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Jim retired in July of 2013, almost 30 years to the day since
he started. The number of changes that he has witnessed
across the last four decades would fill a book, he admits:
"There have been so many changes from the improvements
and expansion of the buildings to the explosion in student
numbers, but, if you ask me what the biggest change has
been, I would have to say that when I started in 1983 it
seemed a relatively quiet campus in that month of July. Today,
the College is a hive of activity all year round.
"Apart entirely from the multitude of study programmes and
student activities, the College is now used for a huge range
of academic conferences and events, as well as prestigious
functions of all kinds. The last ten years in particular have
been spectacular."
One of Jim's proudest days was in 2000 when his son, Dr
Mark Sherlock graduated from RCSI. "I led Mark up for
his conferring on his graduation day. He had always been
interested in science but it was actually a visit to an RCSI
Open Day when he was 16 that led him to choose medicine
as a career."
What meant the most to Jim over the years though, he says,
has been the interaction with staff and students: "The College
is like a very, very big family and for me what made the job
so enjoyable and so special was the banter, the good humour
and friendships formed over the years. From the most senior
staff to the youngest first year students, it's the people that
makes the RCSI so unique as far as I'm concerned."
Alumni involvement is integral to key RCSI activities, as Orla
explains: "Alumni have an important role to play in terms
of student mentorship, advice on curriculum development,
business development, marketing of the College, assistance
with filling employment opportunities that arise from time to
time internationally and engaging in philanthropic activities
to support major College developments such as the New
Academic and Education Building."
Alumni development involves creating and developing
structures that enhance the engagement of individual
alumni with each other and with RCSI. This process is taken
extremely seriously by RCSI staff, according to Orla: "The
Alumni Office liaise closely with Faculty executives and
heads of schools and departments. RCSI supports alumni
development by hosting its annual alumni reunion event, as
well as various national and international events for alumni
throughout the year. We stay in touch with our alumni
primarily via our monthly e-zine.
"As RCSI strives to reduce its carbon footprint, electronic
communications and new technologies such as video will
play a greater role than print. I would like to encourage all
alumni to make sure we have your current email address to
enable us to engage with you as often as possible at little
financial or environmental cost."
Orla's role primarily involves providing leadership and
strategic direction to the Alumni Team at RCSI. She
notes: "A key focus of my role is to establish and enhance
processes whereby we can leverage and share the extensive
knowledge and support that alumni can offer the College.
Every day, I encounter alumni from across RCSI and its
international campuses that have an incredible sense of
connection with the College. Two, five, ten or twenty years
graduated, it does not matter the sense of connection they
feel is very strong."
Strong increase in alumni engagement
Our alumni are a core part of RCSI and play an important role in contributing to the
development of students and programmes. Orla Purcell, Associate Director, Alumni
Development, spoke to
RCSI Matters
about the enhancement of alumni engagement
Head Porter Jim Sherlock retires after 30 years
A reassuring, resourceful and ever-popular presence at RCSI for thirty years, Jim
Sherlock retired from his position of Head Porter last summer. Jim shares some of his
memories with
RCSI Matters
Orla Purcell, Associate
Director, Alumni
Development, RCSI.
Jim Sherlock.