• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

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GRADUATIONS 2023: Celebrating academic success


Leading lights from the world of media, arts and business will join thousands of students on stage at the Stadium of Light this week for the University of Sunderland’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Held over five days – Monday 10 July to Friday 14 July – the graduations are a celebration of all the hard work and effort students have committed to their studies over the course of their programme. University Chancellor Emeli Sandé will oversee Tuesday’s ceremony.

This year, almost 2,500 students will cross the stage to collect their degree certificates. They will be joined by inspirational figures who have made significant contributions to their areas of work and society, receiving honorary degrees from the University.

Honoraries include; BBC Radio 1 presenter, TV personality and Sunderland Media Graduate Jordan North; Leo Pearlman, the co-founder and managing partner of successful film and television production company Fulwell 73; political journalist Kate McCann, the political editor of the newly established TalkTV; Jonathan Wilson, internationally renowned journalist and author, and Michael Jude, Sunderland’s Nissan youngest ever Director.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “Our summer graduation ceremonies provide us with a great opportunity to celebrate publicly the achievements of our students, the Class of 2023.

“We welcome too those who will be receiving honorary awards and congratulate them on being recognised by the University of Sunderland.

“In their chosen fields, our ‘honoraries’ have achieved outstanding success and will stand as an inspiration to our newest graduates.”

More than 7,500 guests, are travelling from across the country and beyond, to attend the ceremonies, cheering on their loved ones. The annual event also provides an economic boost to the City and wider region’s businesses, generating millions of pounds for the hospitality industry.

Also being honoured for their local contributions this year are Elsie Ronald, a committed community researcher and historian, having contributed to a number of projects, and has held many, varying positions across Sunderland’s arts, culture and local  history organisations. Turning 90 this year, Elsie continues to be very active.

Sayoko Smith established the North East Japanese Women’s Association in 2007. As the founder and Chair, Sayoko has been responsible for helping hundreds of Japanese families to settle into the area, following their relocation with Japanese companies, and through the activities of the Women’s Association, helped to disseminate Japanese culture throughout the region.

The University this year is also providing a ‘quiet room’ space for students who have autistic or anxiety-related conditions for whom the day might be quite overwhelming and who will benefit from a space to get away from it all.