Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Celebrating the students and graduates who make Queen’s and the wider community a better place

Student of the Year Trophy



30 November 2020



For the first time in it's 22 year history, the Student of the Year award went to a group of over 700 students from a range of faculties and schools across the University. 

The Award went to frontline final year and graduating students in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences (MHLS) and in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW), in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The students in these cohorts were acknowledged for selflessly stepping forward to aid the fight against COVID-19 in the community in varioous locations throughout Northern Ireland.

Click here to read the full story of this year's winning Student of the Year cohort.



Marie-Thérèse McGivern, BSSc Political Science (1976) – Chair of the Belfast Maritime Trust, Non-Executive Director on the Board of NI Water, Non-Executive Director on the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland and, until March 2020, Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College – has been announced as the recipient of the 2020 AIB (NI) Queen’s Graduate of the Year Award.

Click here to read the full story of this year's Graduate of the Year. 


Queen’s students are distinguished alumni in the making. Every year thousands of individual students make a positive impact by participating in community service projects, internships and volunteer activities both on and off campus.

Those nominated for the Student of the Year Award should have made a significant contribution to the life of the University – or to the lives of others – during the previous 12 months. 

In the past, this Award has gone to individuals for their volunteer work or their entrepreneurism and to groups of law, medical and engineering students for initiatives and breakthroughs in their respective fields.  The current holder is Gift Sontonye-Frank.

Click here for a full list of previous winners of the Student of the Year Awards. 


Nominations for individual – or groups – of graduates should be for those who have made a substantial contribution to the arts, sciences or business or to sporting, public or academic life. Entries for those who have made a significant contribution to the lives of others, or to the life of the University, can also be considered.

Previous graduate recipients have come from many different fields including architecture (Johann Muldoon), broadcasting (Jonny Bramley), rugby (David Humphreys), GAA (Kieran McGeeney), business (Dr Anita Sands), the arts (The Priests) and law (Lord Brian Kerr).  The current Graduate of the Year is global diversity and inclusion leader, Sheree Atcheson.

The recipient(s) of the Graduate of the Year Award will need to be available to attend the annual black tie Charter Day Dinner on 20 November, organised by Queen’s Graduates’ Association.

The Awards judging panel consists of representatives of the QGA, the University, the Students' Union and First Trust Bank. The judges stress that academic qualifications, high office or fame are not prerequisites to winning; they will also be looking for nominations that are novel, courageous, innovative or even bold.

Click here for a full list of previous winners of the Graduate of the Year Awards.  

Allied Irish Bank (formerly First Trust Bank) has supported the prestigious Awards since their launch.  The Bank's endorsement helps recognise and celebrate the achievments of outstanding Queen's Students and graduates who make such a valuable input to life in Northern Ireland and beyond.

For further details please contact Queen’s University Alumni Engagement Officer Andy Nisbet Friel, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 1945.

General inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office at Queen’s; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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