Ceremony 5 – York St John Graduation 2019

, , Leave a comment


.>>Good morning. Welcome to York Minster. I am one of the
clergy here. I’m behalf of Chapter,
welcome to friends and family and to graduands . Many, many
congratulations from all of us at the Minster . We gave thanks for you
this morning at morning prayer, and we prayed
for your futures. We hope you enjoy
your day. There are a few
things to say before the ceremony
begins . Firstly, could I ask you
to check that your mobile phone is on silent or off . Could you please dust — just double-check. That would be grand. Be a bit awkward over
lunch, otherwise. Could I also ask you,
if you are taking photographs , please be aware of
others around you, so just what your elbows
and don’t remain transfixed, because
somebody else will be called and
their family or parents won’t
be able to see. If you sat down and took a cushion or a nailer from the seat , it would be helpful if you
could put it back as you leave. That would be
marvellous. If you need the toilet,
they are on the left-hand side of
the building. Keep going, keep going,
keep going, and then turn left. There is a sign telling
you where to go. We should not need to
evacuate the building. Obviously we don’t have
a fire drill planned for this morning. If we do need to get out,
please do not use your initiative. Somebody will stand where
I am standing and will tell you how to get out
as quickly and safely as possible, and please
follow the directions of the stewards. They know how to do
this sort of thing. At the end of the
ceremony, as the procession leaves, would
you please stand and resist the urge
to follow them. They will be going in
another direction. You stay where you are. If you are not part of
the procession, you will leave through the
door you came in. I think that’s all I
need to say in terms of practicalities. Enjoy your day. Would you please stand
for the beginning of the procession. (Music plays)>>By the authority
of the Privy Council , I declare this ceremony
open for the conferment of degrees and
presentation of awards. Would you please sit. Pro Chancellor,
Vice-Chancellor, honorary graduands,
Benjamin Myers and Emma Crosby, honoured guests , friends and family and, of course, the graduands . you are welcome. It is with great joy that
I welcome you all today to walk — York Minster to take
part in the celebration of achievement. As Chancellor of the
University, not only am I delighted to preside
over this happy occasion, I’m also
delighted to share in your success and to be
associated with you all. Too often in life, we
do not give ourselves enough credit, but today
today to say, “Yes , I did it!” It is a day of big
smiles and full hearts, as well as relief that
the hard work is over. Although this is a
formal ceremony, I can assure you that I try to
encourage informality within these walls. So, graduands, remember, remember to relax and enjoy the experience , and make sure that you
pose for your photograph on the platform. This is a moment that you
and your family will want to treasure. Should you be tempted
to become a runner , like a Yorkshire
terrier, I will hold your hand and I
will not let go only to do so to get a much firmer grip! Don’t become runners. Just pose for your
photograph. As you come up the ramp, should you find that
your wardrobe is challenging you,
don’t worry , you are among friends. I have taken part in diverse happenings
here at York Minster , and today I can see and I know that
the Minster is loving with pride, pride
among family members and friends who join our
public acknowledgement of our graduands ‘ efforts and
achievements, pride among the staff of York
St John, for whom this is a day of great
culmination of many hours of dedication
and support , and pride, of course,
among our graduands . You have been on
a great journey. We come here today as a
community bound together by our common commitment to the success of those we are celebrating. I personally would like
to thank everyone who has played a part in our
graduands’ achievements . The fruits of your
labours are before us today. Your impact is
beyond measure. None of us, of course,
know what the future holds. But, as the world
changes, education is as important as ever to
develop the skills that serve society well. Knowledge, of course,
but also empathy and understanding, creativity, reflection
and mutual respect : these are qualities that are as important as the subjects you
have studied for your academic knowledge. They have been part of this
