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    Posted 19 May 2004

    A Shropshire student has been awarded a prestigious academic prize to honour his tireless and imaginative contribution to college life.

    Cathal McCarron, 23, has won the Victor Truesdale Prize, which is awarded annually to a final year student at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire.

    Cathal, who is studying BSc Agricultural Engineering and Market Management, was chosen to receive the prize after demonstrating leadership, team-building and effective communication skills throughout his time at the university college, thus making an outstanding contribution to the corporate life of the student community.

    Originally from Dromore, County Tyrone, Cathal is a former pupil of the Christian Brother Grammar School, in Omagh. He earned a BTEC National Diploma in Electronic Engineering before entering Harper Adams in 1999.

    An active member of Harper Ireland, the dynamic and popular society which brings together students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Cathal has been responsible for organizing a number of successful events and outings.

    As part of his studies he organized his own work placements, including four months on a French farm, and an extensive spell in Germany, working in the advertising department of John Deere. After completing his degree this summer, Cathal hopes to work in the agricultural industry.

    He said: “I was very surprised when I was told I had won the Victor Truesdale Prize. Being a prestigious award there was a lot of stiff competition for it, so I’m honoured to have been chosen. In the five years I’ve been at Harper Adams I’ve always been involved with the college’s clubs at a committee level. Harper Ireland is one of the best clubs here for getting things done and enjoying the social side of college life.”

    Claire Robertson-Bennett, press officer at Harper Adams, added: “Cathal is an outstanding student who, as well as achieving academic success, has dedicated a great deal of time to help fellow students both socially and in their studies. The Harper Ireland committee is tireless in helping students make the best of their time at Harper Adams, and Cathal has been a leading light in the society. He is popular with both staff and students, and thoroughly deserves this prestigious prize. We wish him great luck when he leaves us this summer.”

    Cathal will be presented with the unique Tyrone Crystal Bowl and a cash award provided by John Thompson & Sons Ltd at the Harper Adams in Ireland dinner in Enniskillen on April 23.

    Cathal is the third student to be honoured with the Truesdale Prize. It was introduced in 2002 in honour of Victor Truesdale, Sales Director of John Thompson & Sons Ltd.,

    Belfast, the leading feed compounder in Northern Ireland. Victor died in February 2001 after a nine-year battle with cancer.

    He first visited Harper Adams in 1992 and two years later introduced Thompson’s as the leading sponsor of the Dinner at Dungannon, at which Harper Adams in Ireland, the association of past Harper Adams students in Ireland, formally came into being.

    In the following years Victor continued his support of Harper Adams in Ireland functions, through sponsored dinners, conferences, technical meetings and social occasions organized by the Association both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. In 1995, he helped establish an International Travel Scholarship for a Harper Adams student from Ireland.

    In 1996 the Association invited Victor Truesdale to become its first Honorary Member, in recognition of his enthusiastic support of Harper Adams in Ireland during its formative years. Honorary membership of the Association is offered only to persons with no formal connection with the college, yet who have been outstanding in their support of the objectives of the Association.


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