Graduation review: Wednesday 12 July 2017



Image of 2 graduands jumping up in the air in celebration

The Liverpool School of Art and Design and the Liverpool Screen School celebrated the achievements of their students on the morning of Wednesday 12 July. The Graduation ceremony for Nursing and Allied Health and the Public Health Institute took place in the afternoon.

Morning ceremony

Image of Nicole Stoddart and Beth Woolley

Nicole Stoddart has been offered a 12-month contract as a junior designer with Boohoo, who take just one person from Graduate Fashion Week each year and offer them this coveted position. She graduates today with a BA (Hons) in Fashion, and said this course, “has given me so much more confidence with designing and being myself”. She also praised Liverpool for having a “creative vibe”.  She is pictured with Beth Woolley who also got through to the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show.


Image of Alex Wainwright

Alex Wainwright (BA Art History) joined LJMU as a mature student and will be awarded a First Class degree after achieving the highest mark of the cohort for her dissertation. She has been invited onto the Board of Liverpool Biennial due to her invaluable special skills and was also instrumental in organising a VIP event for Liverpool Biennial which involved the artist and former LJMU student, Sir Peter Blake. She said: “Liverpool is rich in galleries and museums and I have always loved the city. The course has provided such a huge amount of personal growth which will be highly beneficial within any professional environment in the future. The satisfaction of completing a symposium at Tate Liverpool stands out particularly, and working with artists such as Christopher Kline.” 


Image of Rachel Smart and Angelina Cliff

Rachael Smart BA (hons) Drama and Angelina Cliff BA (hons) Drama and Creative Writing, are both members of LiverpoolSU. Rachael was elected as the Vice President of Activities in March 2017. She previously worked as a student staff member for the Students' Union and was President of the Comedy Society in her third year. She loved working for students in this way and gained leadership skills that will assist her in directing within theatre.

Angelina was elected Vice President of Academic Quality during the student officer by-election in June 2017. She commented on why she chose LJMU: “I chose to study at LJMU, for a number of reasons. My breath was taken away by the first thing I saw when leaving Lime Street station, which was St Georges Hall, and after exploring Bold Street and all its quirky shops, I could really see myself spending three years of my life here. The staff in the Drama department have encouraged me to be my bravest self, and to leap completely out of my comfort zone. I'm so grateful for them for being so supportive and fun to work with. In the Creative Writing side of my degree, the lecturers have always expressed an infectious passion for writing, and through their honesty, understanding and motivating words, I've come on leaps and bounds. I can honestly say I'm a better actress, writer and person, because of my lecturers at LJMU.”


Image of Kerry Fitzpatrick

Kerri Fitzpatrick leaves with a BA (Hons) in International Journalism and was highly commended in the Liverpool Echo Community Reporter Prize. Kerri has completed a placement with BBC Radio 4, and counts interviewing the former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable among her University highlights. Having achieved a paid internship working as a video reporter at the renowned music festival, Sound City, Kerri on graduating now has her sights set on publishing her own travel Vlog. 


Image of Sam Pascall

Sam Pascall worked at Lime Pictures in Post Production as part of his placement and has now set up ‘Mantis Pro Media’ with a business partner. He graduates today from the BA (Hons) Media Production degree. He commented: “I can only praise the staff at LJMU, they are so professional and efficient at what they do, always at hand when you needed help and guidance.” 



Image of Danny Leigh

Danny Leigh BA (Hons) Media Production calls his student experience “incredible”, stating  “I've had the time of my life for three years, and wouldn't trade my time here for the world! One of my biggest highlights of studying at LJMU was managing to earn a placement with John Bishop at his entertainment company in London, after gaining the opportunity to ask him for work during a talk that he gave to students. ”Danny is now working at ITV as a member of the AD team for Coronation Street.


During the morning ceremony, the University welcomed two new Honorary Fellows, Canon Ruth Gould, the Artistic Director at DaDaFest and Mark Featherstone-Witty, Founding Principal and CEO of LIPA.


Image of Ruth Gould

Ruth received the Fellowship for outstanding achievement in developing arts and culture in the arts sector locally, nationally and internationally. Her citation was presented by Gerry Kinsella,  LJMU Honorary Fellow and Chief Executive of Greenbank.

Ruth Gould delivered an inspiring acceptance speech, with some brilliant anecdotes and advice for LJMU graduates.  

Reflecting on when she found out about the Fellowship while recovering from a  serious illness, she said: “It’s such a privilege to receive this honour… My life has been a rollercoaster and up until two weeks ago I wasn’t sure I’d recover, whilst I was off I reflected on what I’d achieved in my life… a lot was unexpected, for example this honour, which I found out I was receiving while in hospital and was so uplifting.”

