University of Limerick Foundation Impact Report 2023

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Impact Report

Chairman’s Welcome Thank you from Director of Development

As we reflect on the past year, which marked UL’s Jubilee anniversary, there were many reasons to celebrate the remarkable strides that have been made over these past 50 years.

Naming the main thoroughfare on the UL campus ‘Feeney Way’, to highlight the legacy of American philanthropist and UL Foundation Director Emeritus Chuck Feeney, was an especially important event, given the enormous impact that Chuck had on the development of the University. Also recognised by the Board of UL Foundation were the very significant contributions made over many years by Foundation board member Dr. Loretta Brennan Glucksman, and her husband Lew, with a portrait of Loretta by artist Colin Davidson that has been gifted to UL and now hangs at the heart of the Glucksman Library.

It has also been a year for looking forward, with exciting plans in motion that will allow the University to expand over the next 50 years of its lifetime. The expansion of lands on the north campus of the University as a designated Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), and plans to develop Academies of Learning and Centres of Excellence for advanced learning and research space, will attract students, world class researchers and academics, as well as foreign direct investment, sustaining both multinational and indigenous enterprises and securing future employment opportunities. There is much work to do and the Foundation looks forward to supporting the work of the University and playing our part in the ongoing economic and social development of Limerick, the Mid-West and Ireland.

To mark the University’s 50th Anniversary, we set ourselves a target of securing 50 new scholarships from donors, each valued at €5,050 or more, for UL students. It was a challenging ambition, but thanks to the generosity of alumni, companies, foundations and friends of the University, we reached our goal of 50 new scholarships with funding commitments of €1 Million received. Many of these donors have indicated their intention to continue this support, which has been hugely encouraging.

There were many other reasons to celebrate this year with news that UL has moved over 100 places to be ranked in the top 500 of the latest QS World University Rankings and has been placed at 86th in the world by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings when it comes to delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These developments are testament to the collective power of our UL community – students, staff, benefactors and friends - a community driven by passion and a shared vision for the impact of education, teaching, research and learning.

Throughout the pages of this report, you will discover stories of transformation and generosity. Each one demonstrates that every initiative we undertake is a step towards positive change.

Much of this work would not be possible without the power of philanthropy. Our deepest gratitude to everyone who has joined us on this journey.

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Our Impact with Your Support:

€2.3m in new cash gifts received €3m in grants paid

€1m raised for our 50forFifty scholarship initiative


UL Foundation continues to put good governance at the centre of our work.

This year we completed our first ever Environmental, Social & Governance Report, which can be viewed here: report_2023_final

In addition to completing the Charity Regulator’s Compliance Record, we have completed a review and refresh of all our policies and procedures.

186 scholarships & bursaries awarded

We are a charity registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority (charity number 20024260) and with the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland (charitable taxation number CHY 9688).

Additional oversight is offered by our four specialist subcommittees (Operations, Finance and Risk, Nominations and Remuneration) who convene regularly and report to the Board.

— The Foundation is audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

Our bank is Bank of Ireland, Castletroy Park, Limerick.


A landmark event took place this year when the main thoroughfare on the University of Limerick campus was renamed ‘Feeney Way’ to highlight the legacy and ‘giving while living’ philosophy of Irish American philanthropist, Chuck Feeney.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey, Founding President Dr Ed Walsh, UL Foundation Chair Harry Fehily, Dr Feeney’s son Patrick and biographer Conor O’Clery were among those in attendance at the event. Through The Atlantic Philanthropies, in the region of €150m has been gifted to the UL Foundation, which has been transformational to the campus, the city and wider region.

Professor Mey said: “University of Limerick’s status as a research university in Ireland and indeed globally would not have been possible without Chuck Feeney’s giving while living philosophy. The new Feeney Way is more than a thoroughfare, it is a philosophy, it is more than a road, it is a story. That story and Chuck’s generosity, his practice of giving while living has been the key catalyst influencing the development of the wonderful campus we see around us today and he had a transformative impact on UL”.

UL Foundation Chair Harry Fehily said: “Chuck Feeney’s legacy means everything to the University. I think the greatest thing Chuck has done for this institution is internationalise it – open his international network of institutions and contacts through philanthropy. His giving while living has been a great gift to this University, the region and beyond.”

