On Wednesday 15 May, the outgoing Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, presented John D’Arcy with the Lord Mayor’s certificate, recognising The Open University’s contribution to education and learning in the city of Belfast.
The award, which is rarely given, was presented at The Open University’s held a 50th anniversary Reception and Dinner at Belfast City Hall. Sponsored by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, the event brought together over 100 supporters, partners, staff and students of the University from across Northern Ireland to celebrate 50 years of opening up education to all.
In a speech to attendees on the night, the Lord Mayor praised The Open University for its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and for its innovative approach to education over the last 50 years in enabling thousands of people to achieve qualifications and transform their lives. She also awarded the Lord Mayor’s Certificate to Nation Director, John D’Arcy, in recognition of The Open University’s contribution to education and learning in the city of Belfast.
John D’Arcy, National Director of The Open University, said:
“The Open University is honoured to receive such a special award. It is a tremendous acknowledgement of the OU’s mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and that the original aim of The Open University to open up education to all is still as relevant and radical as it was in 1969.”
Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: “As we’ve outlined in The Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan, Belfast City Council is passionate about helping to create opportunities for people to develop, enhance their life skills and participate in learning throughout their lives. We’re very fortunate to have world class further and higher educational institutions here which really improve people’s quality of life and help them to realise their ambitions. I commend The Open University for their tireless commitment to opening up pathways to learning, inspiration and personal growth and wish them every continued success for the next 50 years and beyond.”