A chance to celebrate
Last week we held the winter graduation ceremonies, an event I look forward to and thoroughly enjoy, the chance to see so many of our students reaching the end of this particular journey, congratulating one another, supported by friends and family and ready to start the next part of their lives is always a pleasure, I know how hard each and every one has studied to get this far.
We also, of course acknowledge the number of staff who have supported our students through their time at Warwick of course and those who make the ceremonies run so smoothly takes a great deal of hard work and commitment. Thanks to you all. And for the graduates who have now left Warwick, you are still part of the Warwick community and we hope you will keep in touch with us.
Another important aspect of the ceremonies, is the opportunity to celebrate and recognise individuals through awarding honorary degrees. Chief of Staff, Sharon Tuersley hosted those honorary graduates and has written about her experience:
Graduation ceremonies really are the highlight of the academic calendar. It’s great to see the graduates and their families celebrating their hard work and their many achievements over the time they have spent at University but what does it mean for our Honorary Graduates?
This year I had the very real privilege of hosting the University of Warwick’s Honorary Graduates and their guests during the ceremonies and I can honestly say they were just as excited and proud to be receiving their awards as the students that were graduating that day.
As the week progressed I realised how important these people are to a wide range of activities at Warwick. Jill Lepore, the bad-ass historian, whose work was being taught to our current students the very same week she received her Honorary Degree, Stella Rimington who gave a ‘standing-room only’ lecture to students from PAIS the evening before her ceremony, Anne Wood who works very closely with academic colleagues in the Film and TV department (pictured Anne Wood with Dr Helen Wheatley), including the acclaimed Children’s TV exhibition, an eminent mathematician, Professor Dusa McDuff who broke the glass ceiling for women in this discipline and Mechai Viravaidya , or ‘Mr Condom’ as he’s known, who has transformed the lives of children in Thailand with his foundation. These people lead their fields and have achieved many things for many different communities and now they are forever connected to our community at Warwick.
Honorary Graduates are more than just a celebratory part of our degree ceremonies, they are cherished relationships, some well-established, some very new, but they should be nurtured. So next time you see a call for nominating Honorary Graduates, think of how they can be connected to the University community so we can encourage these relationships to flourish."