university’s Christian ethos throughout
its history. I encourage you to take those qualities out into
the world with you . Make them central to your
growth as individuals and your contribution to
your community, society and the wider world. Education brings with
it a responsibility as well as the ability to make a
positive contribution. You have been encouraged
to take part in a range of work
experience and volunteering
opportunities. Many of you have taken
advantage of such opportunities and I have been greatly
impressed by your commitment to local
initiatives. Such work can be important for
your personal development , as well as contributing
to society as a whole , so I hope that many of
you will continue this engagement with your
local communities when you leave this place. It is through your
family, through your work and through your other interests and pursuits . As Nelson Mandela said, there can be
no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy
to helping others without expecting
anything in return . I also wish you , and I say to
our graduates , I hope that you will
always find time to reflect back on your experience
at York St John. Think of the lasting
friendships you have made and the special sense
of community across the campus. Remember, you will always
be part of our community, no matter what
life has in store for you. Today is a day for great
celebration, and I am sure that all of you,
graduands, family members and friends, will make
the most of this occasion. So congratulations, and
I wish you well in all your future endeavours,
and may God bless you richly. Now, what the parents,
friends, lecturers of York St John
who are able, please stand. Will you please join
me in having a clap of congratulations to
all our graduands? (Applause)>>Thank you, you
can please sit . Will all our graduands who are able,
please stand. Please give thanks to everyone who
has supported you, parents, friends , and your cheaters. — chute is. (Applause)>>Hello. I know you all come
from the School of humanities, philosophy
and religion, but you can
make a noise. Will you please
thank your parents , Your friends and your
teachers once more. (Applause)>>Thank you very much. You can please sit. I call upon the
Academic Registrar to announce the Award of Degrees.>>Chancellor, for the School of
humanities, religion and philosophy, for the
degree of philosophy by research, awarded by the
University of Leeds, to be presented by the
deputy head of School, Dr Liesl King.>>Chancellor, the degree of philosophy
is awarded following a significant period
of research, resulting in a thesis
which makes an original contribution to knowledge
that extends the boundaries of the
academic discipline. Chancellor, I prison to you for the
degree of philosophy by research for a
thesis entitled , “The performing artists
in such a lank, the contribution to F no religious
cohesion through their shaping and challenging
of sociocultural norms.” Winojith Sanjeewa Withana
Appuhamilage Chancellor, I present to
you for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
by Research , for a thesis entitled,
“Thomas Hardy, scripting the irrational.” Alan Gordon Smith>>For the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy by Research, awarded by Jorg
St John University.>>Chancellor, I do to
you for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
by Research for a thesis entitled
Women mountaineers, a study of a fact,
since story and in motion, Jenny Hall Chancellor, I present to
you for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
by Research for a thesis entitled
from is land to Christianity, a study of the life and
thought of Hassan to Ghani Cafferty and Jean-Mohammed
Abd-el Jalil in the ongoing search
for a deeper understanding between
Christianity and Islam, Agnes Angela Mary Wilkins>>For the degree
of Master of arts.>>Chancellor, I present to you for the
degree of MasterCard and American studies,
Lillie Beecroft And for the history,
American studies and war studies program price,
Freya Charlotte Larder Christopher John Love And for the history,
American studies and war studies final project in
dissertation prize, Thea Eppie Miller And in chaplaincy
studies, Rachel Mary Shackleton And in contemporary
literature, Justine Faith Cooper Heather Lukins Sarah Margaret Mannion Rachel Amber Patience Ashton Inali
Pearson-Child Nicoletta Peddis Sophie Blossom Taylor Annice White Joseph Owen Wright # And in contemporary
religion, Jake Christopher Chaplin Joshua Daniel McMorland Joe Antony Phillips Diane Therese