Founding UL President Dr Ed Walsh said: “Chuck Feeney reached the stage in his life where he discovered that wealth and happiness were not necessarily associated with each other and particularly with the next generation. So, obviously after some deep consideration he decided to give, essentially, it all away. He often mentioned there are no pockets in a shroud – so giving while living was a win win, and of course he inspired others, Bill Gates, the Collision brothers of Stripe. The fact that he stimulated some of the wealthiest people in the world to do as he did and give while living will, think, in hindsight be seen as one of the most important things he did.”

Two foundation stones have been placed at each end of Feeney Way, which starts at the front gates of UL and runs to the East Gate, with a host of new signs dotted at various locations on the main avenue on the campus.

‘Giving while living’ Chuck Feeney’s ‘transformative impact’ on University of Limerick celebrated

Our New & Welcomed Partnerships

Women in Aviation International Scholarship Programme

A new partnership agreement was formed between Women in Aviation International, UL’s Kemmy Business School (KBS) and the University of Limerick Foundation. The initiative saw the establishment of the Women in Aviation International Scholarship programme, which allows for the awarding of 11 scholarships for female students. To apply, students must be enrolled in the Professional Diploma in Aviation Leasing at the KBS, which is the first level 9 university-accredited programme in Ireland tailored for the Aviation Leasing sector.

The agreement is Women in Aviation International’s first partnership with an Irish university and we are delighted with this strong statement of support for women in aviation at UL.

Lidl German Language Scholarship

This year Lidl commenced a new scholarship for 4th year University of Limerick students studying German language, either as a major option or as their main language. This is our first German language scholarship and a very welcome development. The 2023 awardee was Samuel Sorensen.

Embassy of France in Ireland Partnership for French Language Scholarships

UL Foundation and the Embassy of France in Ireland came together for a pioneering collaboration to support future French language teachers, enrolled on the Bachelor of Education in Languages programme at UL, in the development of their professional competencies.

The partnership supported scholarships for three students to engage in a four-week immersive teaching and learning programme with CAVILAM-Alliance Française in Vichy, France in conjunction with the University of Clermont-Auvergne. The students participated in a diverse range of interactive teaching and learning activities focusing on the development of pre-service teachers’ language and pedagogical skills.

MongoDB Immersive Software Engineering Scholarship for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

A new scholarship for UL’s Immersive Software Engineering programme has been generously established by software company MongoDB. In keeping with MongoDB’s commitment to build a culture of inclusion that embraces the power of differences, the scholarship will be awarded to an underrepresented student. By extending the company philosophy to its support of UL’s Immersive Software Engineering students, MongoDB is helping to ensure that the future of computer science education is a diverse and inclusive one.

Photo by Andrew Zaback

A Selection of Highlights

ARUP Scholarships and Awards

Engineering leader, Arup, generously continue to support both UL Access students, as well as students enrolled in Civil Engineering. The Arup Integrated Design Project Awards in Civil Engineering rewards students with prizes based on project work in Year 3 of the BE in Civil Engineering. The Arup Scholarship for Women in Civil Engineering is awarded based on academic achievement to female students transitioning to 2nd year.

Matheson Scholarship in Law Plus

The inaugural Matheson Scholarship in Law Plus, delivered as part of the 50ForFifty initiative, was awarded to first year undergraduate Bachelor Laws (Law Plus) student, Jack Canning.

Academy for Children

UL’s Academy for Children is currently repositioning from a project model to becoming mainstreamed into the University’s Access Office. Its goals from 2023 – 2028 are to: increase the number of DEIS schools with bespoke programmes from 5 to 13; increase the number of DEIS schools involved in Exploration Days from 12 to 24; increase the number of parents/guardian programmes being delivered from 5 to 13. UL Foundation hopes to continue to support these activities with the help of our donors.

BD Scholarship and Bursary Programme

Global medical technology company, BD RCI, awarded the BD Bursaries for Women in STEM to 4 female students and the BD Scholarships in Science and Engineering to 6 students under its scholarship programme for UL Access students studying science and engineering. Recipients also have the opportunity to be assigned a professional mentor from BD.


