Sunday, 14 December 2008

Graduation ceremony

I have not seen such a strong staff contingent in a graduation ceremony before. We were 44 strong! Apparently, that is pretty close to the maximum that can fit on the stage. The December graduation is mostly for postgrads, although there are sometime some undergrads who passed on resits, or whose results were unavailable in time for the main (July) ceremony for some other reason. This was the first year that there were two days of December graduations ceremonies. It was as smooth and well organized as always, and the VC's speech was short and to the point, and well received. The students and families that I spoke to enjoyed it a lot, and as they were postgrads they were able to compare this to their previous graduation from other universities, and everyone who did so preferred this one. It was not too long, the speeches were interesting and it all worked. The weather was horrible, though. Grey, cold, wet and dark. But we had wine and nibbles with our SCME graduates on the London Road site, courtesy of Gerri Excell, and everyone went away happy. As always, it was a real delight to see PhDs graduating. Of all the awards a University can award, this is the highest, and the hardest work, so doctoral graduates are always enormously relieved to have finally completed their arduous journey. Graduation is always an enjoyable event, reminding us just how much it means to the graduates to have completed their courses of study. Let's hope that we can keep in touch with them, though, as pretty soon they will be the very people we want to talk to for access to research data, or for developing our employer engagement agenda. They generally progress through their careers quickly.

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Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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