Hazel Ryan Elizabeth Catherine
Watson And in creative writing, Rose Jean Brookes And for the creative
writing final project and dissertation prize, Amy Craig Colin James Cutler Arthur Robin Gallagher Hollie Glover Sharmila Gohil Abigail Knowles Patrick Gabriel Morgan Matthew Craig Pickering Kathryn Sharman Natalie Karen Stevens And for the creative
writing program price, Amy Stewart Emma Louise Thompson David Yeomans And in history, Samuel Cryer And in international
history, Thomas Anthony
James Davies Joshua Brignall-Morley Matthew John Jones Jack Mulligan Tessa Anne Schofield>>For the degree of
Master of fine arts.>>Chancellor, I present
to you that the degree of Master of fine arts
in creative writing, Michael John Donnelly>>For the graduate
diploma.>>Chancellor, I present
to you but the graduate diploma in Christian
theology and practice, Scott Peter Cunliffe Anna Kotrikadze>>For the degree of
bachelor of our.>>Chancellor, I present to
you put the degree of bachelor of arts in
American studies, Arran William Edward Thompson Emma Wells And in Christian
theology and practice, Gemma
Caroline Allen Phillip Richard Chisholm Philip Cole Jonathan Mark Doyle Tom Dunham Leslie Heal Daniel John Holland Alison Hutchings David Michael Jones Christopher John Still Brian Ward Wendy-Jane Watkins And in Christian
theology, and the theology and
religious studies program, final project
and dissertation prices, Lauren Hunter Bell Megan Lauren Bird Joshua Clark Stephen Charles Miller Anna Elizabeth Pattison Elizabeth Powell Evangelina Frances Rea Gavin Richard
George Scott Rosie May Smejka Leah Angharad Williams and in Creative Writing Ben Ambrazaitis and for the School of
Humanities, Religion and Philosophy prize and
the Creative Writing programme, final project
and dissertation prizes Elizabeth Laura Bell Stacy Melissa Curry Elizabeth Alycia
Nicole Fitzgerald Rosalind Ann Griffiths Eleanor Hartley Smith Lucy Elliott Hurst Samuel Oliver Jacques Jennifer Louise Keighley John Liddle Harry Mitchell Imogen Peniston Charles Frederick Plumb James Rance Georgia Elizabeth Ritson Benjamin Shaw Sophie Catherine
Swainson Tia Welsh Paul Richard Whelan and for the Vice
Chancellor.s Achievement Award for the School of
Humanities, Religion and Philosophy Jessica Whittall Gabriel Sean Williamson and in Creative Writing
and English Language Isobel Dewhurst Georgina Grace Kerr Thomas Markham Grace Victoria Morris Charles Rothwell
Prudames Sarah Ann Ratcliffe Jessica Josephine
Wright and in Creative Writing
and English Literature Victoria Barbara
Elizabeth Booth Annie Burgess Ealee Susan Christian Bethany Davies Aimee Donnell Georgia Disney
Hannah Fenwick Elsie Rose Franklin Eleanor Aoife Gilchrist Kate Ann Hewett Emily Jane Holmes Elaine Kelly Alice Leon Samuel Marlow Alex McGowan Aisha Jama Noor Bradley Patching Abbigail Hannah Peace Jessica Lauren Ryder Jamie-Louise Shakeshaft Amba Louise Helen Smith Jackson Chapman Smith Megan Wai Chun
Tait-Davies Jessica Rhian Thomas Julia Alexandra Ward Max Wilding and in Creative
Writing and Media Heather Bateman Caitlain Jayne Horan Ryan Luke Moate and for the Joint
Honours programme Prize Martin Poole and in English
Literature Chloe Anson Sarah Baker Sophie Barnes Emilia Ann Beck Rebekah Louise Bell Samantha Bland Ella Evodia Bramhall Harrison J Casswell Adam Cummins Hannah Victoria Denholm Amelia Grace Dickinson Hannah Louisa
Gleave Donlan Hollie Dunning Isabell Dutch Natalie Fairbairn Lauren Fay Feast Natalie Jane Finnigan Megan Louise Hands Roberta Louise Hannam Eleanor Hough Emily Alice Howes Katie Ibberson Lucy May Jackson Claire Jones Jennifer Kinnersley Jasmine Kitchen Abigail Lee Hayley Jane
Leyland-Saggoo Niamh Elizabeth Line Keelan Drew Loveday Katherine Emily
Elizabeth Manning Tabitha McNicholas and for the English
Literature programme, final project and
dissertation prizes Harriet Mercer Maya Sophie
Violet Milburn Megan Chloe Mitchell
Double Rebecca Moncur Amy Louise Pollard Kate Povey Katie Louise Powell Sally Reid Ruben Mason Ritterband Mary Rowe Marcia Parker Sanderson Rebecca Grace Scott Anna Margaret Simmonds Gemma Rae Sketcher Louise Small Katie Louise Spaven Charlotte Louise
Stevenson Alice Jane Syms Hannah Elizabeth Tetlow Isabelle Watkins Abigail Daisie Weaver Emma Loren Wilbourne Grace Wright Robyn Alexandra Wright Chancellor, I present to
you for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in
English literature and English language, Grace Cooper Niamh Kathleen Delaney Sarah Kate Hatfield Kathryn Jane Leese Chloe Lister Demi-Marie Paterson and in English
