Graduation from university is a genuinely special occasion.
Fortunately for graduands of the University of Birmingham, the setting is a perfect match for such an important moment.
The Great Hall lends prestige and drama. The grassy lawns of Chancellor’s Court and the Green Heart, meanwhile, come to life with happy students and their loved ones celebrating their achievement.
A moment of history
The first ever graduation ceremony for University students took place in 1901 – and it looked rather different.
This silent film captures the graduands – both men and women – processing past the Council House and through Victoria Square in the city centre, while lines of police and members of the public look on.
You can view the full video here. The procession begins at 2.00 minutes. Be sure to check out the medical students ‘waving’ from 6.07 minutes too!
Sharing the moment
The robes and mortar boards might look the same, but there’s nothing archaic about the rest of the day.
With pressure for tickets always high, the University makes the most of the audiovisual technology on hand to reach as big an audience as possible.
The ceremony is streamed live in the Elgar Concert Hall in the Bramall, just next door to the Great Hall.
The same live stream is shown on the big screen in Staff House Plaza, allowing staff, larger families, friends and passers by to enjoy the occasion. (If your degree day happens to coincide with Wimbledon, they might even catch a spot of tennis between ceremonies.)
And you can watch the live stream at home too – ideal for international students and those with large families.
Garden party atmosphere
The outdoor spaces of campus transform during degree days.
Outside the Great Hall, marquees offer a range of food and drink, from strawberries and cream to pre-bookable fine dining. The lawns of the Green Heart are packed with proud families taking photographs to treasure.
If the weather doesn’t play ball, there’s plenty of room in the marquees, Aston Webb and in bars and cafes around campus.
Many different departments across the University unite on degree days to celebrate these new graduates.
The Conferences & events team are proud to support with catering, audiovisuals, venues and setup. It’s a special time of year for the team too, and demonstrates how integral the student experience is to everything we do.
Congratulations to all University of Birmingham graduates of 2019!