Supporter Spotlight

Exceptional Book Collection Donated to Glucksman Library by Professor Anya Peterson

A unique and rare collection of books on dance and performance has been donated to the National Dance Archive Ireland at the Glucksman Library at UL by Professor Anya Peterson Royce, a Chancellor’s Professor of Anthropology and of Comparative Literature emerita at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA, and Adjunct Professor emerita at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, UL. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by UL in 2010.

Professor Royce is widely acknowledged as one of the anthropological pioneers in the study of performing arts. After a career with the Brooklyn Ballet Company and the San Francisco Russian Opera and Ballet Company, cut short due to injury, she entered Stanford University, where she received a BA with Distinction in Anthropology and Honors in Humanities. She continued her studies in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded Master’s and PhD degrees.

Professor Royce’s publications include six books, three of them in the area of dance and performance, as well as articles, book chapters, edited volumes, blogs, and poetry. Her photographic work includes 50,000 photos of the Isthmus Zapotec community of Juchitan from 1968 to the present, including three exhibits. Currently, she is making a photographic record of the famine cottages along the coast of Co. Clare. She does research in the areas of the anthropology of dance and performing arts, indigenous identities, landscape, pilgrimage, and the ethnography of Mexico, especially the Isthmus Zapotec people of Juchitán with whom she has worked since 1967. Her first book was an ethnography of Juchitan published in Spanish. They have reprinted it 4 times. In 2016, they awarded her the Medal of the Zapotec People [Medalla Binniza] for her ongoing contributions to the community.

UL Foundation Recognises the Glucksman Contribution to UL

The board of UL Foundation commissioned artist Colin Davidson to create a piece that would celebrate the very significant contributions made over many years by Dr. Loretta Brennan Glucksman and her late husband Dr. Lewis L. Glucksman to the University. The completed artwork, a portrait of Dr. Loretta Brennan Glucksman, now hangs at the heart of the Glucksman Library.

UL Foundation Chairman Harry Fehily said ‘Loretta and her late husband Lew, led some of the most significant developments this University has ever seen. Their philanthropy is far-reaching here in Limerick, across Ireland and right around the world. This portrait is a chance to celebrate them both, but especially to thank Loretta personally for her leadership during her term as Foundation Chairman when more than €50 million was raised for projects across the campus.’

UL President, Professor Kerstin Mey said ‘Under Loretta’s leadership, some of the most significant projects across the campus were delivered, including the state-of-the-art library extension, the world-class Bernal Institute, the UL School of Medicine school, Munster Rugby’s High-Performance Centre and the Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing’

Thank you Loretta.


2023 UL President’s Annual Dinner

More than 300 business leaders, donors, industry and government representatives attended the University of Limerick President’s Annual Dinner organised by the UL Foundation.

The event marked the final month of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The theme of the event was “Sustainability” with proceeds supporting the “UL Sustainability Challenge”, a competition for UL students to develop proposals to tackle our climate crisis.

Entertainment on the evening was provided by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL, which is known internationally for its deep engagement with indigenous Irish music and dance traditions, as well as its openness to world cultures. Two musical showcases celebrated the local and global wells from which cultural sustainability renews itself: the Mulcahy family from West Limerick, who are the most recent winners of the prestigious Gradam Ceoil, and a world music ensemble featuring staff, students and collaborators at the Academy.

UL Foundation Chairman Harry Fehily addressed guests and spoke about the enormous accomplishments since the institution’s inception back in 1972. UL President Mey highlighted some of the University’s many achievements during the anniversary year, as well as telling guests about the exciting and ambitious plans ahead.

The 2023 President’s Annual Dinner was generously sponsored by Bidvest Noonan, Holmes and Kirby Group with guest prizes on the night supported by Shannon Airport Group.


