Thousands graduate at first in-person Commemoration Day since 2019


View of the Royal Albert Hall from the stage

Commemoration Day 2021

Almost 2,400 students will attend three ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall to receive their undergraduate degrees.

It is Imperial’s first in-person graduation event to take place since 2019, with tens of thousands of family and friends across the globe watching the graduation ceremonies via a dedicated website and livestream. 

Professor Alice Gast at lectern
Professor Alice Gast at the 2021 Commemoration Day

Addressing Imperial’s latest graduates, Imperial’s President, Professor Alice Gast, said: “This time of change is as exhilarating as it is unsettling. You have opportunities to seize and changes to navigate. You have the ability to become leaders in this rapidly changing world. I know you will help make the world a better and safer place.” 

Anyone attending the ceremonies or viewing them at home can find out more on the Graduation FAQsReplacement ceremonies are being planned for undergraduate and postgraduate students whose ceremonies were postponed due to the pandemic, and the details will be announced soon

three young women in gowns in the Royal Albert Hall

Honorary degrees

Three honorary degrees will be conferred as part of the Commemoration Day ceremonies.

Professor Howard R. Morris FRS 

Professor Morris first joined Imperial in 1975 as a Lecturer in Biochemistry, and he is now Emeritus Professor of Biological Chemistry and a Senior Research Investigator. The recipient of numerous awards for his pioneering work in biomolecular mass spectrometry, Professor Morris’s work has included discoveries at the structure and method development levels. 

the stage at the Royal Albert Hall

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE 

Dr Sillem is Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chief Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation. She chairs the UK Government’s Innovation Expert Group and the St Andrews Prize for the Environment. Alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton, Dr Sillem also co-chaired the Hamilton Commission, which aims to improve representation of Black people in UK motorsport.

Sarah Wilkinson 

Sarah is CIO of Thomson Reuters and Head of TR Labs, Thomson Reuters technology research and innovation centres worldwide. She is also a Non-Executive Director of NatWest Markets, the investment banking arm of the NatWest Group. Sarah studied Mathematics at Imperial, and currently sits on an advisory committee for the College’s Department of Computing

Imperial College Medals

Three Imperial College Medals will be conferred as part of the ceremonies. The Imperial College Medal is awarded for meritorious or praiseworthy service to the College or for having otherwise enhanced its reputation, mission and objectives.

Dr Lorraine Craig

Dr Craig is Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching and Faculty Senior Tutor in the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial. She has been at the heart of many innovations and improvements to the student experience at Imperial over the last 15 years. Dr Craig’s impact has been felt across the College – most notably as Chair of the Exploration Board as she supports students who undertake expeditions to all parts of the world.

four women in graduation gowns

Professor Anne Dell CBE

Professor Dell is Head of the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial. Her pioneering research and excellence in undergraduate teaching has made a positive impact on the College for more than four decades. Professor Dell's work on the application of mass spectrometry to complex biomedical problems in the field of carbohydrate biochemistry has led to groundbreaking discoveries for fertilisation and microbial pathogenesis. 

Professor Elio Riboli

Professor Elio Riboli and Professor Alice Gast
Professor Elio Riboli receives the Imperial College Medal

Professor Elio Riboli is Chair in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at Imperial. He has made an exceptional impact on the fields of epidemiology, cancer prevention and the fight against chronic illness. As the first Director of the School of Public Health, Professor Riboli more than doubled its teaching and research output, and he also cemented links between the Faculty of Medicine and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.


Elizabeth Nixon

Elizabeth Nixon
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6699

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