I have attended several friends' graduation ceremony yesterday, just to get a feel of how things are done over here, as well as to decide whether my own graduation ceremony (in December) is worth attending.
Graduation ceremonies at the University of Leeds are broken into multiple 1-hour sessions. This means that there is no need to sit quietly in the hall listening to names of hundreds of people whom I do not know being called out. This year, there are 47 ceremonies altogether, spread over a period of 2 weeks. You can view the list as well as the videos of the ceremonies here.
The graduation ceremonies are held in the Great Hall, which is actually quite a small hall. The picture below is taken from my seat at the back of the hall. Oh yes, cameras are allowed during the ceremony. If you have seen the videos, graduands climb up the stairs in the middle of the stage to receive their degrees.
Anyway, the ceremony begins with some ooky spooky organ music (see the videos if you are interested). Armies of academicians will then march into the hall, some wielding weird staff and contraptions (okay, it is just a formal academic procession). As with most formal ceremonies, one of the big guys will then give a welcoming address (best time for a nap!). Then, the degrees are conferred. The University secretary reads out their names, and graduands climb up the stairs one by one, and are presented with their degrees (containing the correct certificate!). I have noticed that the graduands do not wear mortar hats during the ceremony (inconvenience perhaps?) After that, the big guy will declare the Congregation closed. Some heavenly organ music will then start, and the academicians marches out of the hall, followed by the graduands. Guests are allowed to leave after the graduands have left.
Simple ceremony, isn't it? All over within 1 hour. Hurray!
14 July 07
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