Literature and Film Studies Alice Caroline Clough Eleanor Rachel Dunn Michelle Sarah Hassall Patrick John Loasby Jacob Naylor and in English
Literature and History Chloe Donnelley Charlotte Amy Gayfer Chelsea Melville and in Film Studies
and Media Matthew Luke Adlard Morgan Nastassia Barr Samuel Booth Ewan Burgin Eliza Kate Burke Sophie Beatrice Cook Amy Elizabeth Corker Ashleigh Danielle Dean Earl Thomas
Dubique-Ashton Erin-Mae Dyson Edward Joseph Fox Hazel Fraser Beth Taylor Gowland Ella Harrington Emma Ruth Jolly Harry James Langley Jessica Loyns Christian Robert
Luke Smith Under the joint honours
program prose, James Alexander
Southcott Chloe Margaret Weeks. And in history,
James Edwin Adams Lauren Allen Harvey Ben Allenby Rebecca Anderson Emily Laura Bennett Matthew David Bishop Emma Blenkiron Jessica Boyack-Short Tegan Rebecca Burnett Christopher Caygill Esme Chambers Lauren Elizabeth Chawner Ashleigh Rebecca Cherry Thomas Chisholm Dylan Clark George Edward Colclough And for the history,
American and war studies program, final project
in dissertation prize, Ellie Comerford Thomas Craig Dales George Dean Rudi Dillon Hannah Dixon Ciaran Docherty Jack Dryden Adam Michael D’Souza Joshua Paul Engley Holly Charlotte Evans Oliver Richard Evans Samuel Joseph Floyd Laura-Beth Frankland Matthew Glanville Leah Gemma Green Amie Gregory Louise Yvonne Gwillim Jessica Lauren Hairsine Kailum Reece Hardy Bethany Claire Hession Melissa Jayne Hewitt Edward Hinde Penelope Hodgson Amy Rebecca Hotham Kirsten Carol
Grace Jolley Hollie Melissa Jones Alicia Grace Jordan And for the history,
American and War studies final project and
dissertation prize, Chloe Lazzari Gabrielle Lewis Emily Jayne Longster Thomas William Lovering Colum Henry Martin Maisie Olivia Maude Alice McEntee Joseph Nelson Summer Alanya O’Brien Paris Onigbanjo Thomas Owen Luke Patterson Simon Powell Niamh Susan Purnell Alexandrea Rayner Bethany Francesca Sharpe Matthew Simpson Lucy Smethurst Brendan Joshua Spencer Daniel Mark Stimpson Sarahjayne Stollery Rebecca May Stonehouse Adam James Taylor Amy Taylor Gareth Allan Trotter Alexander Tucker Max Turner Olivia Frances Walsh Tristan Stephen Ward Jordan Watson Polly Williamson Rosie Ella Williamson Charis Elise Wilson Niamh Pauline Wilson James Wrench And in history and
American studies, Kelsey Louise Haslam Gabrielle Haywood Eleanor Taylor And in human geography, Charlotte Bates Alicia Mary Marie Down Chelsea Ann Eddowes Seren Olivia Fowler Luke Harrison Nicole Hernandez
Palaypay And in human geography
with media studies, Daniella Philippa Ibell and in media, you Jennifer Lucy
Elizabeth Ayre Diane Sarah Curry Edward Dixon Jamie Duggan Kiera Louise Harrison Edward James Mellor Liam Miller Amy Louise Mitchell Media program prize, Rachel Amie Neill Lucy Helen Patterson Nathan Randerson And for the media
final project and dissertation prize,
Sophie Louise Stubbs Jackalyn West Binding media and
English literature, Rebecca Jane Connolly Elysia Anne Ryan And in religion, philosophy, and ethics, Maximiliane Barker Amber May Barraclough Megan Boden-Coyne Ewan Reece Bryson Oliver James Campbell Aimee May Connor Henry John Dale Caitriona Ann Fearon Eloise Gyte Alexandra Sophia Heron Jenny Marchant Kayleigh Maughan Matthew Kenneth
Harold Skidmore Arron David Wright and in Religious
Studies Bethany Rose Blastock Niamh Drain Frances Mary Duddy Victoria Louise Mees Millie Rose Parker Khadija Tariq Tegan Waugh and in Theology and
Religious Studies Kinza Nassir Butt Hayley Calder Emma Linda Davies Niamh Eireann
Megan Longmuir Hollie Loraine Lauren Jane McCready Sinead McNabb Catherine Shelton and in War Studies Samuel Frederick
James Cadiou Chater Rheanna Jade
Freeman-Burn Matthew James Hurt Chancellor, I present to
you for the Degree of Bachelor of Science, in
Environmental Geography Olivia Chloe Bullivant Rebecca Leake Struan Robert
Ross McInnes Matthew John Pattison Sarah Louise Stephenson and in Geography Joshua Andrew Crombie Christopher Davy Megan Laura Dawson Ethan David D’Inverno Eden Huntley Chloe Victoria Irvine Josef Michael Kilburn and for the Geography
programme, final project and dissertation prizes Ellie Nicole Smith Dylan Stoppard Jessica Woosnam C ha r l o tt e Anderson>>And for the degree of Matter of Arts in
Religious Studies, Rene Sinclair. That concludes the
presentation of awards.>>Will all our graduates
please put your mortar boards on your heads . All our . Put your motorboat on
your heads, please, and, when you have done
so, please stand. By the authority
