Imperial College London

Imperial College Graduation

Postgraduate students 2008

The Postgraduate Awards Ceremony, 14 May 2008 proved the biggest and best yet.

Imperial College Postgraduate Awards 2008

This year’s Postgraduate Awards ceremonies, held on 14 May, were the biggest yet, with 1,634 students and 3,859 guests gracing the seats of the Royal Albert Hall.

The Honours

After the awards a time to mingle under the Marquee
The Awards ceremonies, which took place in the Royal Albert Hall on 14 May 2008, not only celebrated the students’ achievements but also the admittance of five Honorary Graduates, a Fellow and a new Associate, to the College.

The Celebrity


Amongst the postgraduates celebrating on the day was Queen star Brian May. The legendary guitarist studied astrophysics at the College, and gained his BSc before progressing to a PhD. Dr May’s award was particularly notable as he put his academic career on hold to concentrate on his musical ambitions with Queen and was awarded his doctorate more than 30 years after beginning his PhD thesis.

The Fashion

Smiling Imperial College Postgraduates 2008For the first time, students had the opportunity to wear the College’s new purple robes, introduced following Imperial’s independence from the University of London last year.  Students now have the choice of graduating with an Imperial College London degree, or a University of London degree - with around a third opting for an Imperial degree. One of these was Muriel Schneider, who was awarded a PhD in Microbiology. She said: “I really love the new purple gowns, they are definitely more flashy.”

The Rector

The ceremony was also Sir Richard Sykes’s final graduation ceremony as Rector of the College. He congratulated the graduates, saying: “I am proud to be witnessing the presentation of such talented individuals today and I look forward to following the many contributions to society that you will undoubtedly make in the future.”

• To see interviews with students on the day of their graduation visit: www.imperial.ac.uk/news

The Catering

2008's Awards was the biggest and best yet, with no expense spared in creating a celebration of achievement well deserved by the postgraduate body. At this year’s ceremonies we:A selection of delicious canapes served to the deserving postgraduates and their families 

  • Used 10 venues
  • catered for 5234 guests
  • Hired 88 waiters - who walked a minimum of 4.5 miles each whilst working.
  • Consumed 37,619 individual canapés
  • Drank 6,564 bottles of champagne
  • and 4824 Litres of Orange juice
  • from 10,004 glasses
  • and filled three glass recycling skips

Proving once again that Imperial College's Conference and Catering staff rise to the occasion no matter what the size.