Buxton Awards Ceremony, November 2019 video transcript

[Music]

Good afternoon everyone, and a very very warm welcome as Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, it gives me great pleasure to declare open this presentation of awards ceremony for the University of Derby.

This is the 14th University award ceremony to be held here at the Devonshire campus in Buxton, and I'm thoroughly delighted that we are gathered here once again in the splendid surroundings of this magnificent dome.

On behalf of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Governing Council, Members of the Vice-Chancellor's Executive and the academic board, I'm delighted to welcome all guests of the University today. In particular, Mr William Tucker - Lord Lieutenant for the County of Derbyshire, Miss Ruth George most recently MP for High Peak in Derbyshire, Councillor Ed Kelly - Mayor of High Peak Borough Council

and Councillor Robert Parkinson - Chairman of Derbyshire County Council. Mr. Mike Scott principal London College UCK and University of Derby Honorands: Mr. James Beresford, Professor John Coin, Miss. Wendy Holden and Mrs. Louise Potter. I'd also like to welcome many of the distinguished guests representing the business, education and health communities in the region. Alongside former students of the University and their friends and family, plus all those watching us on the livestream, wherever you are in the world. We're genuinely delighted that you're all able to be with us here today.

Now for those of you who like statistics you might be interested to know that today we have a total of 262 graduates along with 500 guests. Now these ceremonies really are the main highlights of the University's year. Placing a rightful spotlight on every single graduate's achievements. Now by its very nature this is of course a formal occasion but it's also a celebration, whether you're a graduate or family and friends we'd like you all to feel proud, enjoy the day and remember it for many years to come. So with that in mind please do feel free to cheer and applaud loudly as the person you've supported over the last few years makes their way across the stage to receive their very well-deserved award; they've earned it. I now have pleasure in calling upon Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, to give her address.

Chancellor, Pro Chancellor, Lord Lieutenant, Mayor of High Peak Borough Council, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen and most importantly on this special occasion graduands of 2019. May I commence by extending to all of you a very warm welcome. It is my privilege to be saying a few words within this magnificent building here in Buxton and today we are welcoming the  graduands from the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism and Stenden University, Buxton & Leek College and the College of Life and Natural Sciences. And I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to our honorand - Mr. Adrian Farmer.

Graduation is one of the most important days for the University and is a celebration of your success. We acknowledge the considerable commitment of time energy and personal sacrifice that many of you have made to achieve your qualification. So on behalf of all of my colleagues, I wish you the warmest congratulations. Today is also a time to celebrate with family and friends and to feel a deep sense of satisfaction in your achievements however, it is also a time to remember the people who have supported you and played a significant part in your success these include; fellow students, family members, partners and staff of the University so graduands I would like you to show your appreciation for all the people that have supported you by giving them a huge round of applause.

[Applause]

We are living in challenging times and there is much uncertainty, so I am delighted to say that the University of Derby has navigated this uncertainty and we have had another successful year. We are now ranked 26th in The Guardian League table, our highest ever ranking and as importantly we have achieved the third-place ranking for our teaching quality. We have also been shortlisted for University of the Year so please can you all keep your fingers crossed for later in this month because we hope we might win but these outstanding accolades cannot be achieved without you our graduands. A key feature of our success this year has been how we are strengthening partnership working, many staff and students have played a significant role supporting the educational and cultural partners especially within Derby and Derbyshire. We have continued to develop strategic partnerships with greater impact at ministerial levels and these have gone far beyond Derby and Derbyshire, they include developing countries including Botswana and again we have increased funding for local industries through our knowledge exchange schemes, securing over three million pounds and importantly these programs are now securing employment for our graduates. These achievements are an endorsement of our applied learning strategy but most importantly - it's the achievement of our outstanding students and I thank you personally. So now graduands with self-confidence and knowledge you now need to take strides to pursuing your personal goals, realise your ambitions and shape the future of our society.

