L-R: Fintan Breen, Chairperson, UL Alumni Association (ULAA), Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Peter Power T.D., Nika Gilauri, Prime Minister of Georgia, Professor Donal Dineen, Dean of the Kemmy Business School.
Returning to the campus for the first time since his graduation from the University of Limerick in 1999, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr Nika Gilauri BBS '99 delivered the inaugural lecture in the new ULAA Alumni Lecture Series.
An Honours Graduate of Business Studies (Economics & Finance), Mr Gilauri is the highest ranking political figure within the UL alumni community and he readily accepted the invitation of the UL Alumni Association to deliver a lecture on Friday, 27 November. This is the first of a new series which aims to bring accomplished graduates of UL back to the campus each year to deliver a lecture of interest to the student, graduate, faculty/staff and wider communities. This lecture series is sponsored by Ulster Bank.
The theme of Mr Gilauri's Lecture was "Georgia: New Opportunities in a Reforming Economy".
Speaking on his return visit to his alma mater, Georgian-born Mr Gilauri - whose brother, Irakli (now Chief Executive of the Bank of Georgia) also graduated from UL - said: "Studying at the University of Limerick is an unforgettable experience for me. It shaped my life, career and vision."
Welcoming Mr Gilauri back to the campus, Prof Don Barry, President of UL said: "Every time our alumni achieve success in life, the foundation they have received at UL is affirmed. When our graduates succeed in their careers and contribute to society, the currency of their degree is enhanced and the reputation of UL is strengthened. Our alumni are our permanent ambassadors and Nika Gilauri is a wonderful ambassador for UL."
The lecture was also attended by a large number of the growing UL alumni community, including many former classmates of 34-year old Mr Gilauri. Speaking after the lecture, Mr Fintan Breen, Chairperson, UL Alumni Association (ULAA) said "We are honoured to have Nika Gilauri join us today. We are delighted Nika feels so strongly about maintaining links with our alma mater and he continues to be an inspiration to fellow UL alumni."
Nika Gilauri gets a tour of the UL Trading Floor from Dr Fergal O'Brien and Prof Donal Dineen.
Going forward, the new ULAA Alumni Lecture Series will be hosted annually and will be promoted to the growing UL Alumni community which now numbers close to 53,000 members worldwide.