Bournemouth University’s graduation ceremonies closed with the celebration for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.
Almost 600 graduates from courses such as nursing, midwifery and paramedic science, as well as sociology, took to the stage to receive their awards to the applause of family, friends and co-graduates.
Alongside graduating students, three honorary doctorates were awarded to members of the community who have strong links to the university. Sue Sutherland OBE, Darran Gunter and Gail Adams OBE received their awards and gave speeches to the graduates.
Sue Sutherland OBE has had a distinguished nursing career which has included becoming Chief Executive of both a health authority and an acute hospital trust. Sue was awarded an OBE for services to organ donation and transplantation and eventually joined BU’s Board, which she later became Chairman of for six years. Sue received Doctor of Education.
Offering advice to graduates, Sue said, “You’ve got to be determined; you’ve got to have a big vision for what you want to do. I think the main thing, the recurring theme, is the importance of kindness. I don’t think it matters what you do, and at what level, I think you always have to do it with kindness."
Darran Gunter has led a distinguished career in the emergency services, including serving as Chief Fire Officer for Dorset for ten years, and being awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal. He led the development of the new Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. Darran received Doctor of Business Administration.
Darren also offered advice to graduating students, saying, “If I was to give one message, the message is know yourself. That personal insight - knowing how you work, in terms of what affects your feelings, your motivations, and your values. Because ultimately, the product of your feelings, your motivations, and your values are your behaviours. And the impact of your behaviours on others is their feelings, their behaviours and their values."
Gail Adams OBE is an activist for UNISON, who represent the rights of healthcare professionals at the highest level and campaign to ensure a fair deal for nurses. Having served as Head of Nursing at UNISON for 14 years, she was awarded an OBE for services to nursing and public healthcare in 2017. Gail also received Doctor of Education.
She said, "I didn't go to university, so in many ways this is more significant, in particular because somebody has nominated who you don't know. So, for me, it feels really exciting.
"I'm really confident for the students graduating today that, although there will be challenges, it's a very bright future with them as part of it."
Over 3,000 students graduated across the week, with 12 honourary doctorates and one honorary fellowship also awarded, to recipients such as Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba and AFC Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn.
Over 1,500 people watched the ceremonies online, from as far afield as Qatar, China, Italy and the US.
For more information about BU’s graduation ceremonies, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/graduation