The College community has been left profoundly shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Professor Patrick Johnston, President and Vice Chancellor of The Queen’s University, Belfast.

A past pupil of St Columb’s, Patrick Johnston’s pioneering work was in the field of cancer research; it was for his contribution to this area that Professor Johnston was awarded the St Columb’s College Past Pupils’ Union Alumnus Illustrissimus prize in 2008, an award given to past pupils for an achievement of major significance or for making a considerable contribution in their field.

More recently St Columb’s College had been delighted to see Professor Johnston’s appointment as President and Vice Chancellor of The Queen’s University, Belfast.  His desire to enhance Queen’s reputation even further was clear to see, as was his tireless engagement with post-primary principals.

Professor Johnston’s wife, sons and wider family circle are in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.

May he rest in peace.

FJM Madden

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