Plans are underway for the biggest ever reunion of graduates of GMIT’s Mayo campus later this year.
Several hundred graduates and current students are expected to attend the reunion on 8 and 9 November which will include a major concert with Sharon Shannon and her band and guest artist, Mundy.
The event, called ‘The GMIT Reunion Gathering’, will coincide with Ireland’s ‘The Gathering’ of the diaspora from around the world and will also mark the formal renaming of the Castlebar campus to GMIT Mayo campus.
The day of celebrations will commence with the annual conferring ceremonies from 12 noon.
Following the conferrings, the formal GMIT Gathering Reunion reception will be held in St Mary’s Hall on campus from 6.30pm, with the GMIT Gathering Concert taking place in the nearby TF Royal Theatre from 8.30pm.
Clodagh Geraghty, GMIT lecturer, and co-ordinator of the GMIT Gathering Reunion says: “The staff and students of the Mayo campus are very excited about this event. It will be an excellent networking opportunity as we gather 20 years of graduates who can share their experiences and the role GMIT played in their lives. We extend a warm welcome to members of our local community to join in the gathering on campus at 6.30pm and the concert at 8.30pm on Friday 8 November.
Further events are planned for Saturday 9 November. Nigel Jennings, GMIT Mayo campus Sports Officer, says a series of reunion matches will take place on the Castlebar Celtic Astro pitch, starting at 1 pm.
“Our sports teams have been an integral part of the development of the college. This event provides the perfect opportunity for so many of the men and women who have worn the college jersey with distinction to come back and see if they’ve still got the old magic and relive the tales of past glories,” says Nigel Jennings. “Staff members and current students will also be taking part. Afterward, refreshments and food will be served in the clubhouse, so it looks set to be a memorable social occasion.”
Ken Hogan, Head of the GMIT Department of Nursing & Health Sciences, says the celebrations will acknowledge the poignant history of the campus as a former mental institution.
“As we move forward as GMIT Mayo campus we honour the memory of the men and women who were institutionalised here, the spirit of the place and the stories that are part of the land, the stone and the waters of the west. As the great Dermot Healy says “too often we forget to remember”.
The Gathering Reunion in St Mary’s Hall on campus will be an opportunity for students, past and present, and all members of the community to reconnect with the campus, its buildings, and GMIT staff.
The event is being organised in association with Mayo County Council and Mayo.ie. The Mayo Association (Galway & Dublin branches) are also supporting this event.