Hamish Maslen is graduating with a BSC First-class Honours in Adventure Sport and Coaching Science Hamish took on an independent study project that required him to work collaboratively with the UK's leading coaching and training company for climbing performance: Lattice coaching and training. During his project Hamish worked on establishing the reliability and validity of novel testing protocols using an innovative digital finger board designed to measure strengthen both fingers and forearm flexors of climbers. Importantly, as part of this collaboration work with Lattice. Hamish also contributed to the UK's first female climbing training symposium in Sheffield. Since graduating Hamish secured a role as Head Coach at Chimera climbing centre and I think that that's a huge achievement so we'd like to wish you well in all your future studies and please can we give Hamish a huge round of applause.

[Applause]

Jessica Tanseli is graduating with a First-class honours in BA Outdoor Leadership and Management, her independent study investigated disadvantaged youth and outdoor adventure and this work has now been pivotal in her decision to join the police force and we are delighted that she's now successfully gained a place on the police now national graduate leadership program in Hertfordshire, something very difficult to get a place on. The training program recruits ambitious graduates and allows Jessica to build upon the skills, leadership, negotiation, problem-solving and decision-making which are all the core skills she developed here at the University of Derby so we wish you every success in your future career so another big round of applause for Jessica.

[Applause]

However, all our graduands here today have been successful in their paths to future success and each and every one of you should be proud of your achievements. I am certain however that you all recognise that the knowledge and skills you have gained at university will be important for your future however, do not underestimate that the friendships you have made while you have been with us may be for life and will often influence your futures this also goes for your university too, you are our key ambassadors and your success is our success. We are keen to be a part of your future and we will be always here to support and help you.

Finally, I am proud that the university remains mindful of being true to our mission of ensuring that the doors of this university remain open to those who wish to learn regardless of their background or their financial circumstances but today is a time to celebrate, it's a time to celebrate with family and friends. Graduands please remember to take pride in yourself, it has been a privilege for me, for the governing body and all the staff of the university to be part of your day. So, enjoy the day celebrate it as it should be celebrated, congratulations to you all.

[Applause]

Thank you, Vice-Chancellor, for that excellent perspective. I now call upon Dr. Sarah Rawlinson - Head of the Centre of Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism to present the graduates for the centre of Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism for their awards.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, I am pleased to present graduates from the Centre of Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism Master of Science in Events Management: Jamie Greatorex, Tunde Molnar, Jacob Padget.

Master of Science in International Hospitality and Service Management from our partner NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences: Stan Bakker with the Stenden and postgraduate excellence prize: Viyella Beckman Lapré, Harold Hovenkamp Jennifer Jacobs Eline Melief, Joanne Mulder, Moses Ndonga Ndalame, Mariella Pistone, Bastiaan Schülski, Rosalie Suurmeijer, Nicole Turnhout-Ammerlaan, Kim Van Der Meijde, Matthijs Vellekoop, Yvonne Weissenbach, Natascha Wienen.

Master of Science in International Hospitality Management: Idrees Masoud Abdullah Al-Qasmi, Amanpreet Bawa, Sandra Lechner, Sandra Perales Garcia.

Master of Science in International Leisure and Tourism Studies from our partner NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences: Maximilian Hoffmeister, Ralph Knol, Nazanin Mortazavi, Sophia Tente, Melissa Tolman, Britt Viscaal.

