Postgraduate achievements recognised at winter graduation ceremonies

Posted on 17/12/2012

This week, Royal Holloway will see 1200 students graduate at the first ever winter ceremonies.

Taking place in the Windsor Building between 18 and 20 December, the ceremonies will recognise the particular achievements of postgraduate students, also providing a welcome alternative to the usual wait until the summer. Trumpeters from the Royal Artillery Company will sound fanfares to commence the six ceremonies, which will be followed by festive receptions in the Founder’s Building. A live video stream of each graduation ceremony will be available on the website.

Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway will preside over the events. He said: “At Royal Holloway, our postgraduate students benefit from learning alongside world-leading researchers, and work hand in hand with industry and partners across the UK and beyond. These students have taken their studies to the highest level, which will accelerate their career in industry, the arts or the public sector, or may mark the beginning of their own academic careers. “

Indeed, Royal Holloway has announced investment of over £4 million next year in support of postgraduate students, to ensure that future generations continue to take their studies to the highest possible level.

We caught up with some of the Masters and PhD students who will be graduating this week, to find out how they will look back at their time at Royal Holloway.

Laurie O’Brien, who studied for a MMus in Advanced Musical Studies, completed her Masters part-time while building up her strong reputation as an accompanist.

During her studies, Laurie acted as repetiteur for the Royal Holloway Savoy Opera Society and went on to co-found Opera Holloway, who will be touring London and Edinburgh with The Gingerbread Project in summer 2013.

“The graduation ceremony this winter is going to be an emotional farewell, but hopefully not goodbye,” she said.

 “I have truly loved every minute of studying at Royal Holloway and feel lucky to have received first-class tuition from one of the finest music faculties in the country who continue to offer their support, wisdom and guidance as I embark on my career. I'm very much looking forward to the ceremony!”

Victoria Mullin will be graduating in Biological Sciences Research. She has gone on to complete a PhD in Dublin, identifying the source of historical parchment using ancient DNA. Victoria’s achievements reach beyond academia as she currently holds the title of British Women’s pistol champion.

She said: “I have fond memories of my time here. I am most grateful for the generous support I received from Royal Holloway and my supervisors, for not only my academic studies but also my sporting commitments, allowing me to achieve in both fields.  It is fantastic to be coming back to graduate in the first winter ceremonies.”

Geography alumna, Alison Hess will also be taking part in the ceremonies. She recently played a central part in the BBC’s 90th birthday broadcast where her Science Museum exhibition hosted the historic event. An interview with Alison is available from here.

More information about the winter ceremony, as well as a live video stream of the event, is available from the website.


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