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Over 1,000 students set to graduate at the iconic Senate House

Graduation will take place from 3 to 5 May, with ceremonies being live-streamed so friends and family around the world who are not able to attend in-person can share in the excitement of the occasion.

Next week will see 1,029 students graduate, with eight ceremonies taking place across three days, from Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 May.  

Graduation will be returning to University of London’s Senate House, Bloomsbury, after a period of virtual graduations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 64-metre-tall building, which has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century, is a work of stunning architecture. Guests and graduates who are not able to attend in-person will be able to watch the ceremonies via a live stream on the Birkbeck website. 

The graduates will be addressed by Professor David Latchman CBE, Vice-Chancellor; Baroness Joan Bakewell, President; Professor Joanna Bourke, College Orator; academic staff; alumni; and four new Fellows of the College. 

Professor David Latchman, Vice-Chancellor of Birkbeck, commented: 

To be back celebrating in Senate House is wonderful, after a period of running our graduation ceremonies virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The achievements of our graduates are more remarkable than ever, given they had the added pressure of working remotely during part of their studies. 

Professor Joanna Bourke, College Orator, will formally recognise the contribution of new Fellows, by delivering an oration for each individual. Elected annually by the College Governors, the award of a Birkbeck Fellowship recognises individuals who have either given outstanding service to the College or who have attained distinction in their fields or in connection with Birkbeck. 

The new Fellows at this May’s ceremonies are: 

Hilary Fraser 

Hilary Fraser is a published author and has written monographs on the Victorians and Renaissance Italy, aesthetics and religion in Victorian writing, nineteenth-century non-fiction prose, and gender and the Victorian periodical. She came to Birkbeck in 2002 to take up the Geoffrey Tillotson Chair of Nineteenth-Century Studies, and has been President of the British Association for Victorian Studies since 2015. As Director of the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Hilary was the founding editor of its online journal, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.   

Lisa Nandy MP 

Lisa Nandy is the Labour Member of Parliament for Wigan and the current Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Having obtained a Master’s degree from Birkbeck, she worked as a Senior Policy Adviser at The Children’s Society from 2005 to 2010, specialising in issues faced by young refugees. She also served as a Labour councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council from 2006 to 2010. Her election as the MP for Wigan in 2010 saw her become the constituency’s first female MP and one of the first Asian female MPs.   

Dorothy Edgington 

Dorothy Edgington is a member of emeritus staff in the Department of Philosophy at Birkbeck, and is a Senior Research Fellow and Fellow of the British Academy, working mainly in philosophical logic. She is currently involved in a project on probabilities, propensities and conditionals at the Institute of Philosophy. She supervises research students at Birkbeck working on conditionals, vagueness and indeterminacy, ontology, self-knowledge and emotions.   

Dame Melanie Dawes 

Dame Melanie Dawes is a British economist and civil servant. She started her career as an economist and has worked on public spending, tax and tax credit policy, macroeconomics, monetary policy and the Euro. Between 2018 and 2020, Melanie worked as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Melanie joined Ofcom as an Executive Board Member and Chief Executive in March 2020. 

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