4700 students have graduated from Bournemouth University in a series of ceremonies at the Bournemouth International Centre this week.
As a reflection of the international flavour of Bournemouth - and the students who come to the town to study - the ceremonies were live-streamed around the world and watched in over 100 countries across all continents.
Friends and families clapped and cheered as their loved ones took to the stage in the Windsor Hall to collect their certificates in fields including Science, Technology, Media, Business, and Health Sciences.
From countries as far afield as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia, and throughout many European countries, African nations including Kenya, Botswana, Sierra Leone and Egypt and across the Atlantic to the USA, Canada, Bolivia and Argentina, family members back home were able to watch the events taking place on England's south coast.
And in Bournemouth itself, despite the blustery November weather, many graduates and their proud family members took the opportunity to celebrate their achievements on the seafront.
Among those celebrating were Marilyn Schofield-Marlowe and her daughter Lauren who both completed their degrees this year. Marilyn collected her BSc Honours degree in Computing and Lauren has passed her Masters degree in Organisational Project Management.
Marilyn told her daughter, “You are just amazing, so so clever. I'm just in awe, and I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for you; it was your endless self-belief that got me here and it’s why I’m stood here right now.”
The university also made eight honorary awards to people who have inspired and made a difference to the lives of others. These were:
- Alice Tai (Doctor of Arts) – Paralympic swimmer from Bournemouth.
- Jo Salter (Doctor of Arts) – From Bournemouth, The RAF’s first female combat-ready pilot.
- Geva Mentor (Doctor of Arts) – England netball player from Bournemouth.
- Gill Walton (Doctor of Education) – Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives.
- Marilyn Porter (Honorary Fellowship) – Civic and Lieutenancy Officer at Dorset Council.
- Caroline Troy (Honorary Fellowship) – Expert in corporate governance and diversity.
- Jeff Dodds (Doctor of Business Administration) – Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media O2.
- Sir John Jones (Doctor of Education) - Educational author and speaker.
Addressing the graduates in her ceremony, Alice Tai said, “Congratulations to you all, you should all be so so proud of yourselves, and I am very honoured to be here today and watch you all graduate.”
Geva Mentor said, "I’m very proud of where I am from so to be able to speak to the students who are graduating today is super-special. What they are able to do and what they can bring back to into the community is what I’m all about; I’m so passionate about sport and what it can bring to you, not just for the healthy lifestyle but also for building those connections with people."
The celebrations also took place in the year in which Bournemouth marks it’s thirtieth year as a university.
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University said, “Congratulations to all our graduates. We’re so proud of what you’ve achieved and wish you all the best for the future. Well done.”