As you will know, last week marked the beginning of graduation ceremonies on campus. Droves of students have been turning up in their finest dress, both excited and nervous. The words on most graduands’ lips spoke excitement for this official-feeling step into the real world, and mostly nervous about this ‘strange’ handshake they had never encountered before… well that and falling over in front of family, friends and lectures. What can we say, so far the ceremonies have been nothing but a great success, campus being blessed with beautiful sunshine to accompany the celebrations.

Even though professional photographs are available to be taken on the day, our campuses have also turned into giant studios, with photos being taken of our successful graduands by and with proud parents and each other, everywhere. Caps fly in the air in front of Hartley Library, the Union, and other university landmarks as shutters click. Students have also used the rampant photo-taking as an opportunity to enter the graduation selfie competition online, using the tag #weareconnected. This is a popular competition not limited to our university, The Guardian also calling for students to send in their graduation selfies – and there have certainly been some brilliant ones so far!

What there has already been a strong sense of as more and more students graduate, is how much people have loved studying at our university, and we know we are continuing to build an amazing alumni community. We’ve already let the cat out of the bag about the alumni email accounts that graduates can now benefit from, and things like the alumni card (which, by the way, is available free from the university’s online store) are a great way for graduates to still feel connected to the university. Lifetime membership to SUSU is also only £15 and entitles you to discounts at Union Films, access to SUSU clubs and groups, and more!

We’re so excited to see wonderful students graduate, and even more thrilled to welcome them into the prestigious ranks of our alumni.

Words: Caitlin Hobbs