St Mary’s University was delighted to celebrate the achievements of hundreds of students this month (Friday 24th and Saturday 25th March), as a number of graduation ceremonies were held on campus.
Spring Graduation ceremonies took place under the stained-glass windows of the University Chapel, built in 1962-63, and situated at the heart of campus. March marks the second-largest graduation event of the year, with summer graduations taking place in July at Westminster Cathedral.
St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor, Anthony McClaran, welcomed students and their friends and families to campus:
“I would like to offer our warmest congratulations to the graduands receiving awards at our Spring graduation ceremonies. It is a very proud day for you and your friends and families. Your graduation represents the culmination of the many years of dedication and hard work that is recognised here today.”
Each ceremony began with the arrival of the Academic Procession, followed by the procession of High Officers including the Vice-Chancellor and the Chair of the Governing Body. Once the proceedings opened, there was a Service of Thanksgiving, after which awards were presented.
The ceremonies included a Graduation Prayer to look favourably on those present, in the hope that they may always enjoy searching for truth and take delight in new discoveries, giving thanks for God’s gifts of wisdom, knowledge and friendship, and celebrating together.
Anthony McClaran added:
“Our mission at St Mary’s University is not only to equip students with the knowledge and skills to obtain an academic qualification, we seek to develop the whole person in an environment that fosters the positive values and strength of character that can aid our students through life.
“We hope our graduates continue to embody St Mary’s values of Inclusiveness, Generosity of Spirit, Respect, and Excellence, in their lives beyond this campus.”
On the day, students were announced individually and when the presentation of candidates concluded, following speeches, the new Graduates filed out behind their lecturers and the High Officers.
For the ceremony, St Mary’s students wore academic robes reflecting the traditions of the Catholic Church in England, and the present-day academic dress of the ancient universities. Blue is one of the oldest colours used in English universities, and is used as the basic colour for all St Mary’s hoods. The present shade of “Sarum Blue” is based on the colour worn by English Catholic bishops until the nineteenth century.
This month’s graduates now join a community of over 40,000 diverse alumni all over the world. They will receive regular communications and are encouraged to come back to visit campus for career events and reunions. Even after graduation, the St Mary’s community is encouraged to reach out to The Careers Service to help with their career progression, practice interview preparation, and discuss their career with the University’s Career Consultants.