From the Nominator
The UCD Festival is a core way for University College Dublin to engage in a meaningful way with alumni, and the UCD community of faculty, students, staff, and the public. The aim of the festival is to showcase and celebrate the work and community of UCD, to open the campus to the general public and local community, and offer attendees the opportunity to interact and engage with professional and academic staff, students, and other members of the UCD community, while exploring the state-of-the-art campus for one day in June. The UCD Festival began as an alumni and community engagement initiative in 2016 and has grown over the past four years, in terms of numbers attending, the collaboration and participation of schools and colleges, organisations supporting and contributing content, the audience it reaches, and scope of the festival’s multi-disciplinary events programme.
From the Judges
This is a really ambitious undertaking and a huge, complex event. It clearly hits its community engagement mark, and also makes people proud to be associated with the university, whether as alumni or members of the community. One judge said, “I love that it brings in the community for an intellectual, and scaled-up, version of a neighborhood carnival, one that inspires young people and lets them see what a university campus looks like from the inside.” Another said, “Family-friendly events can often feel kind of corny or without real learning opportunities, but this was packed with the latter and really felt modern and fun.” This was an event with huge reach and seemed to have an added bonus of being a bonding opportunity for members of the university—a fun way for departments to apply what they do in a different way. The team also seemed to have a really complete and thoughtful method for measuring their success.