Master of Science in International Spa Management: with the Buxton postgraduate excellence prize: Lisa Lakdja, Ioannis Chalkiadakis, Farzeen Iftekhar, Ke Li, Saydie O'Brien, Zeming Song.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Events Management: Eleanor Adams, Samantha-Marie Baits, Tanisha Barnes, Jacob Booth, Genevieve Bushell, Emma Copland, Elisabeth Drobenova, Katarina Federova, Natasha Gomes King. With the Centre of Hospitality and Tourism Director's Award for Excellence: Victoria Greenhall, Georgina Hawkins, Aneta Jandova, Louisa Jewitt, Kathleen Leighton, Sofia Lemord, Goda Maciulaityte, Amber Madden, Agne Milkeviciute, Katie Morgan, Tara Nelson, Gemma Oakden, Emily Pearsall, Megan Pearson. With the Events Team achievement prize: Kristina Petrovicova, Weronika Plociennik, Stephanie Riley, Heather Rolleston, Christina Runnalls, Susannah Springall, Sinthujaa Vaseekaran, Thuy Trang Vuova, Charlotte Whitehouse, Adele Whiting.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Hospitality Management including graduates from our partner the London College: Nawal Abdalla, Muyinat Amode, Peter Chukwuemeka Amuta, With the Institute of Hospitality award for student achievement: Mia Andrew, Nikoleta Balazova, Mariana Edreva, Adam Brady, Temenuzhka Georgieva, Mariana Edreva, Temenuzhka Georgieva, Janet Griffin, Rahma Ismail, Ioana Adelina Mihalcea, Theron Niles, Jana Pizane, Yuan Tao, Amy Taylor, Marketa Volfova, Kristyna Zezulova, Xiaowen Zhen.

Bachelor of Arts in International Hospitality Management: Robyn Collier, Denis Kostov.

Bachelor of Science (honours) in International Spa Management: Hannah Briggs, Silvija Čipa. With a Comfort Zone industry prize: Alejandra Ibarra, Terri-Ann Kerr, Ayesha Latif, Hannah Lumley, Emily Lunnon, Chloe Maybury, Jannette Napier, Georgina Oldfield, Aija Rozenberga, Faye Whyte.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Tourism Management including graduates from our partner the London College: Tereza Augustinova, Agata Belcik, Kamila Bezova, James Clark, Rebecca Coupe, Bethan Davies, Martin Davies, Lara Gracis, Gabriela Harazinova, Charlotte Kitchener, Tereza Krizova, Natalia Kuczma, Emanuela Leu, Oliver Moore, Maria Delgado, Pauline Ndzombo. With the Tourism Excellence Award: Aneta Nemethova, Joshua Obisanya, Lauren Parton, Jan Pazourek, Verena Pfandlsteiner, Azba Shamsuddin, Charlotte Sheilds, Patricia Siskova, Maria Stanciu, Anastasija Timofejeva, Ewelina Wisniewska, Iris-Maria Wolff.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Professional Culinary Arts, Kajal Arora, Alice Browning, Alex De Araujo, Claire Dickson, Daniel Ferries, Clayton Hartley. With the Rusmund Culinary Arts Prize for Excellence: Michalis Ioannou, Cecilia Johansson, Maria Matsoukarou, Despoina Nikolaou, Oliver Rogers, Callum Smart.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Professional Culinary Management: Radka Durbakova, Sarah Garnham, Katarina Hejdova. With a Jamie award for student achievement: Jade Holyand, Jolanta Rakovska, Kim Szappanosova.

Bachelor of Arts in Professional Culinary Management: Kunwar Sachdev.

Bachelor of Science (honours) in Wellness Management: with the highest academic achievement prize: Beatrice Chang, Jessica Elliot, Julie Stone.

Foundation Degree (Arts) in Event Management: Shannon Craig, Geanene D'Albuqerque. With the Events Management achievement prize: Keira Tagg.

Foundation Degree (Science) in International Spa Management: Dina Agbolossou, Joy Bassey, Stephania Danfa, Katarzyna Kowalska, Ameika Mawson, With the spa team academic achievement prize: Clarice Nettleship. Fozia Rafaqat, Tina Kaur Rai.

Foundation Degree (Arts) in International Tourism Management: Lauren Bullock, With the Tourism achievement prize: Daymer Eshelby.

Foundation Degree (Arts) in Professional Culinary Arts: Sam Bennett-Jones, Jonathan Cleaves, Theodore Creton, Charlie D'Lima.

