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Graduation unsung hero: Kim Dalziel

kdThe Unsung Heroes feature gives an insight into an individual staff member’s contribution to graduation week, covering 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...

Kim Dalziel, Project Manager, IT Services
Role at graduation: Academic Procession Steward


My usual job involves…

managing projects around the University which require a large IT input. For example, I worked on the email migration, and recently I’ve been involved in the introduction of the paperless admissions system. Although I’m based in IT Services I’m often working on projects for one or more other departments.

But during graduation week…

I’ve been taking part in some of the academic processions, as a steward. Our role is to organise the academic procession, checking everyone is present and robed, and helping them form the procession in the correct order. We then lead the procession, behind the mace bearer, into the Butterworth Hall, and guide the academics to the right seats on the stage. We remain on stage throughout the ceremony and guide the procession out of the hall at the end.

I really enjoyed…

guiding the procession. This is the first year I’ve taken part and I think more staff should volunteer to get involved. You get to see a different side of the University, away from your day job, and network with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet.

Graduation week is unique because…

it’s a celebration of achievements, a chance to see the end of students’ time here at Warwick. There was a real buzz and academic colleagues were really enthusiastic and excited to see the students they’ve taught for three or four years receive their degrees – it’s the culmination of so much effort.

Not everyone knows that…

on the final approach to the Butterworth Hall, the pace of the procession picks up or slows down to make sure that the procession enters the hall at the most appropriate point in the music.

I’ve only just realised…

the amount of effort that goes into organising the ceremonies and everything that supports them. I didn’t appreciate how much was involved in orchestrating it all to make sure the week runs smoothly.

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

Everything’s just beginning. This is just the start – remember to use the Warwick network; the alumni services and facilities here.
Also, remember to enjoy it!

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