Nearly 5,000 Middlesex students donned mortarboards, robed in their graduation gowns and collected their well-deserved degrees in front of a packed crowd.
Families, friends and lecturers watched graduating students with pride, while honorary graduates, successful in their own fields, addressed the students with inspiring speeches.
“We as a University, all the staff, take enormous pride in the achievement of our students,” said Vice-Chancellor Michael Driscoll.
“Graduation is an important occasion because it’s a celebration of the culmination of all their hard work. It’s a time when we all come together with our students to recognise what they've achieved and what the University has helped them achieve.”
The ceremonies were held in the graduation marquee at Hendon campus, followed by drinks celebrations in the Quadrangle.
“On the stage, all the lights focus on you and it feels so real that you've actually graduated. After all the studying, dissertations and hard work, that's the moment you get rewarded," said Kan Wan Lan, who studied MA International Marketing and has already secured a marketing job in London.
Students were proud to have finally received their degrees but were equally sad about their Middlesex experience coming to a close.
“I am so proud to have graduated - this is what all my hard work was for. But I will really miss seeing my friends everyday and having fun when I'm here,” said Rosie Thompson-Agnew, BA Fashion, Design, Styling and Promotion.
Ricky Sullivan, who studied BA Creative Writing, said he has enjoyed his experience at Middlesex and emphasised the help he received from tutors throughout his studies.
Dutch student Babette van den Nienwendijk, who graduated with a MA International Business Management, said she has benefited from the diverse mix of students at Middlesex: “It has been very good studying at Middlesex University. It's very multicultural, people from all over the world and I’ve made some amazing friends here."
Middlesex also recognised the achievements of people who have made outstanding contributions in their fields. Honorary doctorates were given to nine people, including choreographer Shiamak Davar, author and PR guru Lynne Frank, theatre producer David King and former cricketer and TV presenter Phil Tufnell.
“It's really thrilling to be given this accolade by Middlesex, particularly because I left school at 16 and I didn't get any kind of degree, and it’s my local University too,” said Lynne Franks.
David King said he felt “a bit like Harry Potter” when he donned his gown and mortarboard. “I feel great. It's a great honour and I can’t wait to see the students graduating.”
Having never studied at university, Phil Tufnell said he did not imagine he would ever experience graduation. “I never thought I’d put these gowns and stylish hats on. I’m honoured about being given this accolade. It's fantastic.”
Shiamak Davar said he was envious of AR Rahman’s honorary degree from Middlesex (AR Rahman received his in 2009). “I was so jealous. I thought I want this to happen to me too. So when I heard about the honour, I was really excited,” said Shiamak.
“I have no words to express my feelings. My father did a PhD, my mother did a PhD and my grandfather - they've all done PhDs. So, I’m really happy and honoured to be here,” he added.
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