The next award is a posthumous award for John Holden and is being collected by John's mother Marie accompanied by John's friend Tom John Holden. Nathan Holmes, Kanthara Hongsopha, Maria Lambrou, Gabriele Magelinskaite, Jacob Miller, Gabriel Mwangala, Molly Penford, Jovaras Rinkevicius, Mantas Rudzinskas, Victoria Tetteh, Francesca Ward.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor - that concludes this presentation of graduates for the Center of Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism.

[Applause]

Thank You Sarah, and congratulations once again to all of our graduates - very well done indeed. I now have great pleasure in inviting Dr Chris Bussell P.V.C Dean of the College of Life and Natural Sciences to give the commendation for the confirmant of the honorary Master of the Arts to Mr Adrian Farmer.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, honoured guests and graduands. It gives me great pleasure to be presenting today Adrian Farmer for the award of Honorary Master of the University. Adrian has devoted hundreds of hours of his own time to teaching, writing, leading tours, managing events and campaigns and engaging with authorities to raise the profile of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sites. Adrian began his working life as a journalist qualifying in Sheffield at the age of 23, he became the editor of the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser. Then six months later the Belper News for the centenary edition of the Belper News in 1996, he read the hundred-year back run of all the issues and appreciated for the first time the historic significance of the Belper and Derwent Valley. Shortly after his writing of his first book on the town and becoming a volunteer guide Strutts North Mill Museum an opportunity arose to join the coordination team of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sites which sits within Belper. The site is the birthplace of the factory system and home of historic gems such as Sir Richard Arkwright's Masson mills, Cromford mill and the Strutts North mill.

Since 2004, Adrian has worked to protect and promote the World Heritage sites and educate people about its outstanding universal value as part of a coordination team, of which at times he was the only member. Two of his greater success in the time - the Discovery Days Festival and the Belper ambassador scheme have brought national recognition. Both schemes delivered on very tight budgets have a lasting legacy. Adrian has actively involved a number of local voluntary organizations promoting heritage within the Derwent Valley. Adrian was appointed a medalist of the Order of the British Empire, the British Empire medal in the 2018 New Year's Honours List for services to Belper and volunteering. In 2012 he was highly commended by Visit Britain in their first tourism superstar awards for the services here provided to Belper and specifically the promotional work within the tourism sector. He was part of the delivery team which secured winner of winners for Belper in the inaugural Great British High Street Award in 2014 and he supported the 2019 delivery team in this year's finalists. His seventh book; 'Belper in wartime - The Great War' was printed in July 2019 and has sold just under five hundred copies. Ladies and Gentlemen - he needs five more to make the five hundred copies. Adrian's ability to bring people together across a broad spectrum of ages and abilities together in the real spirit of community has been keen to his achievements. He's a devoted advocate of localism and has made a remarkable difference to people's perceptions of the valley and most particularly of Belper. He is as proud of Belper as Belper is of him. Chancellor in recognition of his contribution to the significant raise in the profile of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site and bringing communities together in the region we are delighted to award Adrian Farmer the honorary degree: Master of the University. Congratulations.

[Applause]

Chancellor, Pro Chancellor, Lord Lieutenant, Mayor of High Peak Borough Council, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen and graduands of 2019; Thank you. I am deeply honoured to be here today in more ways than one and particularly when we have so many talented people here today I feel like I'm in incredibly good company so I'm delighted to have the opportunity to say thank you.

I also wanted to say that the University of Derby is an active and vital member of the World Heritage Site partnership which manages the Derwent Valley Mills. I'm grateful for the support they've given and continue to give in the 16 years I've been coordinator. It is the region's only World Heritage Site. I'm very proud of it. You might have guessed that from what's been said, I sound a bit more obsessive than I thought I was somehow but I'm very lucky to be in a role which has, over the years given me a great deal of satisfaction - sometimes frustration but mainly satisfaction and an opportunity to talk about and promote the Derwent Valley Mills which sit at the heart of the county. And it is no exaggeration they fundamentally shaped the world we live in today; we should be very proud in Derbyshire that we have something like that. I certainly am - again probably more obsessively than I should.