invested in me as Chancellor of York St
John University, I confer upon you
the degrees and awards for which you
have been presented. Congratulations. (Applause) If you are in South Africa , we say something else. Please sit. (Music plays) (Applause)>>I call upon the
Chancellor to confer an honorary degree of
University on Benjamin Myers. It is to be presented by
Professor Abi Curtis.>>On behalf of York St
John University, I am delighted and honoured
to welcome in Benjamin Myers to this graduation
ceremony. Winery regiment is a writer. He has been a writer
since an early age, supported by his parents and teachers. Benjamin attempted his
first novel when he was 10. During his teenage years, a love of music and
books became inextricably intertwined . He studied English
literature at Luton University and gained work
experience at the Melody maker magazine , so he combine student
life with being a music journalist. By the age of 21,
Benjamin was living in a squat in London,
interspersed with jetting off to Hollywood
to interview pop and rock stars. If you’re following
a conventional career prompted him to become
a freelance writer , and his name began to
appear on album and book reviews for magazines , articles, poems and
music biographies. However, fiction
remained his obsession and he increased efforts
to write novels. He has said , “My head seems to be full of stories that I want to expel,
and there is nothing else I would rather
be doing . When I am not writing,
I’m thinking about when I can write next.” This third novel, Pick,
published in 2012 by blue Moose and
Hebden Bridge, went on to win the
Gordon Burn price. Further accolades
followed for his next two novels, These things and
The Gallows Old. — B ea ts in s t i g n g a s a nd T he G al lo w s P i k o le . Our own creative writing
students here have been introduced to
this book as part of the writing genre model. Born in County Durham, because, as he has said,
I think I wanted to experience rain in all
its many varieties , Benjamin draws upon the
landscapes of the North for inspiration. These contribute to his
writings which spread across the genres of
historical fiction, crime, nature, writing
and beyond. This years in a further
boost to his public profile. His latest and ninth
novel has been published by London based
Bloomsbury. The Offering which is set in Robin
Hood stay and eat as the unlikely friendship
between a young man and an older woman was on BBC radio four
and was selected for the BBC radio two book club , and as a good read
by the Observer . Horatio Clare has called the book a gorgeous some
of the book , quietly and precisely what the world needs , calling friendship and
gentleness from people , place and language. Benjamin has described
his craft as magical , explaining how Alves to
describe the ability to physically and
emotionally impacted upon a stranger at the other side of the
world using only 26 symbols arranged
in a sequence? Writing is not tactile
sensory, it is just curves and lines , combine to
create spells, and in my book,
that is magic. On behalf of York St
John University, I am delighted to recognise
Benjamin’s achievements as an author, poet,
and journalist. Chancellor, I you to the
Degree of Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa,
Benjamin Myers. (Applause)>>Benjamin Myers, I
admit you to the Degree of Doctor of Letters,
Honoris Causa. Congratulations. (Applause)>>Thank you . 25 years ago, I
failed my A-levels in quite spectacular
style , and it was one of the
best things that ever happened to me. I knew I wanted to write
about literature so I diligently rang every university in
the country during the clearing process , all 110 of them . 109 refused me a place, but one brand-new
University, the University of Luton, such as seat of learning
does exist, allowed me to study with
them, and I moved there after looking at a map. It was here that my
love of literature accelerated and my desire
to be a writer increased as well. Higher education is not
just about learning facts and repeating them
in essays and exams. It is about being
inspired and finding your way in the world. Two years after
graduating, I completed my first novel. It was terrible. So, I wrote another one. It was also terrible. But I continued and
somewhere along the way, I got a little bit better , and with each novel I
publish, I hope to get a little bit better , but to me, it’ll began
with teachers and lecturers, librarians
and books and failure. I believe failure to be
as important as success . Samuel Beckett
