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Winter Graduation
Winter Graduation at the Assembly Rooms

Press Release - 28 November 2008

City of Bath hosts University winter graduation ceremonies

Bath’s streets will be alive with gowned graduates again next month, as the annual winter award ceremonies take place in the Assembly Rooms on 9 and 10 December.

The two-day event is smaller in scale than the summer ceremonies, but brings colourful pageantry to the University city as more than 700 postgraduate and research students receive their degrees in one of six ceremonies over the two days.

This is the first year that the ceremonies will be captured by webcam and available to watch on the University of Bath website at

The first ceremony will emphasise the University’s civic links by the attendance of the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Tim Ball and the Mayoress, Councillor Sharon Ball. During this ceremony an official, known as a bedel, will carry the University’s ceremonial four-foot long silver mace, which will join the city mace, symbolising the links between town and gown.

Each ceremony will include a procession which consists of around 40 academics and senior University administrators, led by the Chancellor of the University, Lord Tugendhat, and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell.

There will be four honorary graduates this Winter, including Lord Darzi, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, musician Joanna MacGregor, John Grimshaw, the President of Sustrans and Chief Executive of Action on Addiction, Nick Barton.

Professor Lord Darzi is an honorary consultant at St Mary’s Hospital and The Royal Marsden Hospital. He was knighted by the Queen for his services to medicine and surgery and was introduced to the House of Lords in July 2007. He is currently leading a review of the NHS that will advise on how to meet the challenges of delivering health care over the next decade.

Joanna MacGregor is thought of as one of the world’s most wide-ranging musicians and has pursued a life connecting many genres of music defying categorisations. She has performed in over 60 countries, appearing as a solo artist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors.

John Grimshaw has spent the last 30 years working on promoting cycling in the UK. First by setting up a campaign group in Bristol in 1977 and then moving on to direct delivery of practical projects including the 25km Bristol and Bath railway path. He set up, and is now President of, Sustrans, as well as being Special Advisor to Cycling England.

Nick Barton has been the Chief Executive of Action on Addiction since July this year before which he was the Chief Executive of Clouds (The Chemical Dependency Centre) which under his leadership developed an international reputation for the quality of its beneficiary focused work.

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