Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Lord Ara Darzi Receives Distinguished Graduate Award at RCSI Alumni Gala Reunion

01 September 2009

Professor Lord Ara Darzi, former Parliamentary Under Secretary in the UK Department of Health received  the Distinguished Graduates Award at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)’s Alumni Weekend. More than 250 medical graduates and their guests travelled  from all parts of Ireland and across the globe to be stimulated and entertained, revisit old places and renew acquaintances during this annual event, which  was run from Thursday, 10th until Sunday, 13th September.

Pictured from l to r are Mr Hy Browne, Class of 1956; Professor Lord Darzi, recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award and Professor Sarah Rogers, (Class of 1968), President Association of Gradautes.

Lord Darzi, who graduated from RCSI in 1984, is one of the world's leading surgeons at Imperial College London, specialising in the field of minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery, having pioneered many new techniques and technologies. In 2002, he was awarded a knighthood for his services to medicine and surgery and subsequently elevated to peerage in 2007. He announced his resignation from his ministerial position on July 14, 2009, in order to return to his full-time clinical and research activities.


This years Alumni Weekend, which  was sponsored by Quintiles & Innovex, celebrated the classes who graduated in 1949, 1959, 1964, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989 and 1999. It included  a full programme of activites and a scientific meeting.

Throughout the three days, graduates enjoyed various activities such as a golf outing to the K Club in CountyKildare, a tour to Glendalough and PowerscourtGardens in CountyWicklow; a walking tour of Dublin and a reception and gala dinner held in the College on Saturday evening.

 On Friday, 11th September the RCSI Scientific meeting added another dimension to the weekend as talks and poster presentations were  given by former graduates and leading medical professionals and academics from RCSI. Among the speakers were  Professor Cathal Kelly, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who spoke  about the new and innovative curriculum at RCSI and Professor Hannah McGee, Deputy Director of Research at RCSI briefed  the group on  RCSI’s Research Strategy; Dr. Rachel Stanley from the class of 1989 gave a talk about “A description of the First Federally Funded Emergency Medicine Research Network in the US” and Dr. David Crooks from the class of 1989 spoke  about “Breast Cancer Risk Reduction.” 

Professor Cathal Kelly, said “It is a privilege to welcome our graduates back to RCSI . Alumni weekend offers special opportunities to rekindle relationships and affiliations as well as networking amongst peers. RCSI has a proud tradition of educating some of the finest medical professionals. The graduates here this weekend are a reflection of this educational ethos.”

 John Kiernan, CEO of Quintiles & Innovex said “Alumni reunions allow graduates to reconnect with former class mates, as well as providing an opportunity to forge new professional relationships. We are delighted to be supporting this weekend again this year.”