IDI Graduation Ceremony 2017
As students gathered from across the globe to celebrate the culmination of years of study, even the elusive Scottish sun made an unexpected appearance to mark the occasion. The Assembly Hall stands majestically atop The Mound looking out over Princes Street and provided an excellent location for this year’s graduation ceremony.
With guests arriving from half ten, the day was quickly in full swing, with students, families and friends quickly filling the auditorium, as robes were fitted and photographs taken. Having, for the most part, only interacted online, the excitement was palpable as students met in person for the first time.
From far and near, students and guests had travelled to Edinburgh to share the joy of completing their degrees. While some had only travelled down the road, others had flown from Iceland, Austria, Moscow, Canada, Uzbekistan, and Dubai. The sun may have been shining but the day was definitely a cold one, a surprise for many who had come to Scotland, for the first time, from more temperate locations.
Whether a whirlwind day tour or an extended vacation, everyone had made a special effort to attend; for some a nine hour car journey, for others multiple flights but all arrived fresh faced and smiling, thrilled to be able to share their accomplishment with peers and loved ones.
At five to one, guests were seated, students waiting in the wings and the piper began to play. Filing into their seats, the audience shared their nervous anticipation as they awaited the giving of certificates.
As the pipes fell silent, opening speeches were given before the students were lead to the stage to be awarded their degrees.
As each name was called, the students proceeded to cross the stage, where Judy Glasman, the head of the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Art and Design, shook their hands and gave them their certificates. A uniquely personal experience, Judy spoke briefly with each graduate as they passed, a special individual congratulations for each student.
Returning to their seats, awards in hand, where heads had been bare, there was now a sea of black as students had donned their graduation caps, having officially graduated. The earlier nervous tension had passed and a satisfied calm settled across the graduates who congratulated each other as they returned to their rows.
Guest and student speakers then shared motivational and aspirational words to inspire the new graduates in their future endeavours. The student speakers shared their own testimonies and experiences of climbing the uneven staircase to creative success.
With closing comments, the piper began to play and the graduates filed out. On the steps of the Assembly Hall, in spite of the growing chill and impending darkness, spirits were high as group photographs were taken. Some remained to take pictures of their own, swapping Facebook details to stay in touch with their peers, as many retreated back to the warmth inside, to join their friends and families for a much needed hot drink.
Slowly students and guests ebbed away with final congratulations and farewells. Whether heading on for further celebrations or retuning home for a relaxing evening, all left proud and hopeful as they stepped out into their bright futures.