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Hunter Makes Headlines in Northern Ireland Village

Hunter Makes Headlines in Northern Ireland Village

Cerys Milligan, who won the competition to name a new housing development in her village, celebrates the official street naming with (far left) her father, Alwyn Milligan; the principal of her school (2nd from right); and two local officials.

Hunter College has been making headline news in the village of Ardglass in Northern Ireland's County Down, thanks to a 10-year-old girl's passionate admiration for Hunter's principles and for the man who ensured that those principles would define the College-Ardglass native Thomas Hunter.

The heroine of these stories is schoolgirl Cerys Milligan (now 11), who entered a competition held last year to name a new housing development being erected in the village.  Several years earlier she had learned about Thomas Hunter from local history buff Michael Howland, a friend of her parents, and, impressed with what she had learned about both Hunters-the College and its founder-she suggested that the development be named "Hunter's Way."

Cerys's entry, which focused on the social and economic diversity characterizing Ardglass as well as Hunter College, won the competition, and the official street naming took place this June.

Cerys and Hunter's Way
Louise Milligan is positive that her daughter Cerys hasn’t gotten a swelled head since she won the competition to name a new housing development. But Cerys looks justifiably proud as she sees the new sign proclaiming the development’s official name.
The rest is history.

The Down Recorder, in a story headlined "Village links to top New York College," says that Hunter "is famous for the diversity of its student body and is renowned for providing educational opportunities for women and minorities in pursuit of the American dream."

An article in the Down News titled "Ardglass Connection to Hunter College Remembered" lauds "the successful Hunter College in New York" for its educational influence "in America, and internationally, as students arrive there to study from all over the world."

And the Mourne Observer, announcing  that  "A former Ardglass man who founded a major college in New York has been officially honoured," adds: "Plans have been made for the next phase of the development, which will be known as Hunter's Close, a name also chosen by Cerys."

Commenting on his village's widespread enthusiasm about the connection between Ardglass and Hunter College, local historian Michael Howland says, "The story of Hunter has created lots of interest, and It's great for Ardglass to have a...part of the village named after someone such as Thomas Hunter, who was such a major figure in education in America." Moreover, he notes, "Cerys is now a local celebrity."

However, says Louise Milligan, Cerys's mother, "Cerys is certainly enjoying her fame, but it hasn't gone to her head!"

For more on the Ardglass story--including the full text of Cerys's winning entry in the street-naming competition-see "Northern Ireland Village Gets 'Hunter's Way' " on page 9 in the Spring 2012 issue of At Hunter (PDF).

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