So, as I said in my last blog I had my graduation this week, and what a day it was! We were in the first ceremony of the day at a not too onerously sounding 9:30am, but given the amount of formalities that had to be completed first it actually meant a very early start, despite my family and I travelling down the day before and spending the night at the Highfield Hotel. Incidentally quite a few of my course mates had the same idea so it was nice to see them the day before too (the vast majority of housing contracts in Southampton run for a year from July 1st, so most people would have already left Southampton by now and would be coming back especially for graduation).
After a quick breakfast at the hotel, the first duty of the day was to get into the formal graduation gear, of robes, a hood and a hat (of the standard mortarboard type). Seeing all the robes laid out and given the name of the robe-makers (Wipples) lead to quite a few people saying it felt like we were in Hogwarts! Next, we had to collect the tickets for our guests and take the obligatory gazillion photos of anything and everything J
Finally then it was time to take our seats for the ceremony, which for us was held in the Turner Sims. I’ve played in this venue in the past a couple of times for SUJO, the Southampton University Jazz Orchestra, so I wasn’t sure how special it would feel to be back in there, but it had been done up amazingly with banners, screens, flowers, an organ, and even a throne for the Pro-Chancellor who lead the ceremony, so I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Then, the real business began, with everyone going up one-by-one to collect their certificates and received congratulations from the Pro-Chancellor. It finally got to my turn and it was a really great moment – I think graduation from university is much more than the culmination of the last four years of effort, it really is a culmination of all the hard work I’ve put in over the last 22 years so to be finally finished with my formal education was a very exciting and rewarding moment. Of course I will always keep on learning, but this certainly marks the transition from education to a working career.
Once the ceremony was over there was time for plenty more picture taking and of course the infamous moment when everyone throws the hats up in the air! Then there was some more picture taking. And more. Oh, and did I mention that we took lots of pictures? J
The last part of the event was a reception that ECS put on, which was a chance to see everyone again, have some nibbles, hear a few speeches of congratulations from senior staff and then have a small prize-giving ceremony. I received the Zepler Award for Part IV, which either meant I came 1st or 2nd in the year – I heard conflicting reasons from different people so I’m not quite sure, but either way I’m certainly very happy about it! I also received the Head of School Prize for overall highest achievement during the degree and “an outstanding contribution to the University”! Wow, I was truly honoured to receive such an award and it really put about three cherries on the top of an already very generously-iced cake.
So, that was graduation, and I am now officially Mr. Adam Malpass MEng! That’s officially the end of me as a student at the University then, but if you check back next week I’ll update you for one last time with a look back at my time here as a whole.