UCLan Graduation Ceremony: Friday 20 July 2018 – Afternoon

UCLan Graduation Ceremony: Friday 20 July 2018 – Afternoon

October 13, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


Please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the
University of Central Lancashire I’m delighted to warmly welcome you to
Preston Guild Hall and to this graduation ceremony. On this special day
we are here to proudly celebrate the achievements of our students from the
Faculty of Science and Technology. I now call upon the Vice-Chancellor Professor
Mike Thomas to give his address. Good afternoon everybody and before I start
my address just a note for you if you have any babies infants or small
children here, if they start to cry or they want to run about or exercise their
legs please let them do so, don’t be embarrassed at all – if your child cries
or or gets overwrought with emotions we’re quite happy with the noise of that
in the hall, we think of them as our future students so please don’t remove them
from the hall. Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, members of the University
Board honorary fellows and our graduates it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to
this graduation ceremony in which we acknowledge and celebrate the
achievements of our new graduates. I always look forward to graduation
ceremonies and the chance for the university, its staff, board members
honorary fellows and honoured guests to celebrate such an important day for you
our graduates post graduates, your families and your friends. This is your
day, I hope you enjoy the ceremony and the celebrations afterwards. It’s
customary for a Vice-Chancellor to use graduation as an opportunity to comment
on economic affairs or politics or the university sector in general, but with
your forbearance and patience I wish to direct my words
directly at our graduates and post graduates. You’ve spent the past few
years studying for the awards during what is undoubtedly one of the most
uncertain and sometimes turbulent periods of social history. We appear to
live in an age where opinion carries more weight than fact, where
contradiction is seen as reasoning, where opposing argument is seen as personal
opposition, and where falsehoods and fake news are plausible versions of the
phenomena, where truth can be manipulated and made elastic, stretched to its very
limits. But I take an optimistic view of the future because you are graduating today.
You’ve trained your intellect to be alert and resilient in our uncertain age.
I hope as you continue your careers you’ll continue to apply your reasoning
to achieve two things: to always be committed to uncover and shine a light
on truth using evidence and analysis, and secondly to apply evidence based
methodologies on falsehoods, manipulation of facts and unfounded opinions that
harm our society. Graduates from the School of Physical Sciences and
Computing continue and will do so, make a great contribution as the century rolls
on. We know many of you will go to all aspects of employment from high-tech
digital commerce, banking, government the civil service, the forces as well as many
of you may come to academia. The world-class teaching in the school
translates into excellent outcomes for you, ensuring you have the skills necessary to
pursue your chosen career. This year you were introduced to maths teaching
placement options in the maths program to support students who wish to pursue a
career in teaching. This has been hugely successful – some students have now
secured teacher training places next year and three of you have been awarded
the prestigious scholarship from the Institute of Mathematics.
Those of you from the School of Psychology have undertaken degree
programs that focus on the application of psychology in areas such as forensics
or health. Graduates there will go on to careers, many will progress to work as
professional psychologists in the NHS, the Prison Service or private practice.
