Last Friday, Southern Regional College held a tribute lunch to mark the retirement of our former Chair of the Governing Body, Andrew Saunders. This special event took place at the Graduate Restaurant in Newry East Campus with past and present members of the Governing Body and SRC staff coming together to show their appreciation and gratitude and reflect on the immense contribution Andrew has made.

Back row (L-R): Arder Carson; Lindsay Armstrong; Gary McMurray; Kieran Swail; Tom Redmond; Sinead Bradley; Eileen Stewart; Aidan McCormick; Hilary Singleton; Matt Turner; Scott Alexander. Front row (L-R): John Nugent; Brian Doran (Principal and Chief Executive SRC); Andrew Saunders; Donna Blaney; Dr Thomas Moore (Chair of the Governing Body SRC); Judith Thompson.

During the event, other former Governing Body members were also acknowledged during the event for their hard work and commitment during their service.

Andrew has been a member of the SRC Governing Body since its formation in 2007 and since then has played an instrumental role in providing strategic leadership and direction for the College. After a period as Interim Chair, Andrew was awarded the position of Chair in August 2011. Having completed two terms of four years, Mr Saunders accepted an extension to his tenure on request of the Permanent Secretary in June 2019 and in May 2021, Mr Saunders accepted a further extension to appointment on the request of the Minister for the Economy. His tenure officially ended on 31 July 2022.

Brian Doran, Principal and CEO of Southern Regional College commented: “I extend my sincere thanks to Andrew for the pivotal role and outstanding contribution he has made to the College over the last 15 years. As Chairman, he has led the College Governing Body with distinction having overseen some significant developments in that time including the opening of new campuses in Armagh and Banbridge. I wish Andrew every success in the future and thank him for all he has done for our staff, students and the wider community."

Best wishes to Mr Saunders on his retirement.