As you've heard it wasn't supposed to turn out like that for me, I trained to be a journalist I thought I knew what lay ahead for me and then having read six months, read years, a hundred years’ worth of the Belper news in six months probably the only person on the planet that's done that with a good reason. I suddenly realised that while whilst I enjoyed working as a journalist, the history of Belper, its Mills and the wider Derwent Valley was amazing. Ground-breaking, exciting, and something I wanted to be a part of. Now not everyone gets it and I understand that, they should get it and I feel like I've made it my mission to try and help people to get it but I love helping people see past the dusty old Mills to the thousands of stories I guess this is with my journalism head on I still see them as stories. Centuries of people from industrial pioneers to regular mill workers and so many others, making a difference bringing our heritage to life. I didn't expect it but sometimes that a subject just changes your life comes out of left field. I had no sense in my early twenties when I was the age of many of the graduates that I'd care so passionately about heritage about mills about people long gone and the stories they left behind.

So, you don't always know how things are going to work out, run with it and if you find a subject that you love - grab it with both hands. I thought it sounds a little like it works with people as well I guess but I don't grab them with both hands but it is wonderful to have such a strong central core that you know something is important and you want to spread the word and if you find that, it's an incredible thing to have and I'm grateful that I have that. One of the things I didn't expect was the range of stories - large and small, that I've discovered about the Derwent Valley from the invention of skyscrapers, the apprehension of grave robbers, from the feeding of thousands with unprecedented farming techniques to the kidnapping of elephants by teenage boys - I love that story! There's amazing different tiny but large stories that make up the World Heritage Site and let's not forget there'd be no mills and no valley without the River Derwent itself. It's a carbon-neutral endless supply of power on our doorstep. It's historically important but it could also help us in the future when we're looking for alternative power sources. It is also terrifying as you will have heard in the last 24 hours the Derwent has just swept away so much. It's all there in the Derwent Valley, it's an incredible resource to have in Derbyshire and one I hope I can help the University of Derby to access and embrace in every possible way in the time to come. Thanks again and good luck to you all - thank you.

Thank you Adrian for a very warm and a very wonderful speech and congratulations once again on the very well-deserved award, please one last round of applause. I now call upon Len Tildsley - Principal of Buxton and Leek College to present the graduates of Buxton Leek College for their awards.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, I'm pleased to present graduates of Buxton and Leek college. Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Creative Art and Design Practice: Julia Brownsword, Dylan Moon, Catherine Yardley.

For the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Education Studies: Lucy Alcock, Jordan Beech, Charlotte Bickerton, With the Buxton and Leek College Award for outstanding performance: Julie Brookes, Laura Chadwick, Joanna Cuthbert, Lauren Davies, Leanne Harris, Sylvia Hassall, Thomas Martin, Amy Mason, Sara Rawnsley, Olivia Salmon, Hannah Scragg, Angela Wallett, Beth Whalley, Mary Wood.

For the Foundation Degree (Arts) in Children's and Young People's services (Early years) Emily Bell, Imogen Blackhurst, Molly Braddock, Amy Gould, Ellie Hurst, Chantelle Lea, Jessica Reece. With the Buxton and Leek College excellence award: Tasha Waterhouse.

For the Foundation Degree (Arts) in Children's and Young People Services (Health and Social Care): Victoria Knight.

For the Foundation Degree (Arts) in Children's and Young People Services (Teaching assistant): Jade Davies, Nicola Naden, Dawn Schonau.

For the Foundation Degree (Science) in Computing with an outstanding performance award: Harry Ascroft, Nisha Chohan, Richard Wardle.

