Sheffield Hallam hosts region’s largest in-person graduation for Class of 2020 and 2021

3rd November 2021

A double-header of ceremonies will see more than 15,000 students graduate in-person from Sheffield Hallam University this month, the largest convocation in the region

As one of the largest providers of nursing, midwifery and allied health education in the UK, more than 2,000 healthcare workers are amongst the graduands - including those who volunteered to join the NHS frontline in spring 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. 

It is anticipated 54,000 guests will also attend the events, bringing approximately 6,000 visitors to the Sheffield each graduation day. The ceremonies are being held over three weeks at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre from this week (Monday 1 November). 

The bumper graduation is due to the cancellation of ceremonies in 2020. Over 90 per cent of graduands indicated across multiple surveys that they were ‘very strongly’ in favour of in-person graduation this year. 

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “After the challenges of the last 18 months, it is wonderful to celebrate our graduates’ success at Ponds Forge this November – a venue where many aspiring athletes have begun their Olympic journeys. Throughout the pandemic our students have demonstrated incredible resilience, determination and adaptability, completing their studies in the most difficult of times. They should all be enormously proud of their achievements – I know I am - and I am delighted they are able to mark their success in front of friends and family.” 

Sheffield-based Olympian Bryony Page, who’s trained by Sheffield Hallam senior sports lecturer Paul Greaves, is amongst the recipients of an honorary doctorate from the university this year. She won a bronze medal at Tokyo 2020, becoming the first British female gymnast to win medals across two Games following her silver medal win at Rio 2016. 

Bryony Page said: “I feel extremely honoured and grateful to be gifted with an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam. I am also very thankful to be considered by, and now forever connected with, a fantastic organisation and community of inspiring people. I wish the graduating Class of 2020 and 2021 congratulations for their pursuit towards their academic studies during such a testing time and good luck for their future endeavours.” 

England Lionesses and Chelsea FC Women’s footballer Millie Bright has also received an honorary doctorate for her work to encourage young women into sport. Millie previously played for Sheffield United’s academy team and is originally from Sheffield. 

Other hon doc recipients this year include: 

  • Jacqui Oatley: highly regardedsports journalist who was the first female commentator on BBC One’s Match of the Day in 2007 and is the new Sky Sports lead commentator on their FA WSL coverage 
  • Greg Fell: director of public health in Sheffield who has led the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020
  • Dr Carolyn Griffiths: renowned railway engineer and the third female president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
  • Carol Bernard CBE: leading HR professional whowas awarded the CBE for Services to the National Probation Service in the New Year’s Honours 2005 
  • Jonathan Disley: vice-president of design at Volvo Cars China and an alumnus of the product design course at Sheffield Hallam University
  • Pattie Moore: pioneering North American industrial designer, social scientist and author
  • Sunjeev Sahota: Sheffield-based author who writes about immigration, race and power
  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot: renowned public health expert, author and Professor of Epidemiology at University College London and director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity

The honorary doctorates will be awarded during the graduation ceremonies. 

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