“There surely cannot be a better place to graduate in the country,”
said Becky Robins, gazing towards Plymouth Sound on another typically picturesque September scene. The 21-year-old newly-minted graduate in BSc (Hons) Ocean Science is by no means the first person to utter those words, but with every passing year there is a growing acknowledgement that graduation on the Hoe really is something quite remarkable.
That was endorsed by Matthew Barzun, the United States’ Ambassador to the UK, who attended one of the School of Marine Science and Engineering ceremonies on the Wednesday as part of his official visit to Plymouth, and took to the stage to share a story of President Barack Obama and the value of taking a moment to pause to consider your next move.
He said: “It was a joy and honour to be a part of this special day for so many Plymouth graduates. And it’s a special place to be in general, especially as an American, and as the Ambassador. To be here at Plymouth Hoe, where the Mayflower set sail from, is particularly powerful.”
For the University’s Chancellor, The Lord Jonathan Kestenbaum, Graduation 2015 was an opportunity to formally officiate at one of the ceremonies for the very first time. Lord Kestenbaum presented degrees to Faculty of Business students on the Monday, and was present to observe a minor meteorological miracle, as the hammering rain suddenly ceased barely five minutes before the first ceremony ended and the graduates were due to line up for their official photo.
Lord Kestenbaum said: “It was a fantastic day. When I woke up on Monday morning it was pouring with rain and by the time the students arrived for their photo the sun came out. More importantly, it was a day when we saw the University at its very best: ambitious, and with a tremendous cross-section of students bursting with pride.”