famously wrote ever trials, ever
failed, no matter, try again, fail again,
fail better . Every creative endeavour , and this applies to the
graduates today, is just a better failure
than the previous attempt . In many ways, we are all
failing, but the key is to never give up and
enjoy whatever it is we choose to do in life. That way, the failure
part becomes irrelevant, and success is measured
in other ways. So, I hope to keep
failing for many years to come. Thank you to the
students and staff at York St John to this
great honour. I shall call myself
a Doctor of failure. Thank you. (Applause)>>I call upon the
Chancellor to confer an honorary degree of the
University on Emma Crosby. This will be presented
by Doctor Sue Greenwood.>>Good morning. On behalf of York St
John University, I am delighted and
very honoured to welcome Emma Crosby
to this graduation ceremony. And there is a
well-known and experienced broadcast
journalist who has interviewed
everyone from politicians to rockstar’s and Hollywood a list is. She currently appears as a presenter
for sky News and Channel 5 news. She could get past the
lens and into people’s homes to educate and
enlighten us about our world. This is actually the
second time that Emma has taken part in one
of our graduation ceremonies here. The first was in 1998 when she graduated from
what was then the college of Ripon
and York St John with a degree in film,
television, literature and theatre studies. During her time with
us, she undertook an internship at ITN which opened her eyes to
the world of journalism , and she has said I loved the buzz, the
excitement, the sheer unpredictability of it. Her first break came
working for BBC’s rolling news channel
as a producer , and she then became
a reporter for CNBC in Europe and America, where she presented from
the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, giving her experience
of live broadcasting. She was noticed by sky
and came back to the UK to join their early
morning show Rise, and to Go Present
Sky News Today , and the Show Received
a BAFTA Award for Their Reporting of the Glasgow
Airport Terrorism Attack. In 2009, she returned
to breakfast TV to co-host ITV’s
GMTV show , broadcasting to
millions across the nation , and she then joined
Channel 5 to present their flagship
news program in 2017. Emma also works for
several charities including kids count of
which she is a sponsor. This is about mothers avoiding stillbirth, the
charity organised a petition calling for the
regulation of the use of fatal timers in the home. She was part of the group who handed it in at Downing Street. She has developed
another strand to her career as a host and
awards presenter with one business saying, “we required
a host with fabulous composure, assured
presence, calm determination, and
supreme adaptability. All qualities that are
also displays in her work on screen.” At York St John, we
are very proud of the exciting careers followed
by graduates from our journalism, media and
performance degrees, and it is a privilege to
include among their number. On behalf of York St
John University, I am delighted to recognise
Emma’s achievements as a journalist, newsreader
and presenter by the award of an honorary
degree. Chancellor, I present
to you for the award of the Degree of Doctor of
Letters, Honoris Causa, Emma Crosby. (Applause)>>Emma Crosby,
I admit you to the Degree of
Doctor of Letters , Honoris Causa. Congratulations.>>Thank you. Chancellor, Vice
Chancellor, fellow graduates, in this amazing building , I feel very humble,
and to be part of the ceremony, makes me feel
really humble as well. I would like to thank
Doctor Greenwood for those kind words. I would also like
to thank my parents who are here today as
they were 20 years ago to watch me graduate. All you parents, and the tutors, this day is as much
for you as for your children. Mine are particularly
happy today because this is a degree that they
haven’t had to pay for. Listening to Doctor
Greenwood, it is as if my career has been a
series of effortless achievements, but I
assure you, this is just the highlights package. Living through it didn’t
feel like that all the time. Michelle Obama is someone
who I admire greatly. She is also someone who
is brilliant at doing these kinds of speeches. Her mantra is just to say
something true . So, here goes. Fellow graduates, we
have more in common than you might think. I sat down just a couple
of weeks ago to write my CV. It is something that I
haven’t done for a very long time, but I remember
