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    Devenish Chairman speaks at 2015 Harper Ireland society dinner

    Posted 2 March 2015

    Before I came here I was completely satisfied that Harper Adams was capable of helping you with all of those things. Having seen what I have seen today, I am even more convinced."

    Owen Brennan's toast to Harper Ireland

    More than 100 guests enjoyed an evening of good food, great company and inspirational words at the Harper Ireland student society dinner on Friday.

    Held at the Madeley Court Hotel in Telford and organised by the students, the dinner is the second biggest night of the Irish students’ social calendar – beaten only by the forthcoming Paddy’s Ball!

    The guest speaker was Owen Brennan, Chairman and Chief Executive of Devenish. Mr Brennan was among a group of guests who travelled across to England for the dinner and first spent a day visiting the campus, meeting students and staff and learning about new developments.

    Ahead of proposing a toast to the Harper Ireland society and the University, Owen Brennan told the students: “There will be huge demand in the marketplace for people like you - but what are employers going to be looking for? What should you concentrate on? In my opinion what they will look for is people with energy, people with ambition, people who are willing to work hard and people who have got relevant skills and good training.

    “Before I came here I was completely satisfied that Harper Adams was capable of helping you with all of those things. Having seen what I have seen today, I am even more convinced.

    “One of the things that particularly pleased me about today’s visit was the continuing large scale investment in facilities - that is really important. The second thing that is really important is the focus on good science. When I visited the dairy this afternoon I spent a little bit of time looking at the published papers on the notice board and saw a commitment to good science.”

    Dr David Llewellyn, University Vice-Chancellor and President of Harper Ireland, thanked Mr Brennan for his inspirational words and supported the sentiment that a world of opportunity awaits the students. Dr Llewellyn also gave thanks for the support Devenish gives to Harper Adams students by sponsoring scholarships. He also praised the students on the Harper Ireland committee for their hard work in organising the dinner and wished them every success for Paddy’s Ball.

    Finally, Dr Llewellyn gave thanks to Basil Bayne, secretary of the Harper Adams in Ireland association for past students, who is about to stand down from his role as a trustee of the Harper Adams University Development Trust, which raises funds to support new developments and oversees student scholarships. The trust has made huge progress in recent years. Scholarships, which had a total value of £17,000 for a handful of students in 2006, have reached a total of £290,000, to 106 students, in the current year.

    “The trustees have done an enormous job for all of you,” he told the students, “Thank you Basil for all you have done in that respect.”

    After the presentation of awards (details below), outgoing Chairman Adam Patterson handed over to 2015/16 Harper Ireland Chairman James Law, supported by committee members who took office in late 2014.


    The Victor Truesdale Award - Kathryn Mills

    The President’s Prize - Richard Cox

    President’s Special Award - Lee Higgins

    GAA Award - Paraic Nyhan

    Harper Ireland Club Award (scholarship) – Matt Morrow

    Harper Ireland Club Discretionary Award – Dora Nesbitt


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