Students who completed their studies at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in 2020 will finally have the chance to officially graduate this month, as hundreds prepare to join ceremonies online.
Class of 2020 prepares to (virtually) cross the stage
With last year’s ceremonies postponed due to Covid-19, the Class of 2020 was given the choice of attending a physical event at a future date, once regulations allow, or taking part in a special virtual graduation ceremony, connecting online with the processions at the Cambridge campus on Tuesday 20 July.
Alongside the students graduating, there will be five honorary degree recipients who will give speeches to inspire those logging on to their respective ceremonies.
HHJ Lindsay Davies – a lynchpin of the Family Law community in Cambridge, Judge Davies is also patron of the Cambridge and Ely Child Contact Centres, and a supporter of ARU’s Law Clinic. She will receive an Honorary Fellowship.
Dr Lynn Morgan MBE – a former ARU student who spent nine years as Chief Executive of the Arthur Rank Hospice, Dr Morgan was awarded her MBE in 2020 for services to the community in Cambridgeshire. She will become an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration.
Craig Bennett – the chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts and former head of Friends of the Earth, Craig has been described as one of the country’s top environmental campaigners. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Geographical Society, and delivered ARU’s inaugural Ruskin Lecture in 2019. Craig will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Science.
Craig Dearden-Phillips MBE – the founder of social enterprise VoiceAbility, which has won various awards for its services to people with mental health problems and disabilities, Craig is also an author, mentor and adviser, and has regularly spoken at events hosted by ARU. He received an MBE in 2009, and will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Business Administration.
DJMC Briony Clarke – former ARU student Briony became the youngest woman to ever be appointed as a judge in the UK when she was sworn in as Deputy District Judge at Chelmsford Crown Court in 2017, at the age of 31. Last year she was appointed as a full-time District Judge. She will become an Honorary Doctor of Laws.
Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said: “While we are obviously disappointed that the pandemic will mean our graduates will join us virtually for these ceremonies, we are looking forward to them immensely. The experience will be a little different, but we are confident that it will be a memorable one nonetheless.
“It has been an incredibly tough time for all our students and particularly those of the Class of 2020, who were in the final months of their studies when the pandemic hit.
“While many have opted to join us in person on later occasions, we will be thrilled to finally bestow honours on those joining us on 20 July. It has been a long wait, and our graduating students thoroughly deserve their recognition.”
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