vividly the pain that I felt two decades ago with that empty white
sheet of paper in front of me . Now, my CV is pretty full , but I find myself having to reinvent
myself to find my next
challenge. Ladies and gentlemen, things change . Things change
all the time . When I arrived at
university, the internet wasn’t part of
our experience. Can you believe that? In those days, most
people sat down in front of the TV at some point
to watch the news of the day. Now, that particular
audience is dwindling. Most of us are engrossed
in our phones these days. We get our news
from websites . We might watch net Flex,
and I’m sure some of you even host your own
YouTube channels. So the world that I
graduated into doesn’t exist anymore. I, like you, must keep
reinventing myself , keep learning , and keep hungry . That makes me happy because it
prepared me for this and set the pattern
for my life. I had to take the
road less travelled . York St John didn’t have
university status in those days and I didn’t sign up for
a traditional academic degree . But my degree gave
me a chance to act and it gave me a
chance to perform , something which
I love doing. It also had a
vocational slant and offered, as Sue said
earlier, an internship, and one day when we were
sitting in a lecture hall on campus looking
up at a slide with the names of the companies
that we can do our work placement with, I saw
three little letters, ITN. I didn’t know exactly
what they stood for, but I had a funny feeling in
my belly that working in TV news was something
that I would love to do. I got my internship and
I never looked back. Now later in my career,
I was offered a job by the BBC. The BBC, as I am sure you
will agree, is still seen as the Oxbridge of
Lord Carson, but I had to remember what I
learned at York St John. I had an all tentative
job offer. It was less prestigious,
much less secure, but it was much more me. I took the job and everything worked
out just fine. So, have the courage
to take your own road , and also, trust
your own judgement. I also remember exactly
how it felt to sit exactly where you
all are today. It was a great day, I was
really happy, but also, I was quite scared. I had lots of debt. I had no money and
I had no future job . I knew what I wanted to
do, but I didn’t know how I was going
to get there. I felt like one of those
fallen leaves that is blowing around outside
at the moment. I felt really untethered,
but unknowing parent reassured me and told me
to take one step at a time, get one thing
fixed, and the others It is all going to
work out fine. Another gift I got
from York St John , and it is something
I can see many of you have already been given
as well, and that is friends. For the past 20 years,
believe it or not, my merry band of mates has
gone from drinking at 3 AM to becoming some
of the most important pillars
of my adult life. They are my support
network . They are my councillors who laugh like drains. They have been with me
since my first love to my first heartbreak, from
being hired to being fired . twice. Now, we are all mothers , and our lives have
changed again, and we have to adapt to the new world that
we all live in. Please, hold onto
your pillars . Give them a squeeze and
be grateful to this university for
throwing you all together in the first
place, because they can be the precious constants
in your life, the characters that glue
your story together . Thank you for remembering
me. Thank you very much for
inviting me back. And thank you
for this degree . I will cherish it and I
will include it on my CV when I send it
out next week. Thank you. (Applause)>>A call for a vote of thanks.>>Chancellor, it is my
honour to give this vote of thanks on behalf of
the graduating students here today, and I would
like to express our gratitude to everyone who
has played a part in enabling us to reach this
incredible milestone. The support of family and
friends who have been on this journey with us
has been invaluable and your encouragement is
usually appreciated. We would like to thank
everyone involved in this graduation ceremony
today and thank every member of academic,
technical, administrative or service
staff who has helped , motivated and inspired
us during our time at York St John University. Whatever our
circumstances, wherever we are in our lives, you have helped us
achieve an education for life and we look to the
future with hope and anticipation. The friendships we have
made have given us memories to treasure
for life and shared experiences that will
