Page last updated at 08:29 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Poet honour at Queen's centenary

Seamus Heaney greets Nick Ross at Queen's centenary celebrations, looking on is Professor Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor of Queen's
Seamus Heaney greets Nick Ross at Queen's centenary celebrations, looking on is Professor Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor of Queen's

Queen's University, Belfast, has given Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney a lifetime achievement award as part of its centenary celebrations.

The poet was guest of honour at a fireworks display and gala dinner.

The former Queen's student and lecturer received his award after the premiere of Anahorish, a piece of music inspired by his poem of the same name.

Broadcaster Nick Ross, a former deputy president of Queen's Students' Union, also attended the celebrations.

The Centenary Stanza
Queen's Univesity, Belfast
Still red brickwork
Remains our bulwark:
Here exercise
Of mind has stood
To us, for us
These hundred years,
And will, for good.

by Seamus Heaney

More than 300 of the university's staff, students, graduates and friends were at the dinner in the Sir William Whitla Hall on Tuesday night.

Mr Heaney wrote a poem marking the university's first 100 years based on his initial impressions as a student.

"The first image I had of Queen's when I came here was the red-brick front," he said.

Queen's President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said the poet was one of the university's most distinguished graduates.

"His impact on arts and literature has achieved global recognition and his contribution to Queen's University has been immense," he said.

Founded by Queen Victoria in 1845 as one of three Queen's Colleges in Ireland, it received its Royal Charter from King Edward VII in 1908.



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