Liverpool Hope's Winter Graduation Ceremony took place on the afternoon of Thursday 22nd January, and saw over one hundred degrees awarded to a mix of post- and undergraduate students.
During the ceremony, two honorary doctorates were also awarded, to broadcaster Lyse Doucet and filmmaker Ken Loach. Quoting the poet Seamus Heaney, Lyse Doucet exhorted graduates not to live 'timorously', while Ken Loach delivered an impassioned defence of the welfare state and the power of community.
In his address, Vice-Chancellor Professor Pillay congratulated the graduands on their hard work and shared with the audience some detail from the University's results in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. He went on to say: "The greatest joy is seeing our graduates use their gifts to help others and build a more caring society."
Giving the citation for Ms Doucet's honorary degree, Professor Michael Mulqueen, Head of the University's Department of Media and Communications, praised her work reporting from war zones around the world, as well as her compassion for those caught up in such situations.
In her response Lyse spoke about her own time at university, and her struggle to find a career in journalism. She warned students of the pitfalls ahead of them as they began their working lives, but encouraged them not to give up.
Ken Loach's citation was read by Professor Michael Lavalette, head of the Department of Social Care, Work and Justice. Professor Lavalette gave an account of Ken's career in television and film, emphasising the social conscience which is present in all his work.
Ken's response took the form of an apology to the audience of graduands, for the 'failure' of his generation to maintain and build upon the Post-war Settlement. At the close of his speech, he urged those present to confront the challenges ahead of them, in the form of climate change, social immobility and division.
Graduate Nicole Mulholland (pictured), who received her bachelor's degree in Health and Psychology during the ceremony, said: "I've loved my time at Hope - I knew from the first time I came here that this was the university for me."