A former US ambassador to the United Nations has said her mother, who graduated from University College Cork (UCC) in 1964, and who has just received an honorary doctorate from the college, had been inspired by her time in UCC.
Dr Veronica Delaney grew up in Cork city and graduated with a B.Sc Honours majoring in Biochemistry from UCC, going on to become a leader in her field.
Dr Delaney (78) was the first member of her family to enter university, and is currently Professor of Medicine and Nephrologist at Mount Sinai Hospital New York.
After graduating from UCC she proceeded to complete a Ph.D at University of London, St. Mary's Hospital, followed by medical studies at St. Mary's Hospital graduating in 1973 with Honours and First Place in Medicine.
She was widowed around this time and returned to Dublin for internship and medical residency with two young children.
Her career subsequently brought her to Kuwait, Atlanta, where she then completed nephrology training, Pittsburgh, and finally to New York.
While in UCC she also excelled in tennis, hockey and squash, captaining in both tennis and hockey and playing for Munster.
On Friday she was awarded an Honorary Degree by UCC in Medicine, while close to 200 medical students graduated from the university.
“I had many wonderful years at University College Cork and I am honoured to receive this honorary doctorate today,” Dr Delaney said.
Dr Delaney was surprised at the ceremony by a visit from her daughter, journalist, diplomat, and former US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power.
“My mother’s love of learning was sparked at UCC—a love she passed on to me,” Ms Power said.
UCC president, Professor John O’Halloran, said Dr Delaney had been a tremendous ambassador for UCC for over 50 years, and continued to work as a consultant nephrologist, teacher and role model in the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.
“For years she worked as a widow and single mother, with great challenges which she faced head on,” Professor O’Halloran said. “She will always remain a role model for current and future generations.”
Professor Helen Whelton, head of the College of Medicine at UCC, said Dr Delaney had made extraordinary contributions to medicine over the years.
“She will always remain an inspiration for coming generations,” Professor Whelton said. “She is indeed a most worthy and outstanding recipient.”