The focus of your training and education has been on improving the health and
well-being of the country as a whole. Three-quarters of you graduating today
from the School of Psychology enter graduate level employment or further
study within six months of leaving us. This puts your school in the top 15 of
universities nationally for graduate prospects in psychology, above other
universities such as Oxford or Durham. We would have hopefully developed you to be
critical thinkers and take an evidence-based approach in reasoning and
decision-making. We know you would have come from a wide range of backgrounds –
many of you will be the first in your family to attend a university, or you may
have come to us as mature students with conflicting demands on your time, yet we
know you go on to achieve exceptionally high standards and progress to excellent
careers and I would argue that you should never underestimate the
experience you’ve had in this university and the way shapes your thinking and the
rest of your lives. We’ve a long history of transforming lives. We were first
established on the 7th of October 1828 as the Institute for the Diffusion of
Knowledge and this year as you graduate your university celebrates its 190th
birthday. The original group that formed what became the University of
Central Lancashire were radical in their thinking about education and learning
and innovation, and we recognise in today’s world we have a duty to continue
that original mission and spirit of radicalism, to be innovative, to be
creative thinkers, and for you to continue with your lives more equipped
and more resilient to deal with periods of uncertainty. Our
success is achieved together, staff and students seeking new knowledge to
provide clarity uncertainty and in the midst of this uncertainty, There are
certain things that we know about you. We know for instance that today you were
graduates and post graduates. We certainly know that you worked hard for
the awards that you get. There’s also a sense of certainty if you hold on to
those beliefs and values that support and promote our communities.Tthe principles
and approaches that we value are enshrined in the university, for instance
common sense – the judgment to do the right thing for others; compassion – to
treat others with consideration care and honesty; teamwork – to think and act
together valuing collective as highly as individual achievements; attentiveness – to
take personal and professional pride in the quality of your work but show that
you can listen and care for others while you do that work; and finally trust – show
and respect and integrity in everything that you do. We know other things about
you. We know you have the ability to understand complex issues. We know you
can be critical. We know you have the confidence to challenge and impact the
status quo. We know you’ve developed a value for civil society and a
willingness to make a personal contribution. We know this because you are
graduates and post graduates, we’ve tested you, we’ve assessed, you we’ve
observed you, now it’s your turn. So keep watching, keep listening, observe, analyse,
devise new solutions to things that life brings to you. Keep learning, exercise your
intellect and be ready to intervene. Don’t be afraid or unwilling to try
different things. Follow your own path but remember be ready to compromise when you
need to. We look to you participate in processes and debates in
organisations, in business, in commerce. Seek to make a difference. We know
another certainty about you. We know that gaining the awards you’ve
earned in which we celebrate today is difficult, that must be so I make no
apologies for that, few things in life of genuine value are easy to gain, and
success in this university is far from easy. The university would have demanded
from you dedication, commitment, intellectual
endeavor and sheer hard work at times. I’m sure that many of you here in the
audience today, families, friends and colleagues would have been called upon
to provide a helping hand in that journey, so on behalf of you our
graduates I would like to thank everyone in the audience for the invaluable
support and ask that the graduates join me in sharing our appreciation to you. [APPLAUSE] It’s difficult I think for people not
ingrained in university life to fully comprehend what a university does or how
it works. Will really are in organisational terms very strange beasts.
Indeed we are simultaneously a public sector, a private commercial company
and a charity and here at the University of Central Lancashire we incorporate
those three aspects of a single organisation by focusing on you our
students. We’re also a strange beast in organisational terms because we hire
staff who dedicate their lives to learning and supporting transformation –
in effect we form an academic village in every university. You would have been
taught by a dedicated group of academic staff, many of whom are international
leaders in that field and all of whom develop their
professional lives to the teaching, learning and development of their
subject. You have also been supported by many highly dedicated professional staff
who have provided the services and infrastructure that are made your
success possible, so on your behalf I would like to thank every one of our
staff and asked once again they join me in applauding them. [APPLAUSE] In a few minutes the names of our
graduands will be called out and we’ll applaud and cheer. Please everybody make
as much noise as you want, this is a celebratory ceremony. Each of you will
enter stage right as graduands, cross the stage, shake my hand, and exit stage left
as graduates. We do this to publicly acknowledge your individual achievements,
but also to congratulate you personally. I know everyone in the hall will be as
enthusiastic with our applause for our first graduate as we will be for our
final graduate. We take genuine pride in your achievement. I’m confident that many
of you will go out into the world and bring not only real social and economic
benefits to yourself, but also to the communities where you will live. Whatever
you decide to do next, wherever in the world you find yourself you’ll always be
a member of this university. I hope at some stage you will return to your
academic home, but for now on behalf of everybody here very well done
congratulations and good luck for a happy and successful life. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, honoured guests, ladies
and gentlemen, the Academic Board confers an honorary fellowship on Patrick Holden. Vice-Chancellor, Patrick Holden is a
direct descendant of one of you UCLan’s founding fathers, and is a man of many
diverse talents. After school, he was commissioned in the British Army and
seconded to West Africa where he undertook a position in the intelligence
area. He returned home to read law St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and
went on to pursue a rich and varied business career. Among his corporate
roles in law and international marketing were legal director at both Fine Fare
Supermarkets, and Oriole Foods, during which he played a key role in three
changes to UK legislation affecting retail businesses. For more than 35 years
he has run his own successful three enterprises specialising in property
Lloyds Insurance, and investments. Cartoons are one of Patrick’s passions.
