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Graduation joy at Birkbeck ceremonies

Hundreds of graduates celebrated with their families during six formal events at Autumn Graduation Week 2017

Nearly 900 graduates rounded off their academic achievements this week as they attended ceremonies over three days during Birkbeck’s Autumn Graduation Week.

Over the course of six ceremonies within Senate House’s Beveridge Hall, the former students received congratulations from the Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman CBE, and President of the College Baroness Bakewell from Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 November.

The amazing variety of ages, backgrounds and experiences of the student body was evident as the graduates gathered with their families to celebrate the finale to their studies. They included Dr Margarit Stern, who has completed her PhD in German at the age of 86 and Olympic rower Jack Beaumont – who won a silver medal for the men’s quad at the World Rowing Championships in Florida in October – finished his BSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Somali-born Samiya Lerew collected her Global Politics and International Relations degree at the age of 60, at the same ceremony as her 24-year-old son Edwin, who is now continuing his studies with a Master’s at RADA.

Birkbeck could also count some of its staff among the recipients. They included learning development tutor Andrew Silverman, who completed his BSc in Maths, and Maz Iqbal, technical services manager in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, gained his BSc in Geology.

Train problems on the morning of the BEI ceremony delayed the arrival of some graduates and their families, but resourceful ceremony staff stepped in to lend their own robes to ex-students who had been short of time and were unable to collect their own en route to the hall.

The ceremonies also illustrated the international diversity of the College’s community, with graduates drawn from a diverse range of more than 110 nations, including Papua New Guinea, Eritrea, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. 

A little over four in ten of those graduating were under the age of 30 and 46% were between the ages of 31 and 50. Around 4% were over the age of 60.

The ceremonies were live-streamed online enabling family and friends across the world to share in the excitement of the occasion.

In addition, four fellowships – Geraldine Sundstrom, Tricia King, Professor John Annette and Derek Hicks – were awarded throughout the week.

Graduates and their families can view and download images from the galleries which have been put together over the week with Arts, SSHP, Science, LawBEI and BEI/SSHP now online.

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