Final call for volunteers for summer graduation ceremonies

We will be holding graduation ceremonies from Monday 15 July to Friday 19 July 2019 and we are looking for volunteers to help celebrate our students' success.

Perhaps you’d like to be part of the staff procession? Or maybe you’d like to proudly present our graduates with their degree certificates? We have a number of roles for staff to be involved in and hope you will volunteer to join us at the ceremonies this summer.

A number of staff across our university regularly volunteer and enjoy being part of such a wonderful occasion. If you’re thinking about getting involved in celebrating our students’ success, here are few of the fantastic graduation experiences from our volunteers around the university.

Graduation

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.

David BARROTT, STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Andrew Lynch, CiCS

Andrew is a regular volunteer at graduation and also at key events throughout the student journey. He says it’s great to see the culmination of students’ time with us in Sheffield.

"I help out at Open Days when students first come with their parents to see how wonderful Sheffield is, I'm here when their parents drop them off at the accommodation and now I'm here at their Graduation to see the culmination of their time with us in Sheffield.

"I show the proud parents and guests where they are seated are and make sure they all have a programme as a souvenir at the start of the ceremony and answer any queries they have. Then I make sure graduates find their way back to their seats when they come off the stage all giddy because they've got their degree in hand!

"Depending on the ceremony, you may also get to hear some interesting speeches from a varied collection of honorary graduands.

"I would really recommend other staff members volunteer to help out with this joyful culmination of the students experience at Sheffield, celebrating what we hope for many will have been some of the best years of their lives."

Charlotte Axon, HR

Charlotte has graduated twice from our university, she chose to volunteer at graduation to experience it from the other side, without the worry of tripping over! She describes the variety of roles she was involved with when she volunteered last year.

“In one ceremony I was involved in checking students were in the right seats, handing out certificates once students came off the stage, and leading them out of the hall. In the other I led the staff procession into the ceremony and then was lucky enough to be sat on the stage during the ceremony.”

“Sitting on stage watching everyone receive their awards was such a privilege. Also handing out certificates after students came off the stage was really rewarding, seeing how proud they were of their achievement, and relieved the walk was over.

“It's a fantastic opportunity to be involved in such a prominent part of the student journey. You get to be involved in an event that relies on volunteers to run effectively, and you get to wear an important looking gown.”

Amy Huxtable, Corporate Communications

"I volunteered at summer graduation for the first time last year and found the whole experience really heart-warming.

"It was a privilege to be part of such a special day for students and made me feel very nostalgic about my own time at university. It is was lovely to hear the inspirational speeches from both Professor Wyn Morgan who was presiding over the ceremony and also the honorary graduate. Seeing all of the students receiving their certificates in front of their proud family members and friends gives you a great sense of pride and reminds you what a special community we are part of here in Sheffield.

"In one ceremony I helped to ensure students were sat in the right place and in another I took part in the staff precession which felt like a very grand role!

"If you haven't done it before I would definitely recommend taking part in this year's ceremonies. They are so well organised by the events team that you don't have to worry about feeling unsure of your role - everyone is more than happy to help."

David Barrott, Student Support Services

David chose to volunteer at graduation shortly after joining our university on the recommendation of a colleague.

“I have done a number of different stewarding duties, including certificate steward and leading, and tail-walking staff processions.

"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.”

How to get involved

Please remember to first seek the permission of your manager and then complete the form using the link below to give details of the ceremonies you are able to assist at.

More information and roles
Full details and dates

If you wish to speak to a member of the team about volunteering please contact Polly Wilson, Email: p.j.wilson@sheffield.ac.uk