Chancellor Bryson makes his debut at Durham degree celebrations
(16 June 2005)
Writer Bill Bryson makes his first formal appearance as Durham University’s new Chancellor at the University’s largest ever set of degree ceremonies at the end of June.
Nearly 3,500 new graduates from the UK and all around the world will shake his hand to mark the conferment of their degrees in Durham Cathedral. The 14 ceremonies are held between Tuesday 28 June and Friday 1 July.
Chancellor Bryson, who was appointed the formal head of the University in April, attended a ceremony a year ago to receive an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree. At the first of this year’s Degree Congregations he will put on the Chancellor’s brilliant gold and black gown and gold-tasselled mortar-board and formally take his seat at the centre of the platform.
Bill Bryson said: “The Cathedral is an incomparable place for graduating. I greatly enjoyed receiving my degree there and I look forward to sharing the occasion with so many new Durham graduates. It will be an impressive and slightly daunting experience for me. I will be conferring degrees on them, but I feel that they will also be admitting me to their University.”
The Vice-Chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman will introduce the new Chancellor to graduates, families, staff and guests and present him with his unique academic hat, after University Registrar Lee Sanders and Durham Students’ Union President Tom Page, help Dr Bryson into his gown.
Sir Kenneth said: “My colleagues and I, and our friends at the Cathedral, look forward to welcoming our new Chancellor to his first formal activities. It will be a specially memorable day for graduates and their families.”
Before the degree ceremonies start Bill Bryson will pay his first visit, on Monday 27 June, to the University’s Queen’s Campus at Stockton on Tees. He is due to visit the University again next term for further visits to colleges and departments to meet staff and students.