University of Limerick Foundation Impact Report 2021

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Impact Report 2021




from our Chairman I was privileged recently to be entrusted with the responsibility of being the Foundation Chairman. The UL Foundation is at a crossroads for not only the Foundation itself but also the University. In the midst of a global pandemic, a financial crisis and at a critical juncture for the funding of the Foundation, I believe that the work that has been carried out in the short space of time has laid the groundwork for the future success of both the Foundation and the University. This has very much been a team effort and I want to thank all our Board Members, our Strategic Advisor, CEO Harvey and the team for all the great work they are doing. The decisions that have been taken are already starting to bear fruit. The Foundation has been extremely fortunate to have had the generous backing of Dr Chuck Feeney and The Atlantic Philanthropies since the Foundation’s inception in 1989. This has enabled us to channel more than €200 million into projects at the University of Limerick (UL). Among these are some of the most significant infrastructural investments made across the campus, including the Bernal Institute, School of Medicine, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, world-class sporting facilities and student residences.

Our goal is to continue this legacy and indeed to build upon it, as will be necessary to ensure UL’s continued standing as an institution of academic excellence. The Foundation has enabled some of UL’s most transformational projects. Philanthropy is more important today than ever before. Reflecting upon Dr Feeney’s immense legacy and as we move toward the University of Limerick’s 50th Anniversary next year, I am excited by the opportunities ahead. I look forward to working closely with UL’s President and our growing number of supporters, to underline the University’s place as a world-class centre of learning, and as an asset for which the Mid-West can be truly proud. I invite you to join me on this adventure as we seek to achieve this goal together and to build for a stronger and brighter future.

Harry Fehily

UL Foundation, Chairman and Managing Partner, Holmes



Thank you from our CEO

Like our Chairman, I am relatively new to the CEO role. I joined in January 2020. It was from modest beginnings in Plassey House that UL has grown from just 1,545m² in 1972 to more than 250,000m² today. Philanthropy has been a pivotal catalyst in achieving this growth and allowed UL to leverage State, commercial and other resources to maximum impact. I have been overwhelmed by the weight that business leaders, alumni, friends and supporters place on UL’s importance in the Mid-West, nationally and globally. It holds a special place in the hearts of many. Despite the Covid-19 challenges we have all faced since the pandemic unfolded at the start of 2020, UL Foundation has had a very strong year thanks to the generous financial backing of our donors. The number of new supporters making large multiyear commitments is at a record high, which allows UL to plan with confidence.

While there is much to be proud of, it is what we have yet to do that excites me most.

As we prepare for UL’s fiftieth year, we look to supporters who share our ambition and embrace the projects that will shape the University of Limerick’s next fifty years. Thank you to everyone who makes our work possible.

Harvey Duthie UL Foundation CEO


Our Collective Impact The support of our Donors, Foundation Board, UL President and Academics has enabled:

€3.49 million in grants made

€5.1 million

of new commitments secured


scholarships and bursaries gifted


growth in new donor income





With our primary objective being the furtherance of education and research, UL Foundation is a company limited by guarantee (incorporated in 1989, company number 147116). — We are a charity registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority (charity number 20024260) and are registered with the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland (charitable taxation number CHY 9688). — This year was an important year for all charities in Ireland. While the Charities Governance Code was launched almost three years ago, 2021 is the first year that all charities must report on their compliance. The Foundation used this as an opportunity to review our activities and further strengthen our internal structures and reporting. — In addition to our Board, we have four very active Board Committees, which each meet 2 – 4 times annually: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Operations Finance and Risk Nominations Remuneration

— Fundraising, administration, reporting and other day-to-day activities are managed by a small team of four. — During the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, the Foundation increased its communications with supporters through personalised gift reports, video updates and newsletters. — The Foundation is audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). — Our bank is Bank of Ireland, Castletroy Park, Limerick. — The Foundation receives financial assistance from the University of Limerick, which ensures that donor funds can be deployed directly to the projects supported.



An Enduring &

Valued Partnership Analog Devices (ADI) is one of the Foundation’s longest serving, most deeply engaged and generous supporters. This year alone, ADI was one of our largest donors to UL’s new Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme, while also investing in capital, scholarships and other projects across the campus. Thank you for your commitment to UL and Ireland’s Mid-West. Speaking about ADI’s relationship with UL, Vincent Roche, President & CEO of Analog Devices said:

‘ What the future brings for both of us depends on how big those dreams are and the courage we have to fulfil those dreams.’

Vincent Roche

President & CEO Analog Devices


Scholarships Transform Lives


One of the most impactful and diverse ways that UL Foundation supports students is through scholarships. Investing in students from groups that have been under-represented in the university sector for socio-economic reasons; enabling meaningful diversity; and rewarding academic merit and sporting excellence are among our top priorities. Next year to mark UL’s 50th Anniversary and with the support of our donors, we aim to secure a further fifty new scholarships.

