Posted Thursday 26 July 2018
Thousands of graduating Kingston University students have celebrated their achievements with family and friends during a week of ceremonies marking the culmination of their hard-earned degrees.
More than 2,700 undergraduate and postgraduate students received a resounding round of applause as they crossed the stage at the borough's Rose Theatre during the University's eagerly anticipated summer graduation ceremonies.They were just some of the 3,522 students awarded degrees this summer from across the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston Business School, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing and Kingston School of Art.
Graphic design student Anne Danao described the experience of crossing the stage as surreal and exciting. "Our tutors were waiting for us after we shook the Dean's hand and hugged every one of us," she said. "There were 88 great minds on my course and everyone was exchanging ideas and challenging themselves - you have to find your niche. Now I'm looking forward to three months abroad on the Erasmus student exchange programme before interning and then looking for work."
Three high-achieving University alumni - Julian Gangolli, Craig Beresford and Tom Curran - returned to their alma mater to give keynote speeches during the graduation ceremonies while this year students also applied to give the vote of thanks at their own ceremony and share their experiences and achievements with fellow graduands.
They included criminology and psychology student Salem Al Busmait, who told of the supportive environment he had found at the University having coming to the country as a refugee. "I have no family and no memories I can call my own - Kingston University taught me you can find a family wherever you go," he said. "I've made so many friends and I met the love of my life here. The amount of support I've had on every level has been immense. I am really thankful for that."
Eight honorary doctorates were presented across the week, recognising the outstanding contributions each individual had made in their particular field, with those collecting their awards sharing their life lessons with students.
Graduations are also a time of celebration for staff across the University, who come together to mark the successes of those they have taught and supported during their time at the institution.
The ceremonies were special occasions that provide academics with the opportunity to wish students all the best with their futures and recognise their dedication and hard work, Dr David Mackintosh, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, said.
"One of the most enjoyable things I've done over the years is to host graduations for the students I've taught or those I've helped manage through their courses," he added. "It's a really important milestone and a celebration of all the hard work that's been put in - you can sense the pride in the ceremonies, from the staff to partners, families and friends."
That sentiment was echoed by Professor of Architecture Andrew Clancy, from Kingston School of Art, who spoke of his pride at the achievements of his students. "It's wonderful, each of our graduates has their own story that brought them here and each has surmounted considerable challenges which leaves them really well placed for their life ahead. I can't wait to see what comes next for them," he said.