UCC was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges at Cork, Galway and Belfast. The site chosen for the college is particularly appropriate given its connection with the patron saint of Cork, St Finbarr. It is believed his monastery and school stood on the bank of the river Lee, which runs through the lower grounds of the university. The University’s motto is ‘Where Finbarr Taught, let Munster Learn.’ On November 7th 1849, Queen’s College Cork opened its doors to a privileged section of the youth of Munster (115 students in that first session, 1849-’50) after a glittering inaugural ceremony in the Aula Maxima which, the newspapers remarked, already looked mellow though just completed, and which is still the symbolic and ceremonial heart of the college. The limestone buildings of the Main Quadrangle were designed by the gifted architectural partnership of Thomas Deane and Benjamin Woodword. The style has been variously described as perpendicular Gothic, Tudor Gothic or Victorian Gothic. The north wing of the Main Quadrangle houses UCC’s unique collection of Ogham Stones, thought to be burial stones or boundary markers. The inscriptions are the earliest written source of the Irish language and the oldest recordings or Irish personal names, dating back to the mid fifth and late seventh centuries. Sir Robert Kane, distinguished industrial scientist and first president of the college, passionately defended the ‘mixed education’ non-denominational principle against the charge of “godlessness”, emphasising the built-in provisions for respecting religious beliefs and even for promoting religious practice. Courses were offered in the faculties of arts, (comprising literature and science), medicine, law and in the schools of engineering (civil and mechanical) and agriculture. Students paid college fees, but also class fees, directly to their professors and lecturers. Popular lecturers became wealthy men!