Latest News | 2 November 2021

Thousands of students to return to Derby for graduation ceremonies

SureScreen Diagnostics Limited
Derby Cathedral
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The University of Derby is set to welcome back thousands of students to the city for their graduation ceremonies – as well as recognise key figures with honorary degrees.

According to the university, around 7,000 students will descend on the city for a total of 19 ceremonies, which will be held from Wednesday 10 November to Thursday 18 November at Derby Arena.

They will be the first in-person graduation ceremonies to be held in Derby since the pandemic started and will be for the class of 2020 and 2021.

Notable people with a strong connection to the university or the city will also receive their honorary degrees.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, vice-chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “Graduation is a time to celebrate the hard work, commitment and successes of our students and we are so proud of everyone who is going to be graduating, particularly given the challenges they have faced while studying throughout the pandemic.”

Among those chosen to receive an honorary degree this year are Dr Robyn Dewis, director of public health at Derby City Council.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Robyn’s support enabled the university to continue to deliver a positive student experience through blended delivery and to establish its own Asymptomatic Testing Centre.

She also provided the university with the opportunity to support the region’s recovery.

Also receiving an honorary doctorate is Gavin Boyle, chief executive of University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

Gavin and his team have faced considerable challenges presented by Covid-19 – and the honorary degree aims to recognise his achievements during the pandemic and his strong support for the university.

Jim Campbell OBE, a forensic scientist and founder of SureScreen, will also be recognised with an honorary degree.

SureScreen sells rapid tests to diagnose diseases, illnesses or drug abuse and supplied millions of rapid coronavirus tests during the pandemic.

Other recipients will be sports presenter and broadcaster Arlo White, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford, Ken Cooper, managing director of Venture Capital Solutions at the British Business Bank and Professor Robert Pendlebury, who held senior engineering positions at Ford and JCB.

Professor Mitchell said: “We are delighted to be hosting our first in-person graduation ceremonies since before the first government restrictions were implemented in March 2020.

“We cannot wait to welcome the students back and wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

“We will also be celebrating the achievements of our new honorands and recognising the positive impact they and their work has had on the region and beyond.

“Our honorands provide inspiration for the thousands of our graduating students who are about to embark on their careers or further academic study. Congratulations to all.”

To mark the beginning of the award ceremonies, a special service will take place at Derby Cathedral on Monday 8 November at 6pm.

The service will include participation from students and staff of the University of Derby, with representation from various faith traditions.

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