will visit the recent high-profile developments on campus at the Cardinal Newman Library, Tobar Mhuire, and the Beechmount Hall, Aonach na Va. You will also see our plans to transform the College Hall into a four-hundred-seater auditorium. In addition, there are many other campus developments which are equally important including a new Student Services Centre, refurbished teaching spaces, new IT labs and infrastructure upgrades.

Thank you for joining in the celebration and being part of our journey of campus transformation.



As the Irish News reported on the opening of St Mary’s in September 1900 it was fitting that the same newspaper reported on the new foundations of the College in 2023

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