Prestigious Alumni honoured with awards

By Aine Pennello

Now in its fourth year, Trinity College’s annual Alumni Awards were bestowed upon four Trinity alumni at a ceremony and gala dinner held in the Old Dining Hall on November 5.

This years honorees were Dr Patrick Brennan, Viscountess Bridgeman, Dr Martin McAleese and Dr Michael Pierce.

They join the ranks of previous recipients such as RTÉ presenter Aine Lawlor, musician Chris de Burgh and writer William Trevor.

Honoured in the Sciences, Brennan has a Doctorate from Trinity College and holds the title of Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University. He served as Chairman of the World Health Organisation Programme for Tropical Disease Research and was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology.

Bridgeman established the Bridgeman Art Library in 1972. With branches in New York, Paris and Berlin the Library now represents over 2000 artists, private collections, and galleries. In 1997 she received the European Women of Achievement Award in arts for the Bridgeman Library’s promotion of European culture. She was also named International Business Woman of the Year in 2005.

McAleese, a dentistry graduate, is recognised for his work in politics. Working alongside his wife, President McAleese, he has sought to develop greater trust and reconciliation among communities in Northern Ireland.

The Trinity Foundation also recognised McAleese’s involvement in the national competition “Your Country, Your Call”. This competition was established to ask the public to submit proposals to transform the economy through job creation.
Lastly, entrepreneur Peirce studied and taught at the Trinity Engineering School before establishing one of the first campus companies at Trinity College as Senior Lecturer in 1978.

Pierce resigned to become Managing Director of Mentec Limited, an Irish information technology company. Over the past three decades Peirce has become involved in other Irish technology start-ups such as Parthus, Mentor Capital, Iontas and Vedia.
Each recipient was awarded with a scroll and a personally engraved medal before sitting down to a formal dinner attended by the Provost, other noteworthy alumni and the recipients’ relations, former lecturers and fellow classmates.