Imperial College London

'Maintain your global outlook', Imperial's President tells graduating students.

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Royal Albert Hall

Photo credit: Thomas Angus

Professor Alice Gast urges Imperial's newest graduates to continue to "think and act internationally" at the College's Commemoration Day ceremonies.

More than 2,200 undergraduate students in front of some 6,800 guests will take to the stage in the Royal Albert Hall to receive their degrees today.

The major problems facing the world extend beyond national borders

– Professor Alice Gast


For the first time the ceremonies are being streamed live – allowing family and friends around the world to join in with students’ celebrations.

Congratulating graduands, Professor Alice Gast says: “Imperial is a European university and, in fact, a global university.

“You have learned from academics who may have been born in one country, educated in another, and who collaborate globally in their research. You have shared classes and made lasting friendships with students from all over the world.

Alice Gast

Professor Alice Gast at Commemoration Day 2015

“The major problems facing the world extend beyond national borders and demand global cooperation and collaboration.

“We need people who understand that the well-being of a nation is enhanced, not hindered, by working for the global good”.

“You are entering a world with intensive globalisation along with serious backlash to it.

“I urge you to maintain your global outlook in your careers and personal life”

During the ceremonies Imperial will also honour others who have made contributions to the College, research and wider society with honorary degrees and Imperial College medals.

Honorary Degrees

The College will confer honorary degrees on the following people: 

The Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Boyce, crossbench member of the House of Lords and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial, receives an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the military covenant and the better understanding of injuries to, and compensation for, service personnel.

Professor Yves Lévy, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, receives an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Medicine) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to medical research. 

Imperial College Medals

The following people will receive Imperial College medals in recognition of their considerable contributions to the life and work of the College:

Ezara Bird, Senior Laboratory Aide in the Cancer Division, Department of Surgery & Cancer, for her excellent support of the Division’s research.

Professor Justin Cobb, Professor of Musculoskeletal Surgery, Department of Surgery & Cancer, who spearheaded the approach to Imperial alumnus Michael Uren and the Michael Uren Foundation which led, in 2014, to a donation of £40 million – the most generous in Imperial’s history.

Dr Shaun Crofton, who spent his virtually his entire career in the College’s Department of Mechanical Engineering until his retirement in 2015. His inspiring teaching earned him the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as an award in Teaching Excellence in Engineering Education during his time at the College.

The Baroness Manningham-Buller, crossbench member of the House of Lords, Chair of the Wellcome Trust, and former Director General of MI5 who served as Chair of the Court and the Council at Imperial from 2011 until 2015.

Doris Pappoe, Postgraduate Administrator in the Department of Chemistry, who has helped support over a thousand research students over her30 years of service to the College.

Lisa Phillips, Senior Human Resources Manager, whose service to the College has spanned more than thirty years. Her work as a member of Imperial’s redundancy avoidance group helps ensure a consistent, transparent and fair approach to change and restructuring.

Margaret Quinn, Hall Supervisor at Imperial’s Evelyn Gardens, who has welcomed and supported nearly 17,000 Imperial students during her 28 years at Imperial.

Student Achievement

The Outstanding Student Achievement Award will be presented to Usama Syed, a graduate of Imperial College School of Medicine. Usama’s achievements include working with colleagues to develop an app which can streamline the provision of feedback from front-line hospital staff to senior medical directors. During his time at Imperial he also founded the MedTech society, bringing together students from medical, engineering and computing departments at the College to drive healthcare innovation.

President's Medals

President’s Medals for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence will be awarded to Professor Martin Blunt, Department of Earth Science and Engineering; and Dr Sonia Kumar, School of Public Health

President’s Medals for Supporting the Student Experience will be presented to Louise Green, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Susi Underwood, Department of Chemical Engineering.

Dr Benita Cox, from Imperial College Business School, will receive a President’s Medal for Excellence in Pastoral Care.

Watch Commemoration ceremonies as they happen

Watch the Faculty of Natural Sciences ceremony live from 10.25

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Watch the Faculty of Engineering ceremony live from 13.40

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Watch the Faculty of Medicine ceremony live from 16.55

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Martin Sayers

Martin Sayers
Communications Division

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Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications Division

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3921

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