For the Foundation Degree (Arts) in Creative Art and Design Practice: Molly Davies, Kirstin Moss. With the Buxton and leek College excellence award: Carolyn Trafford.

For the Higher National Diploma in Business and Management: Emma Morten, Sadye Parry, Matthew Stevenson.

Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, that concludes the presentation of graduates from Buxton and Leek College.

Thank you Len, and once again very many congratulations to all of our graduates another round of applause please. I now call upon Dr Chris Bussell P.V.C Dean of the College of Life and Natural Sciences to present the graduates from the College of Life and Natural Sciences for their awards.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to be presenting the graduates of the College of Life and Natural Sciences. From the School of Human Sciences, Bachelor of Science (honours) in Adventure Sport and Coaching Science: Kimberly Barnes, Amy Beevers, Lucy Clarke, Hamish Maslen, Josie-Ann Moss, Kyle Sherriff, Charlotte Trusler.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Outdoor Activity Leadership and Coaching: Megan Fisher.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Outdoor Leadership and Management: James Aked, Joshua Anderson, Alice Baker, Lorna Bennett, Angus Bett, Michael Blocksidge, Michael Doyle, Gareth Dyke, Elizabeth Harper, Courtney Johnson, With the prize for the most improved outdoor student: Fergus McNulty, Daniel Mitchell, Winner of the prize for the Most Outstanding Student in Outdoors: Charles Pickering, Francis Sumners, Jessica Tanseli, Dominic Wardle, and Jamie Yeowart.

Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Leadership and Management: Charlie Butterworth.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sport Coaching and Development: James Bailey, George Barber, Samuel Charlesworth. The recipient of the prize for the highest achievement in Sport coaching and Development: Adam Glover, Stuart Humphrey.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sports and Education: Rebecca Scothern, Alexander Watt, and Mitchell Wilson.

Foundation Degree (Arts) in Outdoor Activity Leadership: Francis Serafica, and Sophia Walker.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Events Management: Meghann Baker. Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Tourism Management: Toni Bakovic.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, that concludes the presentations of graduates from the College of Life and Natural Sciences and the School of Human Sciences. Congratulations to all our graduates. Well done.

Many thanks indeed Chris and again very, very many congratulations to all of our graduates and at the round of applause please. I now invite Lord Burlington, Chancellor of the University to give his address.

Lord Lieutenant, Mayor of the High Peak Borough Council, Vice-Chancellor, Honoured guests, Ladies and gentlemen and graduates. I've got some words here but really the one word that springs to mind is congratulations. Come on one more time. You certainly deserve it, you took a leap of faith and signed up. You stayed the course, you even got yourselves across the stage which I could tell some enjoyed more than others. Now you're a graduate with a certificate to prove it. Doesn't that feel good? But just take a second to think back, think back to what brought you to the University of Derby in the first place what sort of person you were back then, what your expectations were. Think about the resilience and the drive the sheer hard work you've demonstrated since then. I want you to think about these things and feel proud. Think also about the people who helped you to get to this moment. those who inspired you even to consider university in the first place, those who supported you through it, perhaps a particular lecturer who really believed in you. This is a teaching body that's helped the university to reach our highest ever place in the league tables after all so there must be one, probably more than on. Please find time if you haven't already or even if you have to express your gratitude to these special people.

So how many people here are sports fans? One? Oh good! Well I'm a sports fan and going up in the league tables really means something to me. I understand the hard work and the ambition that goes behind the statistics and equally hard work has gone into our nomination on the shortlist of the University of the Year but remember this: both among University staff and among graduates the most important challenge; It's not about beating your neighbour. It's about being a better version of yourself. What have you learnt since last year? well since yesterday that makes you a better person that is the true challenge for all of us and I'll take it one step further. In life success is not about competition, it's about contribution. We've already heard some examples of fantastic contributions and for anyone doubting that they can make a positive change in the world remember the Dalai Lama's wise words: "If you think you're too small to make a difference try sleeping in the same room as a mosquito" So go out there and make a contribution or even change the world but please come back and tell us how you're doing it and for those of you who don't have a burning urge to change the world yet. Come back anyway because you're all alumni now.

