Christopher Murray - A Lifelong Connection to DCU

Software designer and developer Christopher Murray graduated from DCU, or the National Institute for Higher Education as it was then known, with a degree in Applied Physics in 1986. He has maintained a strong relationship with his alma mater since that time and is a longstanding supporter of Access scholarships at DCU.

What inspired you to support Access scholarships at DCU?

I first supported the Access Programme after receiving a call from a student in the annual telethon. Having been the first in my family to attend university, supported by a grant and summer work, I knew that it could be a financially onerous undertaking. The case for making a donation to help students who would otherwise have little chance of earning a degree seemed obvious.

As a longstanding supporter of DCU, you have had the opportunity to hear the stories of many Access students at our annual Leadership Circle Dinner. How does it make you feel to know that you have played a part in the future success of these young people?

As a father, I have been supporting my own three daughters to attend university in recent years and I am very conscious of the resources required to gain a third level qualification in Ireland today.

Through attending events in DCU, I have heard about the additional hardships that many DCU Access students have had to overcome. Having heard their stories of resilience in the face of adversity, I feel it is only right that they should be supported. Knowing that I have helped, even in a small way, to diversify the graduate population is a reward in its own right.

As a DCU graduate, what does DCU mean to you today? And how did a DCU education contribute to your own success?

As it should, DCU feels like “my” university and my eldest daughter has just completed her bachelor’s degree there, giving me a further close connection. I am pleased when it does well in world rankings and I visit the welcoming Glasnevin campus whenever I can.

The Applied Physics degree I got from DCU involved a lot of work directly applicable to the workplace, not just the learning principles instilled by studying for a degree. I was able to build on those solid foundations when I started my career, even though most of my working life has not been in the area of physics. A science degree is a good start for careers in many fields.