Students Staff

08 July 2009

Graduating students rub shoulders with acclaimed actress and former ‘dragon’

University of Essex graduation ceremony

Students from around the region and the world are travelling to Colchester this week to receive their degrees at the University of Essex graduation ceremonies.

Alongside the 1,800 graduating students attending will be acclaimed British actress Juliet Stevenson, former Dragons’ Den dragon Doug Richard and Colchester-based Holocaust survivor Dora Love, all of whom are collecting honorary degrees.

The ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Colchester Campus on 15, 16 and 17 July, mark the culmination of years of hard work for Essex’s students, many of whom will travel from overseas to attend. As well as the formal ceremony in the award-winning Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, the fun-filled family event includes musical entertainments and receptions covering each of the 17 academic departments plus a number of teaching and research centres.

Amongst those shaking hands with the Chancellor of the University, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, will be three sets of identical twins, all of whom will be picking up BSc degrees in Sports and Exercise Science. Lecturers struggling to tell them apart will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief when Jackie and Joy Crossley of Ipswich, Rob and Chris Hopgood from Chelmsford, and James and Scott Fitzgerald from Tiptree graduate on 15 July.

Also celebrating will be several students whose parents are already Essex graduates including Jonny Allen (BSc Accounting and Management) whose parents, David and Janice (neé Parker) met as students at Essex in the late 1960s.

Honorary degrees will also be awarded to former Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ivor Crewe, Essex graduate Neil McArthur who has carved out a successful career in the telecommunications industry, internationally renowned human rights lawyer Nuala Mole, and distinguished mathematical scientist Professor John Francis Toland.

The Alumnus of the Year Award will be presented to up-and-coming fairtrade fashion designer Carry Somers who graduated with an MA in Native American Studies in 1992.


Notes to editors
Further details about some of the student stories, including other second-generation Essex graduates, will be released next week. For any other information, or to attend, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or e-mail:

Details of when each honorary graduand will pick up their degree are below. There will be five-minute slots prior to the start of each ceremony during which time photographs of the honorary graduands can be taken:

Ceremony 1 - 15 July 10am
Honorary graduand: Nuala Mole

Ceremony 2 - 15 July 1pm
Alumnus of the Year: Carry Somers

Ceremony 3 - 15 July 4pm
Honorary graduand: John Francis Toland

Ceremony 4 - 16 July 10am
Honorary graduand: Professor Sir Ivor Crewe

Ceremony 5 - 16 July 1pm
Honorary graduand: Juliet Stevenson

Ceremony 6 - 16 July 4pm
Honorary graduand: Neil McArthur

Ceremony 7 - 17 July 10am
Honorary graduand: Doug Richard

Ceremony 8 - 17 July 1pm
Honorary graduand: Dora Love

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