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News article

York St John University’s ‘Class of 2020’ to graduate in long-awaited ceremonies

Published: 04 November 2021

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students graduating at York Minster

Chancellor Reeta Chakrabarti to confer degree awards to students who completed their studies during the pandemic. 

More than 1,600 graduates will celebrate their achievements at graduation ceremonies in York Minster from 16-22 November 2021. 

Graduation ceremonies in York Minster are a highlight of the student experience at York St John University. The Class of 2020 have waited more than a year since finishing their degrees and the long-awaited ceremonies mark the successful completion of their studies in challenging circumstances during the pandemic. 

Vice Chancellor of York St John University, Professor Karen Bryan OBE said: “I am delighted to be welcoming back our Class of 2020 to celebrate their achievements alongside their family, friends and university tutors. I am full of admiration for the way these graduates completed their studies with us, and the resilience they have demonstrated. 

"Throughout the uncertainty of the past year, we remained committed to ensuring this cohort of students could graduate in person and are looking forward to marking the occasion in the splendour of York Minster.” 

The ceremonies will be presided over by York St John University’s Chancellor, Reeta Chakrabarti and Pro Chancellor Dame Julia Unwin DBE. Reeta Chakrabarti, BBC news presenter and correspondent, has been York St John University’s Chancellor since March 2020. Dame Julia is the University’s Pro Chancellor and Chair of the University’s Governing Body. She has worked across multiple sectors during her social campaigning career, including the role of Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. 

Alongside the hundreds of students receiving their degrees, the University will be awarding an honorary degree on Friday 19 November to Ann M Green CBE, the former Chair of the Governing Body at York St John. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters in recognition of her achievements in leadership and her contribution to the success of York St John University. As Chair of the Board of Governors for three successive terms from 2011 to 2020, Ann led York St John during a tumultuous period of change for the Higher Education sector. She was also instrumental in driving forward major campus projects including the new Students’ Union building, the Haxby Road sports complex and the newly completed Creative Centre. Ann is also closely involved with the cultural life in York, as Chair of York Theatre Royal Trust, the York Music Hub and the York Guildhall Orchestra. 

The University has worked in collaboration with York Minster to ensure the ceremonies take place safely. Ten graduation ceremonies will take place over five days, to allow for smaller capacities and increased distancing. Everyone attending is requested to wear a face covering (unless exempt), to take a lateral flow (LFD) test prior to the event(s) and asked not to attend if they are displaying any Covid symptoms. 

Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021 will take place in York Minster in February 2022. 

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