Case Study

Evelyn Agyepong

BA (Hons) Business and Management


As a student on the BA (Hons) Business and Management course, Evelyn Agyepong was chosen by the University to represent students at the University of Sunderland in London in asking Emeli Sandé to become our new Chancellor. Thanks in part to meeting Evelyn, she said yes and is now a great advocate for the work of the University and students like Evelyn.

I’ve learnt how to speak up by giving presentations and talking in small group discussions. I feel like I’ve come a really long way.

"Last summer, I was chosen to represent the students at the University of Sunderland in London in asking our potential new Chancellor to join the University. Everyone knows now that it’s Emeli Sandé, the multi-award-winning singer, but at the time, I had no idea. I got pulled aside at the end of a lecture and asked if I would help. Of course, I said yes. 

On the day we were to meet her, I joined the Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Graeme Thompson at a restaurant in Hackney. They finally told me who it was, and I was so excited. I kept thinking about my daughter. She’s a singer and a huge Emeli Sandé fan. I wished I could have called her then and there. I also kept wishing I’d dressed up a bit nicer.

When she came into the room, you could tell she was such a lovely person. She was so graceful and well-spoken. We each had a chance to say something, to put our case to her for why she should be our Chancellor.

I talked about my life at the University, about how it’s accepting of mature students like me with timetables that fit around work and family. I told her about how I feel the University understands where its students are coming from and works hard to help us achieve our goals. Thankfully, she said yes. 

She held her first graduation in August last year and I got invited to attend. She asked for her parents to graduate at the same time as the other students. They had gone to the University of Sunderland but missed their graduation ceremony because her mother was giving birth to her. Now, she got to give them their certificates. It was a pretty special moment.

I think back to when I started at the University. I’m studying for my BA (Hons) in Business Management, having done a Foundation degree the year before. Back then I could never have spoken to someone like Emeli Sandé. I was far too shy. But I’ve learnt how to speak up by giving presentations and talking small group discussions. I feel like I’ve come a really long way."

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