The family of Nicola Furlong attended DCU’s recent graduation ceremony to collect her posthumous degree.
The 2013 ceremony featured a poignant moment for the family and friends of Furlong, the student who was murdered in Japan in May 2012. This was the ceremony in which the International Business & Language (IBL) class of 2013 received their degrees and in which Furlong was due to graduate.
DCU authorities invited the Furlong family to the event and conferred a posthumous degree on their late daughter. A posthumous degree is one which is awarded to a student who has died suddenly during the academic term. It is awarded to denote their commitment to their studies and in honour of their memory.
Andrea Furlong, Nicola’s sister, accepted the degree on her behalf as her tearful family looked on. When the roll call came to confer her award, the crowd of students erupted into applause in a mark of respect to her memory.
The 21-year-old student was studying in Takasaki City University of Economics in Takasaki, Japan as part of her International Business and Language course. On May 24th last year, she was found in her hotel room after attending a Nicki Minaj concert with a friend.
19-year-old musician, Richard Hinds was prosecuted and jailed for her murder. He is serving five to ten years in prison in Japan.