Friday, January 11: the Winter Degree Congregation - a significant day for 500 graduating students and their families, and a particularly significant day for the University as it marked the last formal duty of our outgoing Chancellor, Sir Shridath Ramphal. For 12 years, Sir Sonny has presided over our Degree Congregations, bringing to each occasion his own inimitable style. His warmth and evident enjoyment of his role in the ceremony have made an impact on all
those who have graduated during his Chancellorship.
This January, the Arts Centre again played host to the students and the 1500 guests who accompanied them. The University Brass Ensemble and Chamber Choir, conducted by Assistant Director of Music Stuart Dunlop, and organist Colin Druce entertained guests in the Butterworth Hall, and the academic procession entered and left the
Hall to music specially composed for graduation by Director of Music Colin Touchin. The presence of so many staff in their academic finery added gravitas to the proceedings and was much appreciated by the graduands and their families.
The University created two honorary graduates at these ceremonies. Carol Ann Duffy, playwright and poet, received an Honorary DLitt and Dr John Howel Jones, Chair of the University's Medical Research Institute Appeal, accepted an Honorary DSc for his work in the field of medicine.
After the formality of the ceremonies, celebrations continued in a more relaxed manner in Rootes Airport Lounge, where the excellent student-led jazz band, Pretty Small Band, helped the Graduate School Reception to go with a swing.