Published: 8 October 2019
It was all leading up to this. The hard work, the hours staring at books and screens. The writing and rewriting of essays and dissertations. Finally the University of Sunderland in London class of 2019 was ready to graduate.
228 students joined 400 of their friends and family at the Hilton Hotel in Marsh Wall South Quay Square to celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives. Gowns were donned, mortarboards perched on heads and scrolls rolled as students filed into the packed auditorium.
Ahead of the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell spoke about coming to his first graduation in London.
“I know how much students in London are really enthusiastic about the University and I know this is going to be a great celebration, a happy day for everyone. I want the families and the friends there to support our new graduates, to really show their appreciation.”
MSc Tourism and Hospitality student Shanso Miah said: “Hard work has made our studies challenging but enjoyable. How important is education? A few years ago I asked myself ‘why study when we have Google?’ I was an idiot! Studying has opened my eyes to the power of knowledge. Education is the key to life. You are the key.”
The ceremony marked the second time Ioama Stoica (MSc Tourism and Hospitality) received a masters degree, the first being over 19 years ago. “It was challenging but more interesting than my first masters. It was calmer and I had a different perspective this time.”
Juliana Esterea (FdSc Health and Social Care), received huge cheers from her daughter and best friend. “It was hard work but very rewarding. I’m going to take a break now, but may continue on to masters.”
After shaking hands with each new graduate, the Vice-Chancellor led the crowd in a round of applause. Echoing his sentiments, the University of Sunderland Chair of Governors, John Mowbray, added “I have only visited the campus once before, I was really impressed with the people and the place and it was quite an exciting day. Friday has been very special.”