Triple celebration as Falmouth University classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduate

18 July 2022

A group of graduating students wearing gowns gather together
Grad 2022 2

It was a time for celebration at Falmouth University last week, with the long-awaited return of in-person graduation ceremonies and the opportunity to congratulate the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Held from 11 – 15 July, this year’s ceremonies were the first to take place at Falmouth University since 2019, due to the disruption of the pandemic. 

Around 6,000 graduates from across the three cohorts were welcomed onto Penryn Campus to celebrate their hard work and achievements, joined by their friends, families, academics, and of course our Chancellor Dawn French.

This year also saw acclaimed ballerina, Julie Felix and Attitude is Everything founder, Suzanne Bull MBE conferred as Honorary Fellows. And we celebrated the first graduating cohorts from several of the online courses offered by the University.

MA Comedy Writing (Online) graduate Scott Fitzgerald said the occasion was, “a culmination of all the hard work, at times, stuck by myself in front of a computer screen eating far more than my daily allowance of Peanut M&Ms.

“It was great to meet the virtual friends that I'd made and thank my tutors in the flesh for all their hard work and support. The whole process was validated by having real people congratulate me and Dawn French giving me a chocolate coin with her face on it.

“It made me realise that the day wasn't just about me but the achievement of so many people who had also been alone in front of a computer screen, wondering what the end goal would look like (as it turns out, it looked like Dawn French's golden face which was pleasantly unexpected).”

Many of the graduates experienced the full impact of lockdown and restrictions on their university experience, so there was plenty of joy and elation at being able to mark the culmination of their degree in true style, as well as don their traditional gowns and mortar boards.

During the ceremonies, former SU President (2021-22) Ben Statham-Wilkins addressed graduates with a speech recognising their creativity and perseverance. He said: ‘Students are the heart of this University and have been inspirational in their work. I’ve had the immense pleasure of working alongside so many students to improve the experience for all and I’m so grateful for their positive impact over a difficult few years.”

After the ceremony, graduates and their guests were able to enjoy the sunshine for a reception in the Italian Gardens on Penryn Campus, with delicious food and drink available from a range of local Cornish vendors.

Speaking of this year’s triple graduation celebrations, Professor Emma Hunt, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Falmouth University said:

“This year saw Falmouth host an unprecedented three cohorts graduating. Graduation Week has provided a busy, celebratory atmosphere on campus as graduates and families gathered to reflect and give thanks to those that supported them. 

"Falmouth graduations are always special and this year we recognise the impacts that restrictions and lockdowns had on the university experience. It has been tough, but our students have shown remarkable residence, tenacity and determination.

“Throughout the last few years, they’ve been flexible, they’ve adapted and they have triumphed. During the toughest of times, they’ve shown they’ve got what it takes. They know how to be bold and brave in their work and how creativity and creative thinking can positively change the world.

"More than ever before, people, businesses and communities need the knowledge and experience our graduates have honed during their time with Falmouth. They will forever be part of our story – and as our Institution celebrates 120 years of creative innovation, we wish them well and join with them in celebrating their future success.”

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