Graduation day

Yesterday turned out to be gloriously sunny in Middlesborough when I went to my step son’s graduation at Teesside University. He got a 2.1 in Applied Sports Science.

Josh's Graduation 8
Approaching the Vice Chancellor during the official graduation – as he approaches he is a Graduand and after he shakes hands he becomes a Graduate – new word for me!

I was hugely impressed by Teesside University and the speech given by the Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Croney. His pride in the development of the University and the role it plays in the revitalisation of the north east shone through – I doubt any Vice Chancellor from the south could match his passion and achievement. I have watched with pride the evolution of Exeter University – its enormous build programmes and its ‘promotion’ to the Russell Group. Teesside University’s accession has been as spectacular – a few years ago it was said the the Exeter campus was the largest building project in the country outside of the Olympics – £275m was spent on new infrastructure – by comparison Teesside University spent over roughly the same period £270m and it shows and now it is climbing all the University tables.

Josh's Graduation 13This is the Teesside equivalent of the graduation photo that Exeter residents will be familiar with in front of the Washington Singer Labs on the Prince of Wales Road!

Josh's Graduation 10My favourite shot:  happiness and informality – certainly my happiest states

Josh's Graduation 11I love the colours and outrageousness of the gowns – just like Hogwarts!

Josh's Graduation 12The person in the bear mascot suit must have really suffered – it was hot enough in a jacket

Josh's Graduation 5Wouldn’t have missed this day for anything – so proud

It is funny how times change – I was too obstinate to attend either my BSc graduation at Exeter or my MSc one at University College London. Looking back on it now I really regret it – not for myself but for my parents – I needlessly deprived them of something very special …. too late now to say sorry. Today every graduate I know proudly attends their ceremony.

I did however go to my MBA graduation from the Open University where I chose to graduate at Versailles!

AC MBA Graduation
Spent a lovely weekend in Paris with Cesca (Josh’s Mum and my wife who died in 2010) back in 2003. And yesterday I couldn’t stop thinking about how proud and excited she would have been and those of you who knew her will know exactly what I mean.

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