The future can be a place of uncertainty, you don't need me to tell you that. Your path may have moments of uncertainty but one thing about which you can be certain our doors will always be open to you. The Vice-Chancellor mentioned earlier about partnership and the importance of partnerships, the bond with former students is a partnership that the university takes very seriously this is a network by the way which numbers over 70,000 members and we're currently working on some exciting new opportunities for alumni. Opportunities that will affirm our commitment to you as you continue your lives beyond education. In short, we want you to feel a part of our past and our present and our future so please stay in contact.

Now today we're celebrating success but there will be failure, maybe that job interview doesn't go so well, maybe the job itself doesn't work out but don't let setbacks rule your life. My daughter age eight came back from school and asked me dad do you know what the word fail F A I L stands for? I confessed I didn't, she told me: First Attempt In Learning. I found that very inspiring and I make no apologies for referencing primary school learning on an occasion such as this - I just wish I'd learnt it as a young man because goodness knows I've had a few failures. Fail - First Attempt In Learning. In other words, we can learn from our mistakes and our setbacks it's called experience an experience is what enables you to become a better version of yourself. The trouble is it's often not the fear of doing something that puts people off it's the fear of doing it badly. But if we can overcome that fear and get stuck in knowing that even failure will be a learning opportunity - well then we're giving ourselves the best chance of making a successful contribution in the long run. I realize many of you here know all about experience but it's how you use that experience, I read once that the role of a University Chancellor is more ornamental than fundamental and I won't argue with that but I do get the very great honour of being the first person to congratulate you, the very first person to congratulate you as graduates something I hold very dear.

I know some of you have had to travel a long way to return to Buxton so thank you for making the effort and a special thank you to all the supporters for being here who've helped make this such a great occasion. Another great honor I'm given as Chancellor is the opportunity to speak to you personally all today and I have one more thing to say: I referred to pride earlier and well to everyone here you all make me and the University extremely proud but more to the point, you should all be feeling proud and I'm talking about you the academics and the staff and the civic dignitaries, you the family and friends, certainly you Adrian the honorand and you the dabber where he was - wherever he was. But most of all you the graduates, you should all be very proud of yourselves on this special day and we should all be very proud to call the University of Derby, our University. So congratulations once more. Thank you very much, enjoy your day.

Thank you Chancellor for a truly inspiring speech, I'm now very pleased to invite Mia Andrew to give the vote of thanks on behalf of the students.

Hello and welcome, Chancellor, Vice- Chancellor, University friends and family. I feel incredibly honoured to be standing here before you all to deliver this speech today. I don't think I'm alone in admitting that on a few occasions over the past three years I wasn't sure if I would even make it to this day. Let alone be stood before you all delivering this speech so for that I feel incredibly grateful and I think we should all be extremely proud of our achievements today. It's certain that there's been so many highs and some occasional lows during my time here I know a personal thank you needs to be made to my parents for their continuous support. I know that these past three years would have been so much harder without you. I was incredibly lucky from the very start of my university experience in some ways before I even started, my poor dad drove me to endless amounts of university open days up and down the country sometimes bringing the whole family along for the ride. Despite all their efforts though the majority of these were only made for me to decide that the university just wasn't for me. During this time not a single complaint was made, the same way that no complaints were ever made on the 5:00 a.m. trips driving me back to Buxton ensuring that I arrived on time for my morning lectures, a journey that brought me back to university not only on time but also with an abundance of sweets, crisps and snacks for my house. It's safe to say that my own and my friends' university experience would not have been the same without the famous snack bag so for that thank you.

