First GLOCAL Graduation, 4th December 2019
Dr Ross writes:
Graduation is a wonderful event. It provides an opportunity to look backwards and take enormous pride in work done, challenges met, goals achieved and friendships made. It also means that you can look forward with excitement and enthusiasm at what is to come next. But you can do so with confidence that the last two years of GLOCAL have prepared you for almost anything. So the first week of December meant that the very first GLOCAL cohort – the 2017-19 group – returned to Glasgow to meet up with each other one more time, share stories, and celebrate their fantastic achievements.
There were three main events. First, was the launch of the GLOCAL Alumni Association. This took place the night before graduation and allowed those who had travelled from all over the world to re-connect with each other and re-enter the warm embrace of GLOCAL. This is a really exciting initiative: Lia and others have been working very hard over the last few months to launch the Association.
We in the consortium are extremely pleased that there will be a specific GLOCAL alumni community and we look forward to working closely with you as it develops. We are in no doubt that your energy, talents, networks and generosity will bring very significant added value to the programme and future cohorts. As expected, once the launch was over, the group found its way to Ashton Lane and continued the evening.
The second celebration was the graduation itself. Family members, supporters and friends are always impressed by the grandeur of the Bute Hall. The Latin singing, the academic procession and the colours of the various professors’ gowns all add to the sense of ceremony and achievement. I was particularly pleased to be able to read out the names of our graduates as they collected their degrees, and it was great to have our colleagues from Barcelona and Rotterdam join us. We then all processed out of the Hall into the quadrangles and spent a long and very happy (but cold) time taking photographs in pretty much every combination imaginable.
Later in the evening we made our way to the GUU for a private celebration with Consortium members, graduates, family and friends. This was a fabulous time: it was great to have the opportunity to chat with those who had supported our talented students throughout the last two years, to see and talk about the pride they felt and to reflect on what they had achieved. Make no mistake: we who put this thing together are as proud of our first cohort of graduates as their families are. We were also able to present degree certificates from all the Universities, and it was wonderful to do so in an environment that was slightly less formal, but at the same time characterised by warmth, mutual appreciation and shared understanding of what each of our graduates had achieved. It was also great to be able to recognise the two men in the group who had dressed appropriately – Robin and Hans both wearing kilts for the occasion, and looking pretty fantastic! Prizes were awarded: to Patricija and Christina for outstanding performance over the last two years and to Milan as the best student. It is indicative of the sense of community and support that this group has created that these awards were greeted with such caucus and loud approval form all of their colleagues. Congratulations to them. The formal part of the evening finished with short speeches from the student representatives, who reflected on their time with us and what the programme has meant. For this, the third cohort – those who are currently in Glasgow – joined the group and spent time meeting, talking with their predecessors and asking lots of questions about what it’s really like! The less formal part of the evening involved the GUU beer bar and some community singing, but details are unnecessary in this blog!
It is truly humbling to think about the achievements of this cohort: not only their academic brilliance and their commitment to making their mark on the world but also their resilience. It is not easy to move around the world and excel in three universities over two years. But they did it, and in doing so they created GLOCAL. I hope it met their expectations, because they certainly met – and far exceeded – ours.
Date: December 17, 2019 6:04 pm