After a pause in graduation ceremonies since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reading is delighted to be welcoming back former students for their ceremonies – and to celebrate – in person. This week, CONNECTED shares the University’s plans for the bumper crop of ceremonies taking place over the next few weeks.
What do you remember most about your graduation at Reading? The applause in the Great Hall as you received your graduation certificate? The look of pride on the faces of your loved ones? Or perhaps the after-party with friends? Whatever you remember the most, we are sure that it is a day that you still carry with you as a key milestone in your life.
Our graduates and graduands from the last two years have faced enormous changes and challenges due to COVID-19. From moving to online learning for their studies and exams, to increased hardship due to changes in their family circumstances or loss of their own part-time work – they have weathered it all and despite these challenges have achieved great things. In recognition of this, the University is pulling out all the stops with our 2022 Summer graduation ceremonies.
Between Tuesday 27 June and Friday 22 July, the University will be welcoming over 8,000 graduates and graduands and more than 20,000 of their guests. The Great Hall will host 55 graduation ceremonies which will be held over ten days.
We’ve had an amazing response from those who would have had their ceremonies in Summer 2020 or Summer 2021, with large numbers from those cohorts returning for their in-person celebrations – which goes to show what an important event it is for them all.
Accommodating almost three times as many former students – and graduation ceremonies – than usual this year has been months in the planning, with teams across the University rising to the challenge to ensure that it is a truly memorable day. As always, staff volunteers and student ambassadors will be playing a pivotal role in making sure graduation ceremonies and our supporting activities run smoothly this year, and we are very grateful for their support.
Refreshments for graduates and their guests at the post-ceremony receptions are being provided on a grand scale. It is estimated that 13,000 slices of cake and 3,000 bottles of Prosecco will be consumed over the ten-day period. To mark our graduations, a celebratory ale called Academia has been created for the University by Double-Barrelled, a local Reading craft brewery.
There is only one thing which even exhaustive planning cannot control – the weather – and we have our fingers crossed that the sun shines for all our new graduates!
We are sure you will join us in congratulating our former students on their successes and achievements, and in welcoming them into our alumni community.