by Sarah Foskett, Conservation Tutor.
It was with great pride and pleasure that Frances, Karen, Anita and I attended the graduation of the second cohort of students from the MPhil Textile Conservation programme yesterday:
Jennifer Beasley, Sarah Benson, Kate Blair, Stella Gardner, Nora Meller, Zoё Lanceley, Francisca Lucero and Michelle Oh.
It was a super opportunity to celebrate their achievements and experiences and to formally recognise and acknowledge their success alongside family and friends. Almost all the graduands (aka former students) were able to be there and those that weren’t there in body were definitely present in spirit.
The afternoon began with a reception in History of Art. The atmosphere was charged with excitement: both at the pleasure of catching up with classmates, friends and teachers and with anticipation about the ceremony ahead.
The ceremony itself took place in Bute Hall, part of the main Gilmorehill Building and designed as a graduation hall by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Built between 1878 and 1884 the hall’s Gothic revival style, pointed arches and slender cast iron columns, fine stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling provided a suitably impressive backdrop to the event. The colourful decorative scheme, regalia and resounding organ all contributed to the impressively traditional ceremony, which the University has been performing since 1451. With the efficiency of time honoured tradition, each graduand was presented to the Principal who ‘capped’ them (tapped lightly on the head with a flat velvet cap) had their hood put in place by the Bedellus (whose job description is fascinating) and received their degree certificate. For those unable to be there or keen to relive the experience, the full ceremony can be seen on the University of Glasgow Graduation webcast (if you haven’t an hour to spare, the textile conservation students appear 24 minutes in!).
The collective sense of admiration and celebration was tangible within the hall and the Principal’s speech drew attention to the valuable contribution made by all those present to each individual’s success. Suitably robed, they then joined the bagpipe led Academic Procession around the quadrangle, kept warm by their rosy glow and good spirits, before being reunited with proud parents, partners and friends.
Congratulations too to all those successful students on other postgraduate programmes in History of Art. We wish them all luck and hope that they will stay in touch.