AWARDS 2011: Graduates To Share Their Tweet Success!

20 January 2011

#Derbygrad on Twitter

For the first time this year the University of Derby will harness the social media tool Twitter to capture and share good news messages, and images from its annual Awards Ceremonies tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, Jan 21-22.

Graduates will be able to share their tweets and photos using the Twitter hash tag #Derbygrad on Twitter feed DerbyUniALumni all of which will be shown on a large screen at the Kedleston Road site.

Graduates, their friends and families will be able to see the tweets and photos as they appear on the live 'Twitter wall' in real time, which will be on a special television screen at Kedleston Road.

There will also be a live video feed capturing the graduation ceremonies on the BBC Big Screen in Derby's Market Place and the University's Unitube network across its campuses.

More than 10,000 well-wishers will look on as around 2,000 students graduate, wearing mortar boards and robes in the University colours of red and pale blue, to collect their degree certificates during six ceremonies over two days, at the Derby Assembly Rooms.

It is a highlight of the academic year at Derby. Six high achievers with links to Derbyshire will also receive honorary awards for their personal accomplishments in their careers. They are:


  • Neil McKay (Honorary Doctor of Letters) - the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award-winning writer produced TV dramas Dunkirk, See No Evil: The Moors Murders and Mo (about the late Mo Mowlam MP). He will be writing the forthcoming ITV docudrama Appropriate Adult about serial killer Fred West. Neil lives in Derbyshire and works to support other writers
  • Professor Paul Hill (Honorary Doctor of Fine Art) - an influential photographer, and teacher on the subject, has been a resident of Derbyshire since 1974 and often uses its landscape in his photographic work. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society
  • Dr David Livesey (Honorary Doctor of the University) - an accomplished University administrator whose roles included Secretary General of the Faculties at the University of Cambridge and Secretary General of the League of European Research Universities; helping the latter promote the importance of research excellence. Dr Livesey was brought up in Derby.


  • Arthur Keily (who will become Honorary Master of the University) - the veteran Derbyshire marathon runner competed in the 1960 Rome Olympics and is the former holder of numerous UK and world long distance running records. He has also written books on how to enjoy good health in later years and slow the aging process, raising funds for charity through their sale
  • Major General Garry Robison (Honorary Doctor of the University) - the Derby educated Royal Marine is the Corps' most senior serving officer and has commanded Royal Marines on operations all around the world; including troublespots such as Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Bob Laxton (Honorary Doctor of the University) - Derby born and bred, Bob Laxton served the city from 1979 to 1997 as a city councillor and then as MP for Derby North from 1997 until standing down in 2010.

On both days there will be a procession to Derby Cathedral for a Thanksgiving Service.The Oriole Marching Jazz Band and the Heage Brass Band will perform en route, on Friday and Saturday respectively.

University transport staff have been working with local authorities to manage the University, and city centre park-and-ride service.

Support staff at the University's Kedleston Road site will ensure visitors are welcomed, fed and transported to the Assembly Rooms.

Other staff and students will be on hand to help at the ceremonies, and, because the Mayor's Parlour at the Council House is closed for refurbishment, staff at QUAD, in the Market Place will cater for the VIP guests during both days.

The graduation ball, called the Snowball, organised by the University of Derby Students' Union, will take place at the Assembly Rooms on the Saturday night. Entertainment will be provided by boy band The Holloways, girl band Parade, and also starring Radio 1 DJ Aled from the Chris Moyles Show with Dominic Byrne hosting the evening.

The University's own economic worth report, published by the Corporate Relations team last year, highlighted graduation as an annual financial boost for the city. The Awards Ceremonies take place over three days at Derby and at Buxton every year, drawing in thousands of people - students, and their families - to visit Derbyshire and eat at its restaurants, and stay at its guest houses and hotels.

For more information contact Deputy Head of Corporate Relations Simon Redfern on 01332 591942 or 07748 920038 or email

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