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Students graduate in style at the Barbican Centre


Almost 600 graduates took to the Barbican stage to formally acknowledge their academic excellence in front of proud friends, family and their peers on 19 April.The ceremony was opened by Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth with welcome addresses coming from Christy Traore, Pro Provost Executive Dean and Provost Debi Hayes.

Executive MBA alumna Mary Clarke CBE received the title of Honorary Doctor of Health for her exceptional commitment to the health sector. Mary is a senior clinician who has dedicated her career to clinical healthcare and experiment management in the health sector.

Friends and family were far from shy in signalling their pride during the ceremony and neither were some graduates. Some saluted the audience, hugged staff members and took selfies with Professor Payne. As the ceremony wore on, the displays became more inventive and included one lady dropping to the ground and rolling along the stage! But the highlight had to be when one student dabbed (a dance move where the person simultaneously drops the head while raising an arm and the elbow) and Professor Payne followed suit to rapturous applause from the audience!

More poignantly was the applause elderly graduates - Juliana Ashiedu Mary Akahara and Christopher Ademola Soyinka - received. Juliana is 73 years old and was awarded with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Business Management with Human Resource Management. Sixty-four year old Christopher received his BSc degree award in Oil and Gas Management.  

BSc Oil and Gas Management graduate Gina Maranca, who died in February 2016, was recognised posthumously and her degree presented to her partner. Gina was instrumental in establishing the College’s Oil and Gas Society. She participated in a BP Competition at GSM London; led and delegated tasks for the Oil and Gas Society Committee as well as collaborating with GSM London management to organise and promote Energy Futures Week.

Events management graduate Francesca Marzullo capped off the ceremony speaking on behalf of her graduating peers. The first-class degree holder urged students to stay curious and follow their dreams and paid special tribute to her mentor and programme leader Fotios Vasileiou, Senior Lecturer in Events Management, Programme Leader in MSc in Events and Entertainment and founder of the OSAM/AWESOME educational model.

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