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Congregation on The Peninsula with students dressed in graduation gowns

After having to postpone our traditional graduation events for two years, we are excited to be delivering a week of Spring Congregation ceremonies in Durham Cathedral for our graduates. A total of 17 ceremonies will take place from Monday 28 March to Friday 1 April. Students from 120 countries will graduate in the magnificent setting of Durham Cathedral, in the company of their families and friends.

These ceremonies will celebrate the academic achievements of 3,600 students who have already graduated and been awarded their degrees in absentia but had their Congregation events postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

We’re extremely proud of our graduates and know that they’ll go on to achieve outstanding things all around the world, acting as wonderful ambassadors for our University, our city and the region.

First for our new Vice-Chancellor

This will also be the first Congregation hosted by our new Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Professor Karen O’Brien, who took up her role in January this year.

Professor O’Brien is looking forward to the enjoying the event and what it signifies; “Congregation offers us the renewed opportunity to celebrate all that has been achieved by our students. This is not only in their academic study but also the resilience, determination and adaptation that they have shown in abundance through what has been a very challenging time for us all.”

Honorary degrees 

We’re also privileged to be able to award honorary degrees to five remarkable individuals - including welcoming back to Durham award winning actress and playwright, alumna Charlotte Riley. Charlotte studied English and was a member of St Cuthbert’s Society, she is best known for her roles in ITV’s Wuthering Heights, 2018 BBC journo drama Press, and as May Carleton in the hit show Peaky Blinders. 

Other alumni being honoured for their achievements are Robert Senior, former Worldwide CEO of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi and advocate of the University. 

Mike Barton CBE, former Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, will also be awarded Doctor of Civil Law. 

Renewable energy specialist Benj Sykes, UK Offshore Head of Market Development, Consenting and External Affairs for the renewable energy company Ørsted, will be honoured for his work to become Doctor of Science. 

Our honorary graduates are among the very best in their chosen fields and set an inspiring example to our graduates as they embark on their new lives and careers. 

Watch online

All Congregation ceremonies will be streamed live online, so that anyone who isn’t able to travel to Durham can still enjoy the celebrations.

We are encouraging everyone attending Congregation to share their celebrations across social media using hashtags #DUcongregation #DUinspire

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