Guest Lecture on “The Future of Finance”

Hosted by UL Foundation and UL’s Kemmy Business School, AIB CEO Dr Colin Hunt visited campus during the year to deliver a talk on the future of finance. Addressing a group of students, distinguished visitors and UL faculty, Dr Hunt laid out how much change had taken place in the ‘how’ of banking over the span of his career and predicted major changes for the European Banking system as it consolidates and learns how to finance the climate transition at speed and at scale. Student and staff questions ranged from the introduction of the digital euro to the need to finance new forms of technological change to changes in the world of work in finance, and the risks inherent in banking on a European scale.

The Kemmy Business School’s Executive Dean, Professor Finbarr Murphy, said “Our new sustainability-focused strategy as a business school aligns with Dr Hunt’s vision for a greener, stronger AIB, and as thank him deeply for his time and insights today, I look forward to working with Colin and his colleagues on future events and initiatives.”

Dr Hunt said “As a Munster man it is always wonderful to visit customers and colleagues in the region, and it is clear the Kemmy Business School is flourishing. I was particularly impressed with its students, thanks to all for the kind invite.”

Guest Lecture by Dr

Vincent Roche

CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors of Analog Devices

On 15th May we were delighted to welcome Dr Vincent Roche, CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors of Analog Devices, to the UL campus where he gave a very insightful guest lecture entitled: “UL100: Technological and other considerations as we look forward to the next 50 years”.

Dr Roche is a graduate of the Electronic & Computer Engineering department in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. There was a very large attendance with representation from business leaders, UL staff and students from a range of programmes, and Dr Roche’s lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session with the audience.

After the talk, a ceremony took place to award the 2023 Peter Real Analog Scholarships for US students studying at UL.


UL Founding Class of 1972 Present Cheque for €103,000 Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) Roadshow

As a way of giving back to UL and to mark the 50th anniversary, UL’s Founding Class have donated €103,000 to the UL Foundation to set up an endowment in support of scholarships for UL students who have attended the AccessCampus.

UL Foundation and UL representatives visited cities across the USA during the year to showcase UL’s Immersive Software Engineering programme. Marking St Patrick’s week, the group were hosted in Boston by Analog Device’s Senior Vice President and UL alumnus, Martin Cotter. In New York, they were hosted by Cian Cotter, ULF director, UL alumnus, and managing director of Insight Partners, for a well-attended talk about ISE.

The AccessCampus is a partnership between UL and the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, which concentrates on tackling educational disadvantage at all levels, through financial assistance, but also by providing the social, family, community, teaching and specialist support needed to sustain the commitment to education.

Members of the Founding Class presented the donation to UL President Professor Kerstin Mey in December 2022 at a special event in Plassey House on campus. The Class of ’72 endowment fund is open for further donations from any source and it is our hope that the fund will continue to grow over time, thus ensuring a legacy for future generations to come.

There were several events in San Francisco, including one hosted by Enterprise Ireland and another hosted by Consul General Micheál Smith in San Francisco. These events were a wonderful opportunity for ISE to welcome guests from across these cities and further afield, and showcase the new innovative programme. The Foundation is hugely grateful for the support of our partners in making these events such successes. A special thank you to IDA leaders and UL alumni, Ivan Houlihan and Gemma Allen, for all their support.

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UL Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition 2023

Supporting & Championing Student Entrepreneurs

The projects submitted emerged from across a range of disciplines, from students in first year to postgraduate level. It was positive to see the focus on manufacturing and food/drinks sector, in addition to the increasing focus on the role of AI and digitalisation. The winner of the competition was Dara Newsome who created Second Chapter, a circular economy application designed to democratise the second-hand schoolbook market.

Tech Innovator Qualcomm Supports Digital Design Lab at UL

The world’s leading wireless tech company, Qualcomm, has made a generous donation through the UL Foundation in support of Digital Design education at UL. The gift was used to secure cutting-edge equipment enabling an enhanced learning experience for students at UL’s Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering.

Sarah Hartnett, Director of Development at the UL Foundation added: “This gift is such an impactful way to support UL students, as it allows them access to state-of-the-art equipment which in turn results in graduates with modern, world-class skills. We are very grateful to Qualcomm for their leadership and support in facilitating this.”

The UL Student Entrepreneur of the Year Competition was held this year with the support of the UL Foundation - through the generosity of Ingenium Training & Consulting and Platt & Reilly - and in partnership with the Kemmy Business School.