shape who we are as we continue our journey
as graduates. We will take with us the
York St John values of community, creativity
and confidence in the future as the next
chapter of our life begins. Thank you. (Applause)>>I call upon the Vice
Chancellor to address the congregation.>>Chancellor, Pro
Chancellor, honorary graduates , honoured guests,
friends and family and, of course, graduates! (Applause) Graduates . I hope you
feel as wonderful as that word sounds. It represents so much : success, triumph,
achievement, a joyous reward for the
hard work that has gone into the last few years. It also brings to an end
one important chapter in your life story but,
more importantly, it prepares you for
the next exciting instalment. Your academic
qualifications are your passport to a world of
exciting opportunity. But that’s for
tomorrow. Today is your day to
celebrate and enjoy. I’m sure this remarkable
graduation ceremony, in the magnificent and
spectacular surroundings of York Minster,
will not only — be the only
celebration of your success today, but it
will be the most memorable, filled with
the pride and emotion of a special day in such an
extra–special place. This is not only one of
the greatest cathedrals in Britain but one of
the best loved in the world. The current building is
nearly 800 years old, but the Minster’s history
stretches back more than a millennium. Hallowed ground, indeed,
on which to take the first steps in the
professional life journey that awaits
you outside. Despite the grander
of our supply links — surroundings, this is
also a tranquil place of peace in which to
reflect on your success, to feel a real sense of
fulfilment in what you have achieved and
to give thanks. During our graduation
ceremony, everything has gone very smoothly. None of you tripped on
the stage or fell down the ramp . Planning for graduation
takes almost a year and it’s a huge endeavour to
ensure everything goes smoothly. The team behind today,
from the Minster and York St John, have
given their best , and they should be
congratulated for the impressive way they have
handled the event. Let’s show our
appreciation. (Applause) The Chancellor started
our ceremony earlier by talking about the sense of pride
we all feel today . I want to re-emphasise
that. I feel incredibly proud
and privileged to be with you as Vice
Chancellor of York St John University . You have all been on your
own personal journey , from when you first
walk through our doors until today. You have no doubt
overcome intellectual challenges and personal
ones to ultimately succeed, and you have
travelled the journey together to collectively
become York St John university’s
class of 2019. In that time, you have
shown an incredible capacity to learn , to grow and to change . You have made your
possibilities into realities . While you have been
growing and changing individually, the world
has been changing around you, too. Right now, the future
feels uncertain . We simply cannot predict
what turns the world will take next,
politically . We continue rapidly
renegotiating our relationship with
technology . The need to create a more
sustainable world has reached a point
of urgency , and deeply embedded
attitudes and behaviours, reinforced by long-standing inequalities, I’ve been
called out and exposed as people express a
desire for social change. All of this makes it
hard to predict the world to come , but, amid all
this uncertainty, being here with
you today makes me feel hopeful,
hopeful and optimistic , because you
are the future . You have shown, in so
many ways throughout your time with us, that
you want to make a positive change
in the world. I hope we have shown you
that you possess the qualities to do that . The attitudes and actions
you take as you step out from here will shape
not only your own lives but the lives of
those around you. So, do the right things. You are talented,
creative, inspiring . It is to you, the next
generation, to whom we look to help us succeed . As one of the
University’s most famous graduates, the Most
Reverend Desmond Tutu, said, “There’s no passion
to be found in playing small , in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable
of living .” Graduates, we look
forward to you seizing the day. Carpe diem. We won’t forget you , for you are our
bright future. As you leave us today,
go with our warmest congratulations and very best wishes
for the exciting times that lie ahead. Thank you very
much, everyone. Thank you. (Applause)>>I declare this
ceremony closed.>>(Music plays)

 

Leave a Reply