29 November 2001

The University of Queensland’s Ipswich campus will reach an important milestone tomorrow when 150 students take part in the inaugural Ipswich graduation ceremony.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay said the ceremony, which will commence at 6pm in the Ipswich Civic Hall, was a much-anticipated event.

“The degrees conferred will be as modern as UQ Ipswich itself, acknowledging the completion of programs tailor-made for teaching from the first purpose-built, completely web-enabled campus in Australia,” Professor Hay said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development) Professor Trevor Grigg said the graduands have been students at UQ Ipswich since its opening day in February 1999.

“Our new graduates have helped shape their alma mater. Now they will be our ambassadors in the world of work,” Professor Grigg said.

The ceremony, for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, is the first of 19 graduation ceremonies to be held by The University of Queensland over the next month.

The Ipswich ceremony will comprise graduands from the faculties of Arts; Business, Economics and Law; Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture; and Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Guest speaker will be the University Chancellor and former Member for Ipswich, Sir Llewellyn Edwards, who was born and educated in the area.

Professor Hay will give the welcoming speech while Professor Grigg will make the closing remarks.

Other speakers will include Councillor Denise Hanley (Ipswich City Council), Dr Hugh Bartholomeusz (Friends of UQ Ipswich) and valedictorian Gloria McGreevy (telephone 5464 6752).

Ms McGreevy is one of the University’s first Bachelor of Electronic Commerce graduands.

Her outstanding Grade Point Average (GPA), which she prefers not to disclose, has seen her gain membership into the internationally recognised Golden Key National Honour Society.

Dedicated to excellence and service, membership is by invitation only and is extended to students in the top 15 per cent of their field of study.

The 24-year-old, who grew up in Purga, a farming area on the outskirts of Ipswich, has already secured a full-time position with Ernst and Young in their eRisk solutions team.

“I am very thankful to Ernst and Young for giving me this opportunity, however I don’t think it would have been possible without the skills and knowledge I acquired at UQ Ipswich,” she said.

“The campus’ flexible learning delivery and interactive approach really appealed to me and as I look back over the last few years, I know I made the right decision in transferring from commerce to e-commerce.

“I am proud to be one of UQ Ipswich’s first graduates and am very honoured to be this year’s valedictorian.

“I will miss the relaxed and friendly campus, in fact I’m sure all the graduates will miss it, it’s like a big family where I always felt at home.

“Although I don’t know what the future holds for me, I do know that I have the best possible start and the necessary skills for today’s world.”

Ipswich born and bred 26-year-old Tom Keenan (telephone 3381 1037) is another student eagerly awaiting the graduation ceremony.

The Bachelor of Business Communication graduand has achieved a perfect overall GPA of seven, after earning the highest possible grade for every subject since enrolling in 1999.

“I always try to do my best, there’s no point doing anything unless you’re whole-hearted about it,” he said.

“An undergraduate degree is certainly a step in the right direction. The grades are a bonus really, there’s always one subject you’re a bit concerned about and so I’ve managed to surprise even myself.

“I decided that I wanted to go back to university to discover how organisation change could be handled effectively. The Bachelor of Business Communication here at UQ has certainly shown me that.”

Mr Keenan plans to continue studying at UQ Ipswich and will commence his yearlong honours program later this month.
Media: For further information, contact Joanne van Zeeland at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2619).