He lends items from the Holden Collection to exhibitions, and was for
many years a trustee of the Cartoon Museum. He has had many of his own
cartoons published. He is also an acknowledged expert on dog training and
behaviour. Patrick has judged competitions delivered lectures and written three
books on canine training and behavior and agility. Patrick’s links with UCLan
go all the way back to the early 19th century – his
three-times-great-grandfather Moses Holden, an astronomer and lecturer in
optics, was one of the founders of the Institute for the Diffusion of Knowledge
which morphed into the University. He now funds a doctoral bursary in
astrophysics called the Moses Holden Postgraduate Studentship.
Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the Academic Board, it is with great pleasure
that I present Patrick Holden for the award of Honorary Doctorate of the
university of Central Lancashire. [APPLAUSE] I would now like to invite Patrick
Holden to respond to the citation. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Well
first of all thanks the Vice-Chancellor and the University for granting me this
honour, and the orator for his kind and humbling remarks. I am both proud and
grateful. I should also like to give sincere congratulations to the graduates –
I know how hard you’ve worked, and I wish you well in your future careers. If I may
offer just one piece of advice that was given to me years ago by a very wise
chap about jobs and it is this: if you’re not in your job for fun or profit, change
it now. It may be difficult in the early part of your career to do this but I
commend that you remember this for the future and you’ll leave a
much more fulfilled and happy life. As you’ve heard, my brother John, who’s here
today, and I, are the direct descendants of Moses – not the Bulrush chap but Moses
Holden, who was, all as you’ve heard, out great-great-great-grandfather.
He was a polymath with extensive interest in engineering, religion, optics and astronomy. In
particular he was a great believer in education, and he wrote a small handbook
for students simply because in his day books on astronomy
were too expensive for most people. As you heard he was one of the prime movers
in the foundation of the Institute for Diffusion of Knowledge which is morphed
into this great university. He’s been honored by the University who have named
the new telescope at Alston Observatory after him, the Moses Holden telescope. I
suggest if you haven’t, all get up there and have a look, see,
it’s fascinating. He has been described by his biographer Stephen Halliwell as a
genius, however he was known in the family in his later years as being
somewhat grumpy. Now it’s a great sorrow to brother John and myself that the
genius gene has not come through the generations, but we’re told by our
nearest and dearest that the grumpy one has! Thank you all again. [APPLAUSE[ Vice-Chancellor, the presentation of
graduands and award holders will now take place. Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the
Academic Board I present those who have gained awards in the School of Physical
Sciences and Computing. Vice-Chancellor
that concludes the presentation of awards from the School of Physical
Sciences and Computing. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the
Academic Board, I present those who have gained awards in the
School of Psychology. Vice-Chancellor, that concludes the
presentation of awards from the School of Psychology. [APPLAUSE] Vice-Chancellor, the presentations are
completed. I call on Lily Green, Vice President Welfare from Students’ Union of
the University of Central Lancashire to respond on behalf of those awarded today. Vice-Chancellor, graduates, families,
friends and loved ones, it is my honour to stand here before you today and speak on behalf of
students. Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you all on
this incredible achievement – getting to this moment is not easy, and it is no doubt a
result of your hard work, determination and sacrifice, so you should all be
incredibly proud of yourselves. However it’s important to remember that
university is more than the assignments and it’s more than the exams, it’s more
than the ever-increasing price paid to better your future, and it’s more than
the piece of paper that you’re about to get, because university is an
unforgettable experience. The people that you’ve met and the moments you have
created together make each and every one of your journeys to graduation unique
and special. You may have joined a sports team, found friends for life in a student
society, or that a volunteering project that you were passionate about. You may
have been a representative yourself or led campaigns to helped create meaningful
change for other students on your campus and truly make life better for students.
