Graduation Memories

This year the University of Essex are having to do things a little differently, celebrating the graduation of class 2020 with online celebrations. Here at the Albert Sloman Library we wanted to get involved in making this a joyful day, and help to build excitement for those awaiting their delayed ceremony.

Within our library team are many successful graduates, some from Essex and others from further afield. In this blog post they share memories of their own graduation days (featuring multiple heat waves!)

Read on and get to know your friendly neighbourhood librarians a little better…

A photograph of Hannah wearing her gown and cap, with the Ivor Crewe building in the background

My graduation in the summer of 2016 was a great day. I’d just finished the best three years at Essex studying Modern History and Politics, and I was very emotional that it was all coming to an end. The day was the perfect celebration of such a good time, and the atmosphere on campus was contagious. My parents had been to two graduations before for my sisters, but they’re adamant to this day Essex’ graduation was by far the best. Everyone you spoke to seemed genuinely happy for you, and with all sorts of celebrations in the squares, and at the departmental reception after, it truly was a day to remember.

Hannah – Scholarly Communications Co-ordinator

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My main memory of graduation from Essex in 1996 (apart from a feeling of unreality that I was actually graduating) is one of heat. It was an exceptionally hot day and we were crammed into one of the theatres in the LTB, sweltering in our robes and with strict instructions not to fan ourselves with our mortar boards! I was very glad that I had decided to wear a summer dress and felt for those of my fellow graduands who were in suits and ties. After the ceremony we had lunch in a marquee and I could slip my shoes off under the table and ease my overheated feet. A lovely day of celebration, but very, very warm!

Lucy – Special Collections and Archives Coordinator

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A photograph of Christopher standing in his gown and cap, with the campus in the background. He is smiling.

I joined The University of Essex in 2007 to work as a Patrol Officer in security. While in this role, I was the university mace bearer at graduation ceremonies for 5 years. I have now had two of my own graduation ceremonies, for both my BA and MA, and I am working my way to my third, for my PhD. I hope one day to be sitting at the front again, in a leadership position for the university. My own learning journey is a testament to the transformational education that Essex offers.

Christopher – Library Assistant (Frontline Services)

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It was July 2012 when I graduated with a First Class Masters Degree in Chemistry with Forensic Science. I remember arriving on campus in the morning with my parents and grandma. After meeting up with my friends, we headed off to get kitted out with our gowns. It was then a short walk from the main campus up to De Montfort Hall where the graduation ceremony took place. It felt like a long time patiently waiting for them to call your name, to be presented with your degree certificate! But it was also a proud moment watching all of your classmates collect theirs too. The ceremony was then followed by food and drinks, lots of photos, and of course the iconic hat throwing. A very proud day!

Laura – Content & Collections Support Assistant

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A photograph of Joe in his gown with his degree in hand. In the background is a marquee wall.

My BA graduation in 2007 was an amazing day! School had never been a particularly pleasant time for me, and I didn’t strive to do well. When I went to uni it was entirely different. I started to feel passionate about learning for the first time; I was determined to follow through and get the grades I knew I could. In the end I did pretty well! The graduation ceremony was a really positive experience that just capped off of all those years of unrelenting hard work.

Joe – Content Services Assistant

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Why not check out our Instagram page for loads more great pictures of our library? Or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see what we’re up to?

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