Celebrating the journey to graduation

"Our summer graduation ceremonies are underway this week. This is a time to celebrate the culmination of our students’ success and the hard work and dedication of colleagues from all areas of the University.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who is committed to ensuring students get the best out of their time at Sheffield and helping them get to this day.

“Our recent NSS and Times Higher Education rankings, in which we were placed highly for student satisfaction and teaching, are also a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teaching and support colleagues.

“Thank you everyone for your continued commitment to student education, and enjoy graduation if you are attending.”

Thank you
Brendan Stone and Jackie Marsh
Deputy Vice-Presidents for Education


Thank you to colleagues working behind the scenes at graduation

We’d like to say a huge thank you and good luck to everyone involved, from the people making our campus look stunning for students and visitors, to catering teams and everyone volunteering and working behind the scenes.

A special thank you to the Events Team who are responsible for organising the graduation ceremonies.

Wendy Hobson, Associate Director and Head of Events, said: “Graduation is an extremely busy but rewarding time for us. The team work tirelessly in the run up to graduation, liaising with over 5,500 students to confirm attendance and any special requirements.

"We produce the scripts, certificates and programmes; organise staff attendance and their robe hire, and arrange the full schedule for our honorary graduates and their guests. We liaise with the catering team to provide refreshments, as well as organising lunches and graduation dinner. We also recruit and coordinate our staff volunteers who will be marshalling and stewarding at the ceremonies. These are just a few of the tasks we organise to ensure a memorable day for our graduates and their families.”

Doug Brooke, Landscape Services Manager, told us about the work his team do to ensure the campus looks spectacular for our students and visitors, including the flowerbed outside Firth Court which will be a beautiful backdrop for all those graduation photos.Class of 2019 planting outside Firth Court

Can you tell us more about your team and the work you do to prepare the campus for graduation?

We manage the campus year round so in effect the campus represents the University all year round. In the lead up to graduation we ensure the grounds are the best they can be, planting several thousand annuals, 35 hanging baskets, external planters and interior displays. This year we are also providing the table planters for the graduation dinner – the team put in many additional hours to ensure graduation is supported by a vibrant landscape.

How much preparation goes into the flower bed outside Firth Court and what stages are involved to create this?

The area was dug out and prepped in 2018 and prepared for the first planting in June 2018 (first for approximately 30 years). I talked through the design with Estates and Facilities Management directorship and placed an order for planting in October. The planting is grown in Cornwall in sections, kind of like a big jigsaw which is put together by the team – its takes eight staff one day to implement.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing the campus develop dramatically during the six years I have been in post and watching my team develop and take ownership of the outdoor spaces – we have a massive impact on how the University is perceived.

Staff volunteers

Colleagues around our University will be volunteering as marshals and stewards at the graduation ceremonies.

Kirsten Fretwell, Student Recruitment and Admissions

“I've volunteered to help with graduation every year since starting with the University in 2012.

“This year I'll be leading the staff procession at one of the ceremonies and will have the responsibility for carrying the crested wand!

“Helping with graduation is a brilliant way to support colleagues from across the University and it's a wonderful opportunity to share in the happiness of our graduates and their proud families.”

David Barrott, Student Support Services

"My highlight is always seeing students I have dealt with in my role, especially students who have encountered difficulties during their studies, getting to celebrate being awarded their degree.

"Graduation is a reminder of what we, as staff, are all contributing to. In some of our individual roles we can sometimes feel a bit removed from the students' academic life. But the purpose of our support is to try and help students get to this day.”

Staff volunteering at graduation

Staff volunteer at graduation

Be sure to follow @sheffielduni and @sheffunistaff, for videos and updates throughout the week, sharing stories from students and colleagues.

Our photographer E.S. Kwon will be posting regularly on the University Instagram channel, where our students will also be sharing updates on their day on Instagram Stories.

You can also share your experiences with us and follow all the activity with #ShefUniGrad

Graduation live stream

Live stream of graduation starts from Monday 15 July 2019 at 9am.

Watch here

Share your graduation week

Enjoy this week of celebration; share your experiences and pictures with us.

Tell us about your graduation week @sheffunistaff

Honorary graduates

Professor Anthony Weetman (MD), former Dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, will be one of six people to receive an honorary degree.

Our honorary graduates