Whatever it was, it has helped to mold you into the graduates I see before me
today. As graduates of UCLan every single one of you strengthens this
universities worldwide alumni network. Today’s award is a landmark in both your
professional and personal development and a stepping stone to your future
success, and they say that you are leaders of tomorrow, but quite frankly
many of us know that many of you are leaders here and now, so do not wait for
the opportunities and the experiences to find you, it’s more important that you
seek them out and make the absolute best of your strong foundations that you’ve laid
here starting from your graduation. I understand as well
the graduate world might seem quite intimidating at the minute, and you might
feel like you’re heading towards a place of uncertainty and that’s perfectly okay –
that is fine – no one has it completely worked out, and even when you think you
do, life has a way of changing your plans. Just remember to have a bit of
compassion for yourself and others – there is no such thing as perfection and that
life is not a race and that you finally and only you have the power to dictate
your life. The most important thing to do is to remember that you’ve made it this
far and there’s no stopping you now. So last but not least I’d like to thank the
families, friends, university staff, snion staff and loved ones that have joined
you here today and supported you throughout yourUCLan journey. I wish you
all the best of the future Class of 2018, and your Students’ Union hope to see you
again soon. [APPLAUSE] It is now my pleasure to introduce the
the University of Central Lancashire Chamber Choir. The members of the
university chamber choir are all students of music theatre within the
School of Journalism, Media and Performance, 17 of whom graduated
yesterday. The choir is directed by the university’s musician in residence Mark
Goggins, and it is fitting to recognise at this time the work that Mark has put in
to running the choir. The university is extremely proud of the
growing reputation and success of the Chamber Choir. In recent years the
Chamber Choir has won national competitions including the BBC Radio 3
Adult Choir of the Year. the Chamber Choir has performed on BBC One, BBC Four
and on BBC Radio 3 as well as in some major performance venues
including the Royal Festival Hall Birmingham Symphony Hall and the
Bridgewater Hall. In June the chamber choir returned from their latest
overseas concert tour which once again received great critical acclaim. This
afternoon the chamber choir will sing ‘May It Be’ by Enya. [APPLAUSE] Today is of course a day of great
celebration for everyone here and we need to celebrate in an appropriate way.
Family and friends there’s a good photo opportunity coming up so you might like
to have your cameras ready. Could I ask all the graduates to stand
and to take off your mortarboards which have been looking a bit precarious. In a
moment I’m going to ask you to wave wave your mortarboards, and as is the
tradition of UCLan you must wave them as vigorously as you can in recognition
of all your hard work and your achievements. However do keep hold of
your mortarboard as it is now yours to keep and to take home. [APPLAUSE] Okay so on the count of three I would
like you to work and then we will all follow with three cheers so one two
three Hip hip… hooray! [APPLAUSE AND CHEERING] Now sit down! As we bring this ceremony
to a close I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making
today such a happy and memorable occasion. A special mention should be
made of the signing team who have signed for the whole ten graduation ceremonies and thank you all for coming and sharing
this special day with the university community. I would like to invite you all
to return to a reception at the university’s Foster Building where we
will continue to celebrate the success of today’s graduates. Gowns can also be
left at the Foster Building after the event.Please may I ask that you all
stand now for the National Anthem. [APPLAUSE] Please be seated. The platform party will
now leave the stage and form a celebratory guard of honour. We’re going
to conclude the ceremony with a final opportunity to applaud the success of
today’s graduates. Graduates, you will be shortly be processing out of the hall. A
university usher will prompt your row when you need to stand up, and please
make sure that you take all your belongings with you. Guests, may I ask
that you all remain seated until the platform party has left the hall. You
will then be able to rejoin your graduate downstairs. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]