We were thrilled to congratulate all of our students who graduated in a magnificent ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus on Friday 19 July 2013. Students from the University of Essex Online courses were joined by their families and friends to attend the graduation ceremony which was held at 10am.
There was a fantastic buzz on the Campus as students mingled before the ceremony and proud parents had the opportunity to take lots of photos. The Colchester Campus is set in beautiful grounds which provided a wonderful backdrop for photos and the sun was beaming all day. The Campus was bustling with students in their graduation robes and a live jazz band entertained guests. It was the first time many of our online students had met face-to-face but as we gathered in one of the University squares everyone quickly became acquainted and enjoyed sharing stories of their online journey.
In a packed auditorium, students each took their turn to collect their award and were praised for their achievement. Tutors and staff from Kaplan Open Learning, who deliver the University of Essex Online courses, attended the graduation ceremony and cheered proudly as students collected their degrees from the University of Essex Chancellor, Lord Phillips of Sudbury.
As part of the ceremony the Head of the Civil Judiciary in England and Wales received an honorary degree from the University of Essex for his highly distinguished career. As Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson holds the second most senior judicial position in England and Wales, after the Lord Chief Justice. The ceremony concluded with inspirational speeches from Lord Dyson and the University Chancellor and a roaring round of applause from graduates and their guests. The event was streamed live online so family and friends who were unable to attend could still be part of the day.
After the ceremony, our students and their guests continued the celebrations at a reception of champagne and canapés. Our professional photographer took photos of students with their proud families outside the Lakeside marquee, using the lake as a scenic backdrop. Inside the marquee David Dixon, Academic Director at Kaplan Open Learning, handed out the degree certificates and special prizes to further applause. Graduates were able to enjoy a drink with their fellow class mates and spent time networking with students, tutors and staff.
This has been an exceptional year for our online students with a high proportion of degrees awarded in the first and upper-second degree classifications. It was fantastic to meet so many students and their families – Congratulations class of 2013!