Ruth also emphasised the importance of arts education, saying: “I’m delighted you’ve decided to train in the arts and hope you understand how vital they are.” Citing a quote by Maya Angelou, she added : “I’ve learned that people will forget you, people will forget what you’ve done, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Ruth also added some poignant advice for the graduands: “Wherever you go from here, and whatever you do, it is so important to allow people into your lives who not only nurture and care for you but challenge you too. We all need to listen more… I wish you every success and hope you achieve all your planned goals but in those unexpected emotions: the positive, the joyful and the challenges; expect them and expect the unexpected.“

You can read the full oration for Canon Ruth Gould here


Image of Mark Featherstone-Witty

Mark was awarded his Fellowship for outstanding achievement in the creation and development of performing arts education. His citation was presented by Gemma Bodinetz, LJMU Honorary Fellow and Executive Director at the Liverpool Everyman.

In his acceptance speech, Mark Featherstone-Witty paid tribute to the special relationship he has with LJMU:

“This is a great day for me because it gives me the chance to thank this great Metropolitan institution… They helped me and Sir Paul (McCartney) when we came up with the idea of LIPA, to understand the world of education. LJMU also validate what we teach so the university has stayed with us through our journey as well. Nigel  (Weatherill) has become an honoured friend.. .we have navigated the difficult worked of higher education together so he is a  true friend, just like the university has been to LIPA.”

In his advice to graduates he said:

“Find out what you love and are good at, and then get people to pay you for it. Life is long, have many varied experiences, move outside your comfort zone… I was 46 when I realised what my purpose was, I’m now 71 and I’m now just hitting my stride.”

You can read the full oration for Mark Featherstone-Witty here


Afternoon ceremony

Image of Marie, Sharon and Sarah

Marie Azarinejad, Sharon Berry and Sarah McKenna all graduate with BA (Hons) in Health and Social care for Individuals, Families and Communities. The three students have become life-long friends and consistently supported and mentored their younger classmates.

Marie chose LJMU “due to its excellent reputation in the health and social care sector”. She spoke about her overall experience: “LJMU has so much support on offer to get you through university and not just academic, the wellbeing service offers both financial and emotional support.”

Sharon commented: “I choose LJMU as my place of study as I was able to continue my caring role at home alongside  studying my degree. I have had the best 3 years of my life studying here in LJMU. I’m now going on to study for an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice.”

Sarah added: “I have utilised the events provided by the opportunities team and have regularly attended the Royal Court with my university friends. We took advantage of the student discount opportunities and also attended many of the mature student network events. The opportunities across the University have helped to add to the wide and varied skill set I already had including the varied work placements, guest speakers and lecture sessions.”


Image of Catherine Brownlie

Catherine Brownlie graduates with a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Practitioner (District Nursing). She commented: “Throughout the course I have had significant opportunity to develop my clinical and academic skill set, resulting in increased confidence and competence in my role. The programme has challenged me to work beyond my comfort zone and look for resolutions rather than problems. I now view my role in a different light and embrace innovation. Working alongside inspirational practitioners from a variety of clinical fields has motivated me to set new personal goals to strive for and I have left the programme feeling empowered to make a difference.”


Receiving an Honorary Fellowship in the afternoon ceremony were Dr Ulrich Hoppe, Director General of the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Dr Larry De Nardis, Regent, Connecticut State University system and former Congressman and former President of the University of New Haven.


Image of Dr Ulrich Hoppe

Dr Ulrich Hoppe received his Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to European business cooperation. He spoke at the Ceremony:

“I feel truly honoured having been given this HF by LJMU today and we have had strong links with LJMY for a decade. As someone who has grown up in a port city, I feel a strong affiliation with Liverpool…Cities like ours are outward looking, modern as well as having strong civic experience that comes with the challenges of being at sea…”

Delivering words of advice to graduates, he said: “Whatever career you embark on, have courage and you will succeed.  I wish you courage, fortune and success for your next steps and I’m sure you’ll make the most of what you’ve learned at this great university.”

You can read the full oration for Dr Ulrich Hoppe here


Image of Larry De Nardis

Dr Larry DeNardis received the Fellowship for outstanding achievement in creating transatlantic academic opportunities. He said:

“It is with great pleasure to have this honour bestowed on me and to my wife to be here with me. It is true that this 35 year friendship has led to a strong partnership between SCSU and LJMU – a partnership that will benefit countless students at both institutions for decades to come.

My thoughts are with the LJMU Class of 2017  here today – let me extend my heartiest congratulations to you for your achievements. I hope that you become empowered by the science, arts and humanities and could even go on to receive a Nobel prize. But I encourage you to make life worthwhile and if you can make the lives of people around you more worthwhile too, you will have done well.”

He also offered the graduates five pieces of advice:

“Learnt to separate what is and isn’t in your power

Contemplate the broader picture  - the view from above  - that will help you put things into perspective

Think in advance about challenges you face during each new day. A prepared mind may make the difference between success and failure

Be mindful of the here and now – the past is not in our control – let it go – the future will come eventually, but the best way to operate is to act when and where you are most effective – right here and right now

Always review your past actions – some you will not like – some you will be proud of – but for the good ones, be glad and let them guide you for the future.”

You can read the full oration for Dr Larry DeNardis here


For more student stories and photos visit the LJMU Facebook page



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