UEL celebrates as graduates are awarded honours
23 January 2023
The new year began with cheers and celebrations as more than 1,500 graduates received their degrees at the University of East London.
The University staged two days of ceremonies at the Docklands Campus honouring graduates from six schools on 19-20 January.
Nearly 2,500 friends and family came along to support and celebrate the proud graduates, and the cheering supporters were ready to capture the moment the degrees were officially conferred and the mortar boards filled the air.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Amanda Broderick congratulated all participants, saying, "This graduation day, while the culmination of a great journey, cannot match the spectacular adventure that awaits you.
"As you make your way into your future, take some time to contemplate the value of your degree and all that you have gained during your time at University.
"You have the power to enhance not only your own life but the lives of countless others: to make an impact in both your local community and in the wider world."
Professor Broderick added, "Today's ceremony is a special one - this year marks our 125th anniversary. We have been pioneering futures from 1898 in the 2nd industrial revolution to today's 4th and entering the 5th, preparing our students for the careers and opportunities of the future and driving forward that future inclusively and sustainably."
During the course of the ceremonies, two leading names in the field of health were added to the list of the University’s roll of honorary doctorates of science. Both have championed the values and mission of the National Health Service and they both reflected on the Covid pandemic and the issues it raised around public health.
Professor Mark Radford is Chief Nurse, Deputy Chief Executive of Health Education England and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England.
Talking of the pandemic, Professor Radford said, "People across the nation, including students, volunteers, universities - everybody played a part in being able to give that vaccination on that first day. And here we are, while Covid-19 is still around, we are a more open society as a result of people being protected thanks to the work of everyone involved. That has given me a lot of pride."
Dame Alwen Williams' career in the NHS has spanned more than 40 years. As Group Chief Executive of Barts Health NHS Trust, the largest in London, Dame Alwen has led and transformed the trust, taking it from special measures to one of the country's most respected NHS organisations.
Looking back at the pandemic, Dame Alwen said, "There was a real spirit of having to adapt in real time, every day. It's just remarkable what people and teams working together did. There's a real sense of vocation serving the people of east London and doing a job that is worthwhile.
"I have a deep affinity with east London, having lived in the area for three decades and having given birth to my two children here. Although I was brought up in the West Midlands I am now an east Londoner through and through. It has been a great privilege to have lived and worked in this vibrant, inclusive and diverse community."
The graduates too reflected on their challenging journey through the pandemic.
Harriet Boamah, who was receiving her MA in Youth and Community Work, said, "After the pandemic, 2022 was the year that it seemed that life was getting back to normal, but not quite for us - we remained focused. Well, today it was worth it."
Omolara Daniel, awarded a Masters in Human Rights Advocacy, said, "We should be very, very proud of ourselves for accomplishing our goals despite all the challenges we faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"UEL is a great institution. There is always the right support in place for everyone to excel whatever their capability or challenges."
Iyngkaran Mahalingam, a Master in Science specialising in pharmaceutical science, said, "Some of us have travelled across the globe to come here with many hopes and dreams. Our time at UEL has definitely helped us to move towards our life goals."
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