Ceumachd 08Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s 24th graduation ceremony, which took place earlier this month, saw a record 48 students graduating, including the first graduands from the MA Material Culture and the Environment degree programme and An Cùrsa Adhartais.

Four students graduated this year from the MA Material Culture and the Environment. Studied part-time over three years  a postgraduate degree, this masters level course was first offered in 2005 to provide students with an opportunity to understand and research aspects of the social and economic character of the Highlands and Islands through their material culture. A further four students graduated from An Cùrsa Adhartais, a distance learning Certificate of Higher Education, equivalent to the first year immersion course, An Cùrsa Comais.

The graduation address was given by Máire Ní Annracháin, who was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees, and is currently a senior lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Máire praised Sabhal Mòr Ostaig as “visionary” and “of exceptional importance”. In commending the graduands, Máire added, “you chose well when you chose this college; you performed well in your scholarly endeavours; you committed yourselves well when you placed your trust in Gaelic.”Ceumnachd 08

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sheriff Roddy John MacLeod also spoke at the ceremony, congratulating all the students on their achievements and taking the opportunity to thank the College Director, Professor Norman Gilles, who is due to retire at the end of the year, for his outstanding work over the last 25 years. Sheriff MacLeod also welcomed Boyd Robertson, Norman’s successor, who was in attendance at the event with his wife, Sheila.

In highlighting the major academic developments of the year, John Norman MacLeod, Director of Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said “The College has enjoyed another successful year with the opening of Fàs, the Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries, and with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig gaining a further CILT European Languages Award. In enhancing the academic provision, emphasis is placed on developing skills to meet the needs of the Gaelic language today, with, for example, the MA/MA (Hons) in Gaelic with Education contributing to Gaelic education and training needs and national campaigns to recruit more Gaelic teachers.”

A new prize was awarded this year in memory of the late Dr. Farquhar Macintosh who had been Chairman of the Board of Trustees for 16 years. The award was presented to Eleanor MacDougall for outstanding academic achievement.

In addition, the award for Student of the Year went to Timothy Armstrong; the Comunn na Gàidhlig Award for promoting the rights and heritage of Gaelic went to Janni Diez; the Comunn na Gàidhlig (London) Award for progress in Gaelic was shared between Ingeborg Birnie and Jonathon MacDonald; the Anna NicDhonnchaidh Memorial Award for furthering the aims of the College went to Kevin MacLauchlan and finally the local SQA award for the highest total marks went to Lisa Annette and Jacqueline MacLean.

Click here to view the Graduation Address by Máire Ní Annracháin