De Montfort University’s graduation season launched in style on Saturday with a combination of cheering students and stirring music including Handel’s Zadok the Priest, Take That’s Greatest Day and the national anthem sung by DMU’s Gospel choir.
The iconic Curve theatre welcomed hundreds of students, friends and family to celebrate the success of DMU graduands from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.
It is the first time the summer ceremonies have been held at Curve following successful winter graduations in January, and the verdict from students was that it was a fitting venue to mark their achievements.
The students were assembled on stage facing the audience behind a screen and then “revealed” to their friends and family’s when the screen rose up to the tune of Zadok the Priest. They then processed off the stage at the end to Take That’s Greatest Day.
Hadija Kesal, 35, who graduated with a BSc in Health Studies, said: “It was a lovely ceremony. It was actually quite emotional when the screen lifted up and we saw a theatre packed with families. I absolutely loved the venue.”
Anwar Mohamed, 22, who graduated with a Masters in Pharmacy, said: “I really enjoyed myself. It was a great experience. Curve is a nice venue and today has been a really good day.”
Sandeep Bhoot, 22, who graduated in pharmacy, added: “The ceremony was great. It was something a bit different with the screen rising to reveal us all. It makes a change to the usual degree ceremonies you see.”
Erica Moorse, 27, and Mandy McCartney, 25, both qualified in adult nursing.
Erica said: “It was an exciting ceremony. I loved the way it was staged.”
Mandy said: “I thought it was brilliant. I loved the music.”
The university is also presenting honorary degrees to 12 distinguished individuals.
On Saturday Lady Jennifer Gretton, Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of her tireless work in the community and her outstanding contribution to making the Royal Visit to DMU in March such an outstanding success.
Lady Gretton took the opportunity to offer the students two pieces of advice. One was to always look for the positives in life, even if you feel life is against you. The second was a call for graduates to think about giving something back to society through volunteering.
Lady Gretton said afterwards: “It was the most amazing honour and I am very, very grateful to the university for bestowing it on me.”
Professor Dominic Shellard, vice-chancellor of DMU, said: “I thought it was a very moving ceremony with a combination of insightful speeches, such as Lady Gretton’s call for volunteers, lots of whooping, cheering and excitement from students and stirring music such as Take That’s Greatest Day.
“Curve is a first rate venue for these ceremonies and I am delighted that graduands, staff, friends and family have reacted to it so positively.”
Graduation ceremonies will continue twice a day for the next week when a total of 4,000 students will be honoured.
Other people receiving honorary degreees include:
Paul Nixon - Former Leicestershire and England cricketer (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Lewis Moody MBE – World Cup-winning rugby star and DMU alumni (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Maggie Philbin - Television and radio presenter (Honorary Doctor of Technology)
Moira Stuart OBE - Broadcast journalist and presenter (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Follow DMU during graduations @dmuleicester
Photos from all the graduations are appearing at www.facebook.com/dmuleicester
Posted on Monday 16th July 2012