An image of two girls in front of a post box with their Santa letters
Six-year olds Cara Dunne and Fiadh Hussey, performers from the Limerick-based Gemstars School of Performing Arts Picture: Ollie Phillips
Friday, December 1, 2023

A new Christmas video highlighting how dreaming big and supporting childhood curiosity to bring the magic of education to life has been released by University of Limerick.

Little Gifts, Big Dreams at University of Limerick’ showcases how the magic of Christmas is intrinsically linked to the possibilities that education can bring, as both are opportunities for the unexpected and wonderful to happen.

The festive, feel-good video captures the childhood sense of imagination and curiosity through the eyes of two young girls who see their letters to Santa brought to life on the UL campus.

Filmed in a variety of locations on the expansive 360-acre campus, the video features local performers from the Limerick-based Gemstars School of Performing Arts, six-year-olds Fiadh Hussey and Cara Dunne, along with Fiadh’s mother Deirdre.

The video was conceived and directed entirely in-house by UL’s Marketing and Communications team, working with videographer Ollie Phillips, a graduate from UL’s Music, Media and Performance Technology programme. 

The story is underpinned by the poignant musical track ‘Letting Go’, by one of Ireland's best-known musicians, composers, and academics, the late Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, and features the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Mícheál was Emeritus Professor of Music at University of Limerick and founded UL’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in 1994. 

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said: “This wonderful video captures beautifully the sense of excitement of the build-up to Christmas and also the excitement of holding onto big dreams for the future, of being alive to the possibilities that are ahead of you as a child.

“It is the job of any university or educational institute to inspire those seeking to grow and expand their horizons and we want to nurture those academic dreams as best we can. UL is well known and recognised as having a high satisfaction rating among its students and, as well as unrivalled sports and cultural facilities, UL also has one of the most spectacular and environmentally sympathetic third-level campuses in the world.

“We look forward always to welcoming the next generation of learners and future ambassadors of our university and to helping them to achieve their own dreams and potential as they prosper and grow with us,” Professor Mey added.

Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Affairs in UL, Laura Ryan said: “To quote the popular phrase ‘you have to see it to be it’, and that is the sentiment we wanted to convey with our latest Christmas video.

“Children bring that sense of magic to Christmas time, and we wanted to show that their dreams can become a reality through education, that they can pursue whatever they aspire to be.

“Our students and staff are important role models for children, showing them what is possible, so we worked with our colleagues across the four faculties in UL to showcase the variety of options that are available to all of our potential future students.”

The video features students, staff and facilities from UL’s School of Medicine within the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, the Aeronautical Engineering programme from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Kemmy Business School, and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.