Presidents' Letter: May 2023

Presidents' Letter: May 2023

Friday 19th May 2023

Dear Rockwellian,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits.

I am writing to you in my first week as President of the Rockwell College Union for the next

12 months. The tremendous honour is still settling in.

Firstly, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the outgoing president Yvonne

Kennedy. Yvonne has done amazing work to get the union up and running again after the

Pandemic. I said to her at the AGM this week that she has put the Union’s shoes back on

and laced them up. This puts the new governing body in the perfect position to hit the ground

running. I’d like to wish Yvonne the very best and thank her again for her tireless devotion

and commitment to the Rockwell College Union not just during her presidency but from the

moment she first got involved 25 years ago. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for a legacy

that will live long into the future.

For the many of you who don’t know me – allow me to add a splash of colour.

I attended Rockwell between 1983 and 1988. I was following in the footsteps of my brother

John who left in 1983 and before him my father Brendan and my uncle Tom who both left in

the mid-1950s. I was heavily involved in the massively successful Canoe Team, that won the

Schools Liffey Decent, a head-scratching, 17 years in a row and every year while I was at

Rockwell. That’s like winning the Rugby SCT every year for 17 years. (let that sink in) It was

the sport and comradery of canoeing that ignited my passion for the great outdoors and all

things extreme sports. This has influenced my life to this present day.

I joined the Union Governing Body for the first time in 1989, just one year after leaving

Rockwell. Gay Mangan was the president at the time, and it was very poignant that Gay

attended the AGM this week in Rockwell as I took up my position as president almost 35

years later. Also in attendance at the AGM was Fr Pat Downes who has been a lifelong family

friend of the Thompson since I was a child.

The Rockwell College Union has been instrumental in fostering lasting friendships, creating

cherished memories, and providing valuable opportunities for personal and professional

growth for so many since 1925 when it first was established. Over the past 98 years, there

have been 75 presidents before me. That makes me number 76, wish me luck, I hope I do

the first 75 proud.

It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to my year as President and working with the

great team on the governing body. We have plenty to do and communicate with you this

year- Events- Membership- Communication -Community, are the pillars for this governing

body to build on from the previous 98 years of the union.


Our events this year will include the staple Business Gathering on November 10th and the

Annual Dinner (set for April 20th, Saturday Night) we will have several smaller events to fill

out the calendar this year-

Membership & Communication

We plan to improve the tools we use to include and encourage new and maybe, not so new,

members of the union to come and support where they can. This will be an upgrade to the

website – database and how we communicate with you.


This last pillar will be of particular focus this year and involves reaching out and connecting in a

greater way with the younger Rockwellian, recent graduates and those in the first years of

their careers. We would like to build a stronger connection and tailor some of the new

events to them.

Expect regular updates on these areas in the coming months. Follow us on Facebook and on

LinkedIn, the links are on

Lastly, I welcome any suggestions, ideas, or feedback from each one of you. The Rockwell

College Union thrives on the active participation and collaboration of its members. Please

reach out to me or any other member of the union's governing body committee to share

your thoughts, interests, or suggestions for future activities or if you wish to play a more

active role in the Union. 

Thank you for your time, support, and dedication to the Rockwell College Union.

Together, let us make this year a remarkable one.

Warmest regards,

Ross Thompson

Class of 88

President of the Rockwell College Union 23/24