A mature student and mother of three will be celebrating in style today when she graduates with first class honours from Queen’s University.
Patricia Delaney, from Crumlin in Co Antrim, withdrew her initial application to Queen’s because of illness and family commitments.
However, she returned to Queen’s determined to succeed and has since studied relentlessly to achieve her BA English and Social Anthropology degree.
Patricia has shown a natural flair for Social Anthropology whilst at Queen’s by winning the John Blacking Memorial Prize in 2006 for achieving the highest mark in her anthropology module.
To make the week even more memorable for Patricia, her son Martin is due to graduate on Friday with a 2.1 BSc (Hons) Architecture degree.
Patricia said: “I feel very proud to be graduating in the same week as my son, and equally proud at what we have both achieved.
“My experience of Queen’s has been extremely positive; every lecturer I have been taught by has been approachable, helpful and wants every student to succeed.
“My Adviser of Studies, Graham McFarlane, is one of the most excellent teachers I have ever met and I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Patricia plans to apply for a PhD in the future, while Martin has secured a placement in a local architecture firm. Helping them celebrate in style today are husband and father Martin Sr and daughters and sisters Emma and Carmel.
Meanwhile, Rathfriland man Francis Campbell — the first British Ambassador to be appointed by open competition — will also be honoured today by Queen’s University.
Ambassador Campbell has been the UK’s Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome since 2005. At a ceremony this morning he will be awarded an honorary doctorate for distinction in public service.
Ambassador Campbell, who graduated from Queen’s with a BA in Political Science and Scholastic Philosophy, also completed postgraduate studies at the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, and attended the University of Pennsylvania on a Thouron Award Fellowship before joining the British Diplomatic Service in 1997.
He is the first Northern Irish Catholic to hold a United Kingdom ambassadorial post since partition in 1921.
The post was advertised in a newspaper in 1995 — the first time an ambassadorial position had been put out to open competition in an advert.
Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry McCormac, who delivered the citation, said: “Mr Campbell’s story is as interesting and compelling as the man himself.
“He has been propelled to the head of a diplomatic mission in Rome far sooner than is the norm.
“Religion has played an important role throughout his life and career and the thoughts of priesthood have never been far away.
“He possesses our most valued qualities: intelligence, determination, leadership, and compassion.”