Over the course of the week, over 3,000 students from more than 110 countries have crossed the stage to shake the hand of BU Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, himself a BU graduate.
Graduates from the Faculty of Science and Technology will go on to work in a number of roles, including those in the fields of archaeology, forensic science, mechanical engineering, music technology, and computing.
Among those being awarded during the morning ceremony was longest-serving BU Board member Timothy Lee, who, after a 36-year career in the computing industry, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration.
Tim said: “I feel it’s a bit of a double honour because serving on the university board for 12 years, I’ve always thought was a great honour and privilege. So then, to get this honorary award as well is a bonus - a double honour if you like.”
He added: “I think there’s so much pressure on young people today to follow role models and try to be somebody they’re not, but my main message is as they go forward, just play to their strengths, negate their weaknesses and just be themselves.”
Being awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering was Dr Jan Peters MBE, former president of the Women’s Engineering Society. Jan said: “I’m really excited about graduation and in awe of the whole occasion. I’m delighted and honoured to have been picked out and chosen to be here.
“I think the advice that I would give to anybody, is that you’re the person in the driving seat for your career and it’s up to you what it is you end up doing. It’s up to you to look up from your smartphone, and it’s up to you to observe to opportunities and seize them.
She added: “Make sure you make the most of those opportunities and as you go through every stage of your life is to look inside and find out and understand what makes you tick.”
As part of the celebrations that followed the morning’s graduation ceremony, students and guests were able to take part in photo opportunities with a giant deckchair, giant light-up letters, and a photobooth. Industrial Design graduate, James Bateman, also a BU music scholar, was able to join bandmates on stage to perform a trumpet solo to family and friends.
In the afternoon, Dr Martin Warren MBE, a champion of ecology and butterfly conservation, was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Science by Giles Sturdy, BU Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
Advising graduates, Dr Warren said: “Pursue the things you’re passionate about, because if you’re doing things which you’re not really passionate about, you won’t overcome all the hurdles that will get thrown at you - your life will become more problematic. Follow your dreams, as far as you can, about things that you really love and really inspire you."
Alan Hunt, a lecturer in Archaeology and History and former member of the Senior Management Team at BU received BU’s first ever Honorary Fellowship. Alan said: “It’s really good to be a member of the university again, but in a new way. I’ve been working in or with the university since 1975. It’s been a great privilege to work for this university, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”
Family and friends from around the globe also tuned in to watch the ceremony, with viewers in Oman, the USA and Bangladesh.
BU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney said: “I am so proud of the achievements of all of our graduating students, they have done an amazing job, and its brilliant to be celebrating their achievements alongside their family and friends.”