BU’s Graduation ceremonies are the biggest dates in the calendar – and for good reason.
Students who have spent the last few years working hard towards gaining their degree are given the chance to proudly cross the stage, collect their certificate and then celebrate with the classmates, families and staff who have all shared the journey with them.
“It was important to share the day with my family” says Emma Matthews, who graduated in 2010. “I wanted them to have the chance to celebrate with me and experience a little bit of what my time at BU was like, meeting some of my friends and lecturers in the reception afterwards.”
Emma feels passionately that all students should attend their graduation: “I felt it was really important to attend graduation to round off my whole university experience. It was a bit nerve-wracking but very exciting; putting on the cap and gown and having your photos taken before the ceremony makes it all feel very real and it sinks in that you’re no longer a student, and about to start the next chapter of your life.”
James Thornton, who graduated in 2000 feels the day is the best way to complete your time at university. “After three years of hard graft I felt my classmates and I had earned our moment in the sun. The graduation ceremony was the perfect way to celebrate our achievements and at the same time applaud each other’s good work.
“It was great having my parents and all my university friends with me. Everyone realised it was a special day and there was a real buzz. I just remember lots of smiling, pats on the back and high-fiving. Everyone was genuinely happy for each other.”
It’s is an important day for staff as well, as it’s a chance to watch the students they’ve worked with collect their degrees before embarking on the next important step of their lives. Mark Ridolfo Associate Dean (Student Experience) in the Business School believes it to be “the most important and rewarding day of my academic year. To meet graduates and their families on such a special day, and find out how their fledgling careers are evolving, is a real privilege.”
“Graduates really like to meet with staff, especially at the post-ceremony Reception, and introduce them to their families. Students greatly value and appreciate the opportunity to meet with their tutors, who have supported them throughout their studies, on this special day.”
Fiona Cownie, Head of Student Experience in the Media School, agrees. “For me, sitting on the platform for graduation is honestly one of the highlights of my academic year.
“Each year, whether it’s the endless applause and periodic whoops during the ceremony or after the formal part of the day, being introduced by students to their parents, I'm reminded of how much spending time at university really matters.”
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University, said: “It is one of the highlights of my year to see a new wave of graduates receiving their awards at our Graduation Awards Ceremonies.
“Many of our graduates have gone on to become successful business leaders and even Oscar winners, and I have no doubt that our latest graduates will also go on to enrich the communities they live in and have successful careers.
“It is particularly good to see so many of our graduates remaining and working in Dorset, continuing to contribute to our local society and economy. Wherever you are, we hope you will keep in touch with Bournemouth University, which will always be a place that its alumni can call home.”