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News article

Class of 2021 to celebrate success at graduation ceremonies in York Minster

Published: 28 January 2022

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Graduates with their back to the camera throwing their caps in front of York Minster

BBC presenter Reeta Chakrabarti to confer degree awards to more than 2,000 graduates at ceremonies from 7 to 11 February 2022.

Graduation marks an important milestone for students and the Class of 2021 will be rewarded for their perseverance and commitment to their studies at ceremonies to be held in the splendour of York Minster. 

Vice Chancellor, Professor Karen Bryan OBE, said: 

“These Graduation ceremonies, in York Minster, are a fitting celebration for the Class of 2021. Our graduates have completed their degrees in challenging circumstances during the pandemic, showing first-hand their resilience and commitment to succeed. I am delighted to be able to join their family, friends and university tutors in congratulating them on their hard work and dedication.  

Alongside the presentation of degrees, York St John will be awarding a range of prizes to students for special achievements whilst at university. This year the University will be presenting the first-ever Institute for Social Justice Student Prize to a graduating student who has shown investment, engagement and understanding of social justice issues through their studies in a manner that has impacted on themselves or the wider community. Graphic Design student Alissa Morgan is the 2021 winner for her work as a ‘design activist’. Throughout her course, Alissa combined her passion for design with a desire to make a difference.   

Commenting on the prize, Professor Matthew Reason, Director of the Institute of Social Justice, said: 

“We are aware that one of the biggest social justice impacts that the University will have is through the future choices and careers of our graduates. It is for this reason that we launched the Institute for Social Justice Student Prize.  

“Alissa’s work focused on challenging and confronting issues relating to social and environmental justice through the power of graphic design and visual communication. We wish her all the best for the future and are sure she will help bring about the change that we all wish to see in the world.” 

The degree 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.

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.

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