In stunning ceremonies at Plymouth Guildhall, distinguished guests, families, friends and staff at the University of St Mark & St John honoured the achievements of this year's Graduates.
In four events spanning two days, students from the faculties of Education & Social Sciences, Sport & Health Sciences and Culture & Language Sciences collected their certificates as they crossed the stage in formal recognition of their achievements.
As the one of the top modern universities for student satisfaction (NSS 2016), the University of St Mark & St John, ensured Graduands had a celebration to remember.
Receiving a Degree of Master of Arts, Honoris Causa for his contribution to music was Mercury Prize finalist Seth Lakeman, who hails from Dartmoor.
Seth, whose wife gave birth to their third baby just 24 hours previously, treated the audience to a surprise performance of an emotional song ‘Portrait of My Wife’ where he played the fiddle and sang in his cap and gown. The audience joined in with the moving lyric: “Raise your glass to the one you love.”
He said: “I feel incredibly honoured and privileged to be awarded today and have this association with the university. I am sure studying and living here you have all appreciated the landscape and beauty of our surroundings in Devon.”
Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Karen Cook told graduates: “Be proud of yourselves and all you have achieved and enjoy this serious day of ceremony and celebration.”
Right Reverend Michael Perham, Chair of the Board of Governors said: “Each of you is unique and each of you brings something unique to Marjon so hold your heads high today.“
Elias McGill, President of the Student Union, addressed Graduates saying: “Today, for most of you marks the end of an era. You will have made friends for life and Marjon will always have a place in your lives, and will always be here for you.”
Also receiving a Degree of Master of Science, Honoris Causa, was rugby star Rochelle Clark, also known as ‘Rocky’.
Graduate Kate Smith, who graduated with a First Class Honour Degree in Youth & Community Work tweeted: “What feels like the end is often the beginning. Never give up.”
The party continued with a drinks reception in Plymouth Guildhall where proud families took photographs of their loved ones on the red carpet.
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