A selection of our scholarships include: 1 Analog Devices Robbie McAdam Scholarships; Analog Devices Peter Real Scholarships

15 Intel Women in Technology; Intel Paul Whelan Memorial; Intel Diversity Scholarships

2 Anthony Foley Scholarships

16 Irish World Academy of Music and Dance Scholarship, from RTE Lyric FM, Anthony Foley Fund and The Atlantic Philanthropies

3 Arup Awards and Women in Civil Engineering Scholarship 4 BD Scholarships in Science & Engineering; BD Bursaries for Women in STEM

17 Jean Monnet European Studies Entrance Bursary

5 Bursary for My Future, Undergraduate Access Bursary

18 Noel Ryan Access Scholarships 19 Orix Aviation Fiachra Treacy Scholarships

6 Clare County Council Scholarship in History

20 Roadbridge Civil Engineering Masters Scholarship

7 Dooley endowed Rowing Scholarship 8 Downer endowed Nursing Scholarship 9 Ei Electronics Women in Engineering Scholarship 10 ESB Turbine PhD Scholarships 11 GECAS Women in Aviation Scholarships 12 Holmes Scholarship in Law 13 High Performance Rowing Bursary

Sarah Hartnett

UL Foundation Director of Development

14 Immersive Software Engineering Access and Diversity Scholarships

21 Stepping Stone Undergraduate Bursary 22 Stryker Engineering Scholarships 23 The Atlantic Philanthropies School of Medicine Scholarships 24 Universal Music UK Music Scholarships


Major Investment in Medical Advances

We are still deploying the truly transformational financial support received from Dr Chuck Feeney. This year, that included funding for senior academic posts and post-doctoral and postgraduate roles within UL’s Academic Medical Centre. Their focus included advancing healthcare research in physical activity, social inclusion, ageing and oncology.

A Landmark for our School of Medicine Since our School of Medicine opened, philanthropy has provided Scholarships to 103 students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These are students who would not otherwise have been able to undertake our medical degree programme. The Scholarships cover fees for four years and include a small bursary towards accommodation costs. Contact if you would like to learn more about supporting a student.

“ I genuinely cannot stress the immense importance that this financial support meant to me. Scholarships such as this greatly influence the third level education of people, like myself, who would not ordinarily have the financial opportunity and backing to explore Medicine at a Graduate level, as it comes at a huge financial cost. Pragmatically speaking, without the aid of the Access to Medicine Scholarship I would not be practicing Medicine now.”

Scholarship Recipient




Teaching & Learning


The University of Limerick has a proud tradition of innovation, engagement with industry and of moving fast. To meet the spike in demand for software engineers, and the market’s need for work-ready graduates, UL has completely reimagined software teaching and learning. With its new Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme, UL has created something truly game-changing. In just 18 months, and with generous philanthropic backing from John and Patrick Collison, Analog Devices and others, UL transformed an idea into a new programme ready for next year’s Central Applications Office (CAO) processes. ISE will change how software engineering is taught, with students spending as much as 40% of their time on paid industry placements. They will learn directly from some of the largest global software firms, innovative start-ups and established global powerhouses.

“From the most exciting startups in Ireland to the world’s most successful tech companies, UL Foundation has built a fabulous coalition to support the Immersive Software Engineering course.”

John Collison

Co-founder and President of Stripe


Pioneers in Education

‘ UL has always been a pioneer. We are a ‘disruptor’ in the most positive sense, and we are agile. Chuck Feeney saw something different in us, and fifty years after our foundation, we continue to push boundaries. We are a community of problem-solvers - it is part of UL’s DNA.’

Professor Kerstin Mey President, University of Limerick



Our Growing Coalition

of Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) supporters



ISE Supporter Spotlight

“ Speaking as somebody who’s been programming since age 13, I am a huge supporter of this immersive education approach and can’t recommend it highly enough to anybody who really wants to put programming first and foremost in their career.”

Bobby Healy

CEO and Founder, Manna and ISE Advisory Board member

“ We are building something truly world-class, and as a Limerick native and UL graduate, I’m really excited to be a part of it. I encourage ambitious problem solvers to join us.”

Barry Lunn

Founder and CEO, Provizio and ISE Advisory Board member



State-of-the-Art Research Space & Globally Recognised Leadership The Atlantic Philanthropies made key contributions to the successful development of the Bernal Institute, targeting global leadership in structured materials research, addressing grand challenges in health, as well as energy and the environment.

“ The generous support of The Atlantic Philanthropies to the physical and human capital of the Institute, building on UL’s proven research strengths in the materials domain, enabled us to achieve those ambitions – we can’t thank them enough.”

Prof. Luuk van der Wielen, Director, Bernal Institute




World-Class Sporting Facilities

UL has invested more than €70 million in world-class sporting facilities. Much of this has been enabled or backed by philanthropic funding. Ireland’s first 50m pool, tallest climbing wall, our international athletics track, a 60m indoor sprint track, three lane indoor jogging track and the largest array of natural and synthetic grass outdoor sports facilities in Ireland are just some of facilities enjoyed by UL students.

One of the most recent additions is Munster Rugby’s High Performance Training Centre which includes an extensive gym, medical and physiotherapy treatment rooms, offices, changing rooms, analysis suite, meeting rooms and a 65-seat auditorium.