I know that my experience would have also failed to be the same without our incredible lecturers, a group of people that acted as a huge influence within my time here in Buxton by just comparing my time at University with many of my other friends who went to others up and down the country it makes me realize I was incredibly lucky with the level of dedication and care that I received from each and every one of my lecturers. In particular a special note at this point should be made to my dissertation supervisor if I'm honest I have no idea how you put up with my constant questions and me showing up at your office two or three or four times a week somehow you did and for that I feel extremely grateful. Reflecting on my time in Buxton I just fail to believe that other universities give the same dedication and passion to their students they do here in Buxton and for that I think we should all feel incredibly proud not only did each of my lecturers teach me on an academic level but a personal level too. Here in Buxton we didn't feel like another number on their list, our lecturers care about our well-being and as individuals and since leaving University earlier this year it's things like this that I now look back on and feel incredibly privileged and grateful for so thank you.

We've all undoubtedly complained multiple times over the years about how small Buxton is and how we hate living in the middle of nowhere but in all seriousness it was factors like these that gave us the incredible experience that we all received I can honestly say looking back I wouldn't have changed my experience here in the slightest.

Last but not least I think that thank-you has to be made to each of the friends I've been lucky enough to make whilst being in Buxton before starting University in 2016 I never could have imagined that I would have made a group of friends like you. It's pretty certain if we were placed anywhere else in the world we probably never would have met or probably even been friends but I can honestly say that I am so grateful for each and every one of you, not only did we all support each other on a personal level but academically too - I never thought I would say this but a part of me does miss sitting in the library with you all stressing over deadlines, proceeding to pack up and leave after writing a total of 30 words and calling it a successful day. I'm also going to miss walking into the local night club to find the netball team dressed as frogs and the rugby team dressed in only nappies and this being considered completely normal. I'll miss living on a street where my neighbours were some of my closest friends, Christmas dinners with 20 friends crammed into a living room with the chefs in their whites preparing a Michelin-starred meal in a tiny student kitchen. To each of you that understand any of those memories just mentioned thank you for being a part of them with me. I could honestly say I feel so lucky to call you all my friends but before I bring my speech to a close I think a final thank you should be made to a student who helps shape each and every one of our times here in Buxton; John Holden, although John isn't here with us today I know that he will always be a part of each of our memories from my time here at University so on behalf of myself and all of my fellow graduates, thank you all for being here today the University of Buxton - Class of 2019. Thank you.

I'd like to thank Mia for her splendid vote of thanks which I know is greatly appreciated by everyone here today. We congratulate you again on your achievement The Bachelor of Arts Honours in international Hospitality Management and wish you every success in your future career but before we move on let me tell you a little bit more about Mia. After finishing University in May this year, Mia moved to Scotland where she's working as a graduate trainee at the luxury five-star Links house in Royal Dornoch. Here she hopes to further build on her experience in food, beverages and guest relations. While studying with us Mia took a very active role in many university events including a dinner at Chatsworth House for our Chancellor Lord Burlington and the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. And in her second year Mia undertook a summer internship as a butler for the exclusive Carnegie club at Skibo Castle in Scottish Highlands during her final year she was a finalist in the Nestle a professional top d'Or a prestigious catering competition Mia that's very impressive and I'm really sure you'll have a successful career ahead of you.

As you can see this event is a huge undertaking and I'm sure we'll appreciate that a ceremony of this scale and size doesn't just happen as well as the people you see around in dark red robes there's a hard-working and highly skilled team back at the University who makes sure this all runs like clockwork so on your behalf I'd like to thank them for putting on such a fabulous show for each and every graduate and everyone here today, so please show your appreciation with one last round of applause I do hope that you've enjoyed the presentation of awards ceremony but sadly all good things must come to an end in a moment we'll stand and sing the national anthem and afterwards I'd be very grateful if you would remain standing whilst the platform party leaves the auditorium. Thank you so much for your participation and I now declare the ceremony closed.

[National Anthem]

Buxton Awards Ceremony, November 2019 video

Back to Buxton Awards Ceremony