Originally published 25 July 2002
This year’s Summer Degree Congregation will certainly go down as one of the most star-studded in recent years, with an appearance by football pundit, Alan Hanson and rumours that Jimmy Hill was at large in the Arts Centre. We even had a regal visit, as members of the Brunei Royal Family descended for the graduation of one of their number on the first day of the celebrations.
The weather was temperamental, with torrential downpours and intermittent bright sunshine as just under 3,000 students took part in the ceremonies to become graduates of the University. Many returned to Warwick from far-flung corners of the globe, some arriving in colourful national dress.
One graduand hired a bus to bring his entire family, from the oldest to the youngest, onto campus to celebrate the day with him. Their group photo was so large that they could not fit into the photography studio and had to be moved outside. Another family from Ghana bought out LazerLizard’s stock of Warwick T-shirts, for relatives back home who had not been able to make it to the UK!
This year saw a change in the structure of the ceremonies with two on each of the four days. The atmosphere was more relaxed than in previous years, when six of the eight ceremonies were held over two days. Graduands and guests had more time and space to enjoy themselves around the Arts Centre before heading off to their departments for receptions and award ceremonies.
Within the Hall, visitors were treated to an exemplary performance by the Chamber Choir and University Brass Ensemble, conducted by the Deputy Director of Music, Stuart Dunlop whilst, outside the formal proceedings, the student Jazz Band, ‘Pretty Small Band’, provided upbeat entertainment in the Rootes Airport Bar.
The week was enjoyed by all and thanks should go to all the staff and students who gave up their time to make the day a memorable one for all the new graduates and their families.