Over 1,900 Roehampton graduates awarded their degrees at summer graduation

  • Thursday, August 1, 2019

Over 1,900 students graduated in Roehampton's Summer Graduation ceremony this week after successfully completing their degrees

Image - Over 1,900 Roehampton graduates awarded their degrees at summer graduation

The ceremonies took place at the Royal Festival Hall on London's Southbank. Degrees were presented by our Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard.

Over 8,000 people attended the ceremonies. In addition to the graduates collecting their degrees, honorary awards were also presented to Roehampton's former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul O'Prey CBE, the dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, and Holocaust survivor and educator, Vera Schaufeld MBE.

Professor O'Prey was made a Fellow of the University. He is a world-leading expert on nineteenth and twentieth century literature, with a particular focus on literature and conflict, and the work of British poet and author Robert Graves. Having graduated with a PhD from the University of Bristol, he eventually came to Roehampton as Vice-Chancellor in 2004, a position he held for 15 years, becoming the longest serving Vice-Chancellor in the country. During this time, he also sat on the boards of numerous organisations serving higher education, including Universities UK.

Benjamin Zephaniah is a celebrated author of poetry and prose for both children and adults. He was among the pioneers of performance poetry in Britain, drawing heavily on dub and reggae music. His recent autobiography, The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, became a bestseller and was nominated for two awards.

Vera Schaufeld was awarded an honorary doctorate in addition to the honorary degree she received earlier this year. As a child, she came to the UK on the Kindertransport, which saved the lives of nearly 10,000 children by evacuating them to the UK from Nazi-occupied areas of Europe. At the age of 18, she joined Southlands College, now a part of the University of Roehampton, and qualified as an English teacher in 1950. Having arrived in the UK unable to speak English, she joined the Language Service to teach English to recently arrived Asian immigrants. She also works with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, for which she was awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year's Honours List.

The six ceremonies took place over two days, with graduates from every University department and at all levels, from undergraduate to doctoral students. If you'd like to see some more photos, check out our Instagram story.