The Competition aims to motivate and support students to discover their entrepreneurial spirit and turn ideas into business opportunities with commercial and or social potential. Students who entered the competition were supported through a series of workshops on topics such as idea generation, market validation, sourcing finance, pitching, and effective showcasing of new business opportunities. They were also provided with mentoring for personal and idea validation.

Keith Crehan of DEAS, a low calorie, low alcohol Irish beer, secured second place. Keith’s vision is to integrate the Irish language into a product that caters for a variety of interests and dietary requirements, in a market that is proven to be in high demand. The third place went to Somil Khicha for Hover AI. Hover AI is a novel way of integrating open-source artificial intelligence into customer relationships. Counterbalance, a wellbeing and time management app developed by Cillian Fahy, won the fourth prize. Counterbalance is designed to reward productivity and overcome time lag, and both aspects were highly validated by core student-user groups within the University of Limerick.

With approximately 45,000 employees worldwide, Qualcomm is a global leader in the development and commercialization of foundational technologies and products used in mobile devices and other wireless products.

Speaking about the contribution, Professor Colin Fitzpatrick, Head of the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering said: “The ECE department is delighted to receive this gift from Qualcomm and are proud of our association with them. Digital design skills are in huge demand, and this will further enhance the employability of our graduates. We hope that this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.”

David Guthrie, Director of Engineering at Qualcomm, and a graduate from the ECE Department at UL responded by saying: “Qualcomm is delighted to make a charitable donation to the University of Limerick Foundation through our University Relations Program. UL’s Department of Electronic and Computing Engineering has a long history of producing excellent graduates to the High Tech Industry in Ireland and abroad. The Digital Design Lab will be key to building the technical knowledge and capabilities in future graduates who will work in the Semiconductor Industry.”


About the Foundation

We are an independent organisation, supporting world-class education through philanthropy at the University of Limerick.

Our Board comprises local, national and global leadership:

— Mr Harry Fehily UL Foundation, Chairman & Managing Partner, HOLMES

— Dr Gerry Boland Chartered Accountant

— Ms Anne Alexis Coté Taylor Health Care Professional (retired)

— Mr Cian Cotter Managing Director, Insight Partners

— Mr Daniel Geary Private Investor

— Dr Loretta Brennan Glucksman Philanthropist

— Dr Mary Harney Chancellor, University of Limerick

— Ms Rose Hynes Company Director

— Mr Mark C Kennelly CEO, Golf Ireland

— Mr Paul G Kimball Founder, Sagebrush Capital

— Dr James P McCarron Jr MD FACS, Diplomate, American Board of Urology

— Mr Richard A Meaney Former Senior VP, Analog Devices Inc.

— Professor Kerstin Mey President, University of Limerick

— Dr Michael J Noonan Former TD & Minister for Finance

— Mr James S Normile Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

— Mr Michael D O’Keeffe Owner, The Water Club Restaurant & the River Café, NY

— Ms Kathleen M O’Toole Consultant, O’Toole Associates LLC

— Mr Ralph Parkes Investor & Property Developer

— Dr Michael J Tiernan Managing Director, Tiernan Properties

— Dr Daniel P Tierney Founder & Director, Industry Research & Development Group

— Dr Edward M Walsh Founding President, University of Limerick

— Mr Niall Murphy Secretary, University of Limerick Foundation

— Dr Hugh O’Donnell Founder of Ingenium Training and Consulting & Special Advisor to the UL Foundation Board

We were delighted to welcome two new directors to our board during the year: Ms Anne Alexis Coté Taylor and Mr Cian Cotter (UL Class of 1994, BBS)

Former Director, Dr Michael Houlihan, received an honorary doctorate from UL in April


Thank You

UL FOUNDATION IMPACT REPORT 2023 23 UL FOUNDATION IMPACT REPORT 2023 24 This report offers highlights and does not include every gift received this year.
A selection of those supporting us this year

A community driven by passion and a shared vision for the impact of education, teaching, research & learning

University of Limerick Foundation University of Limerick, Limerick, V94 T9PX Email Phone +353 (0)61 337 087 Designed @ www.

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