‘ The University of Limerick’s sports facilities are truly world-class. Among them, Munster Rugby’s high-performance centre on the campus offers an unrivalled training space.’

Peter O’MahonyPresident,

Munster Rugby and UL Ambassador




A Selection of Highlights UL’s new Academy for Children, which is run by our Access office, was championed by a number of Foundation Board members. The Academy addresses the educational inequalities experienced by Limerick’s most disadvantaged children.


A very successful pilot programme was completed with 5th and 6th class primary school children in a local DEIS school. The programme will be extended to additional schools and we hope to offer further philanthropic support.

Boston Scientific, in addition to its support for UL’s new Immersive Software Engineering programme, was the first to back our new MULtiply initiative. MULtiply couples UL resources with donor funds, doubling the impact of each gift, and deploys it to support PhD scholarships. With an emphasis on the best early career researchers, it also seeks to advance the sustainable development goals. It is a project the Foundation hopes to expand over the coming year. Thank you to Boston Scientific for your leadership and commitment to UL and to the Mid-West.

UL’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Awards were jointly funded by UL Foundation Board Director, Ralph Parkes and Ingenium training and consulting. Well done to the winners, and to everyone who took part in the awards.


Alumnus, Patrick Meskell, and his wife Darlene, gifted UL its first ever Poet in Residence. This wonderful resource will complement the Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing and build on and expand UL’s rich history in the Arts.

A committed Alumnus enabled the Chemical Sciences Department to purchase a Fixed Bed Absorption Unit. This key learning tool offers students practical workplace experience during their UL studies.

A generous major gift from the JP McManus Pro-Am 2022 enabled the purchase of specialist capital equipment. It allowed us to fast-track UL’s Covid-19 response with equipment for research on the virus, as well as to support students and staff coming to terms with the impact of the pandemic. This included essential temperature scanners for high footfall locations across the campus. We also continue to receive generous support from the JP McManus Charitable Foundation for the AccessCampus initiative, a partnership between UL and the local community.

The Foundation was able to provide a grant to Moyo Nua, led by UL student Jack O’Connor. This innovative project, delivered in partnership with GOAL Global, saw the production and distribution of ergonomic seed planters, which have a hugely positive impact on smallholder farmers in Malawi.

The Limerick Digital Cancer Research Centre (LDCRC) is one of the projects we have been actively fundraising for this year. A generous gift enabled the purchase of capital equipment to accelerate the LDCRC’s work.

The University was able to assist many students in financial crisis due to the pandemic, thanks to the generosity of UL alumni who have supported the Foundation’s Annual Fund Appeal with donations to the Student Financial Aid Fund. There was an increase in demand as a result of the implications of Covid-19, with a large number of students experiencing financial difficulties.

Vodafone Ireland Foundation has committed nearly fifty handsets, phone credit and sim cards to support Access Students studying at UL.


A selection of those who are working with the Foundation to advance education in the Mid-West, nationally and globally.






The Foundation We are grateful of the financial support, time, expertise and network our Board brings to the Foundation’s work. 10 Mr Paul G Kimball, Founder, Sagebrush Capital

17 Dr Paul O’Connell, Ireland Rugby

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

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

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

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

5 Dr Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Philanthropist

13 Professor Kerstin Mey, President, University of Limerick

20 Mr Ralph Parkes, Investor & Property Developer

6 Ms Mary Harney, Chancellor, University of Limerick

14 Mr Niall Murphy, Secretary, University of Limerick Foundation

21 Dr Michael J Tiernan, Managing Director, Tiernan Properties

7 Mr Michael P Houlihan, Consultant, M Houlihan & Partners Solicitors

15 Mr Michael J Noonan, Former TD & Minister for Finance

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

8 Ms Rose Hynes, Company Director

16 Mr James S Normile, Partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

23 Dr Edward M Walsh, Founding President, University of Limerick

1 Mr Harry Fehily, UL Foundation, Chairman and Managing Partner, Holmes 2 Dr Gerry Boland, Chartered Accountant 3 Mr Daniel Geary, Private Investor 4 Mr Conor Gilligan, CEO, Roadbridge

9 Mr Mark C Kennelly, CEO, Golf Ireland

Dr Charles F Feeney, Philanthropist & Director Emeritus, University of Limerick Foundation

Dr Hugh J O’Donnell, Founder, Ingenium training and consulting & Special Advisor to the UL Foundation Board


Dr Chuck Feeney, Dr Frank Rhodes, Former President Cornell University and UL’s Dr Edward Walsh (1988)


Building on our rich legacy for an even brighter future


Ambition for the Future The University of Limerick’s new Strategic Plan will soon be launched, and we are excited to play a leading role in advancing it. UL Foundation and our donors embrace vision, scale, and landmark projects that will pave the way for UL’s next fifty years.


Thank you. This report offers highlights and does not include every gift received this year.

Email Phone +353 (0) 61 337087

Designed @

University of Limerick Foundation First Floor, Plassey House, University of Limerick, Limerick, V94 T9PX