This year has been like no other for all of us and Friday 4 December 2020 saw another first – the virtual graduation for the MPhil Textile Conservation class of 2018 – 2020! And despite being a rather radical departure from the usual University of Glasgow graduation ceremony it was still a hugely celebratory and enjoyable occasion.
With such an international cohort, finding a time when we were all awake was the first challenge but also meant that those who wouldn’t normally have been able to attend graduation in person were able to join the fun. Luckily 12 GMT is 5.30pm in Chennai, 8pm in Taiwan, 11pm in Australia and although at the time we didn’t even realise we needed to factor it in, 8am in Halifax, Nova Scotia – so just about acceptable to all.
It was super to be able to catch up with all the news – to hear about new jobs and long journeys, new projects and opportunities. It is undoubtedly a difficult landscape to be emerging into as a conservator, but the class of 2018-20 are staying positive, embracing new and exciting challenges and looking forward to a bright future.
As is now completely obligatory for all family get-togethers on Zoom, we then had a quiz! Resisting the temptation to use it as an opportunity for some last minute consolidation of intended learning outcomes, the quiz was entirely based on images of the year group taken over the 2 years of their MPhil Textile Conservation and had 3 rounds:
Round 1 Spot the difference – a not terribly subtle round drawing on my terrible photoshop skills!
Round 2. Match the image to the saying – a not very snappy title themed around the rich legacy of textile and textile craft related proverbs such as ‘a stitch in time’ and quite apposite for this particular cohort (literally not metaphorically of course) ‘mad as a hatter’.
Round 3. A caption competition – answers on a postcard please!
In keeping with tradition and accompanied by the UofG graduation processional organ music (Gaudeamus Igitur) downloaded from Youtube, Frances then ‘presented the graduates’: Danica Auld, Anaka Asokan, Caterina Celado Prior, Viviane Chen, Nicole Giacommantonio, Echo Godfrey, Marina Herriges, Isabella Rossi.
Although lacking the splendour of the University’s Bute Hall, the pomp and circumstance of centuries and the opportunity for an underdressed, sub-zero trot around the quad, the sentiment behind our ‘virtual graduation’ remained entirely unchanged from other years. We are hugely proud of the whole class: applaud their many achievements and take great pleasure in celebrating their success. We wish them all the best in their future careers and hope that they will keep in touch.