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Landmark graduation ceremonies celebrate student achievements

18 July 2022

Students from Cardiff University will be celebrating their graduation at one of the city’s most iconic venues this week (20-22 July).

Principality Stadium will host three years’ worth of celebrations as the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduate in evening ceremonies.

Previously the University held virtual ceremonies for students in 2020 and 2021 because of restrictions in place around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, they’ll join the class of 2022 as they are recognised for their achievements in the University’s biggest ever graduation ceremonies.

Some 56,000 students and their guests are expected to descend on the city to celebrate over the week.

Alongside Principality Stadium, celebratory events will take place across the University’s campus, including School events where graduates will cross the stage and be personally recognised for their achievements, Graduation Gardens with live bands, food and drink, and a reception for graduates and their guests.

Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience said: “For two years we have had to postpone in-person graduation ceremonies. It’s really not the way we envisaged ending our students’ time with us, but that decision meant we could keep our community safe in the most challenging of times.

“Now, two years later, here we are. We are delighted to celebrate in person with our students and their loved ones. All three cohorts have been through so much, and we wanted to do something special. That’s why we’re heading to the incredible Principality Stadium in the hope that we will give them all a truly memorable day, befitting of all that they have achieved. Each and every one of them thoroughly deserves it.”

Among those students graduating are former Wales and Cardiff full back Hallam Amos, who graduates after nine years at Cardiff University with a medical degree, during which time he has balanced his studies with his international rugby career; Josh Colclough who will graduate from the School of Physics and Astronomy after being awarded the School’s prestigious Prize for Outstanding Physics Project for his work designing 3D quasi-crystal structures. The work was commended by academics around the country and inspired the creation of an art installation at the University of Bristol and Open University; and published poet Bethany Handley, who graduates in Journalism, Media and English Literature with Creative Writing, who has used her poetry to educate others about her lived experiences of disability. She has also achieved the best overall degree mark on the Joint Honours programmes within the School of English, Communication and Philosophy.

They will be joined by a host of individuals who become Honorary Fellows, including Julia Gillard - the former Australian Prime Minister, and BBC journalist Laura Trevelyan. Both will give speeches at their respective ceremonies (Julia Gillard on Wednesday 20th July and Laura Trevelyan on Thursday 21st July). Also delivering a speech at the final ceremony on Friday 22nd July will be BBC journalist Huw Edwards, who is already an Honorary Fellow and Cardiff University alumni.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: “Completing a degree is a huge achievement in any year, but to have done so during a global pandemic – along with the many challenges this has brought – is truly extraordinary.

“We as a university community have been through an unprecedented time and this is about paying tribute to our students’ patience, resilience, hard work and passion for their chosen studies. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of them, and we look forward to celebrating with them, their families and friends.

“It’s also a time to welcome our new Honorary Fellows, those individuals who have made a significant contribution to society, achieved academic excellence or raised the profile of Cardiff and Wales in their field. We welcome them warmly to the Cardiff University community.”

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