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Hats off to City University London's Class of 2013

New graduates heard inspirational speeches from honorary award recipients

More than 1,600 students have received their degrees at City University London summer graduation ceremonies. The successes of City's six schools were recognised during the celebrations at the Barbican in the heart of the City of London.


The graduates were joined by five distinguished individuals who were honoured for their outstanding contributions to their professions. Sophie Raworth, Robert Somerville, David Newman, Frank McLoughlin and Christopher Muttukumaru all received awards from the University.

Professor Paul Curran, Vice-Chancellor of City University London, commented:

"The individuals honoured this week represent excellence and outstanding achievement in their fields. Their accomplishments and standing reflect City's commitment to academic excellence and focus on business and the professions. They are fine role models for our new cohort of graduates as they embark on their careers."

City University London alumna Sophie Raworth was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her contribution to the field of journalism. The main presenter of the BBC's News at One, she also appears regularly on the BBC's flagship evening news programmes and has been a guest presenter on The Andrew Marr Show since January. Sophie is a passionate ambassador for the profession and for the importance of qualifications in journalism.

The University conferred an honorary doctorate on Robert Somerville in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the shipping and offshore industries. As Chairman of the global ship classification society, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), he played a pivotal role in improving international maritime safety. Robert has been at the forefront of promoting the importance of maritime education across the global shipping industry.

City Law School alumnus, Christopher Muttukumaru, received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to the legal profession. Christopher forged a distinguished legal career as counsel to high-profile Government departments. He contributed to the formation of the International Criminal Court and while at the Department of Transport was instrumental in the creation of Network Rail. He now brings his considerable and distinguished experience to the advisory board of the City Law School.

David Newman received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to education and to the development of City University London. David is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and Chairman of the George Daniels Educational Trust, of which City is a major beneficiary. George Daniels, who died in 2011, was arguably one of the world's greatest watchmakers and studied at City's predecessor institution, the Northampton College of Advanced Technology. He was a firm advocate of the virtues of education, particularly postgraduate study. David Newman has administered the substantial funds he bequeathed to benefit research and provide scholarships for City's students.

The University also conferred an Honorary Fellowship on Frank McLoughlin in recognition of his transformation of City and Islington College. As Principal, he has been instrumental in changing the fortunes of thousands of young people and adults by providing them with the skills and knowledge to progress into employment or Higher Education. Last year more than 1,300 College students progressed to Higher Education, with more than a hundred joining City as undergraduates.

The University confers honorary degrees on those who have achieved international academic distinction or held major leadership roles in its academic subjects: business; law; health sciences; engineering; mathematics; informatics; social sciences; and the arts including journalism and music. Honorary Fellowships are bestowed on those whose outstanding work or action has contributed significantly in furthering the work or interests of the University.

In his closing address, Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran, commented:

"Today is a high point in the University calendar and it is a privilege and a great honour for me to congratulate you, our graduates, as you leave to make your ways in the world. You follow in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of previous City graduates and we hope you will become life-long ambassadors for this great University of ours."

City University London has over 17,000 students of whom about a quarter are from outside the EU and over a third are postgraduates. In 2012 City awarded more than 5,000 degrees. These graduates will join more than 130,000 alumni from City University London, which is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for both graduate-level jobs (The Sunday Times University Guide 2013) and starting salaries (Which University?). City's notable alumni include Mahatma Gandhi, Tony Blair, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Founder of EasyJet), Sir Dick Olver (Chairman of BAE Systems) and journalist Dermot Murnaghan.

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