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Graduation unsung hero: Will Heynes

Hear from colleagues who are taking time to contribute to graduation week, find out about their role and what they enjoy about it. It's a chance to see some of the work that goes on behind the scenes to help make graduation week a success.

Behind the scenes with...will

Will Heynes

Operations Director, Estates
Role at graduation: Pusher and Mace Bearer

My usual job involves…

all of the day to day activities of the Estates teams across the campus including the grounds and gardens, building and infrastructure maintenance, furniture, fixtures & equipment, building information and lots of other things that make the University work. As Operations Director in Estates I also get involved in some of the new construction projects, particularly the planning and logistics around impact on campus activities.

But during graduation week I…

will be a ‘Pusher’, part of the team responsible for graduand activities such as seating, robing and sequencing of students in the Butterworth Hall for two days during graduation week. I will also be the Mace Bearer for one afternoon, leading the Academic Procession in and out of the ceremony.

I really enjoy being involved with…

everything! Seeing the students and their families and guests on graduation day is really uplifting. Everyone is excited, enjoying the occasion and celebrating their achievements. Engaging with the students in this happy environment has been great fun.

Graduation week is unique because…

during graduation week the University’s focus is on celebration. All the facilities look their best and the University is able to showpiece itself in a very positive manner. Behind the scenes, the logistical challenges of getting so many people through such a carefully choreographed process in such a short period of time is amazing. Fantastic teamwork is needed to make everything happen in the right order at the right time.

If I could change one thing about graduation it would be…

time seems to go so quickly……It would be great to be able to give everyone more time to enjoy such a brilliant day of celebration.

Not everyone knows that…

over four thousand graduands are awarded their degrees in twelve ceremonies and nearly twenty thousand students, parents, guests and staff participate in the ceremonies in graduation week!

What would you say to colleagues considering getting involved?

It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the culmination of the learning experiences for so many people. The event is full of happy people, proud parents and staff and it’s a privilege to be a little part of the team that makes it happen. Staff volunteers are vital, facilitating every element of the ceremony … It makes you very proud to be part of everyone’s celebration.

In three words, what invaluable tip or advice would you give graduands?

Relax, enjoy, remember…

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