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The University of Southampton

Hats off to our winter graduates

Published: 12 December 2023
Group of people in hats and gowns
Students celebrating their graduation in Southampton's Guildhall Square

Thousands of University of Southampton students are celebrating their achievements this week, as winter graduation ceremonies take place in Southampton’s O2 Guildhall.

A total of seven ceremonies are taking place across three days, as more than 3,000 students graduate.

Among them are newly qualified midwife Sam Perry, who is already on duty at Southampton’s Princess Anne Hospital; mature student Jeremy Leverton, who is embracing his passion for music and graduating with an MA in music composition at the age of 58; and Millie Doyle, who has juggled her master’s in contemporary curating with supporting her mum to care for her disabled twin sister.

Woman in nurse uniform smiling
Sam Perry

Sam, 33, traded in a career in IT to go to university. She ultimately hopes to support midwifery education. The mum-of-one said: “I’m so excited to be graduating. I want to continue with my education and hope to complete a master’s module in midwifery leadership, then a PhD on student experience and midwifery education.”

Man standing in front of book shelves
Jeremy Leverton

Jeremy retired from a career in IT and, in the past 18 months, has achieved his first degree – in music production and performance – and now a master’s in music composition. He said: “I wanted to do something completely different from my working life in IT. It’s really rewarding to be graduating with a master’s, especially having gone through life without a degree until recently.”

Woman standing and smiling
Millie Doyle

Millie, 26, has a long-term ambition to become an educator in an art gallery. She said: “My sister Mollie needs 24-hour care, so I regularly support my mum with this. Studying for the MA at the same time has been hard work at times but manageable, and the course has given me the experience I’ll need to work in an art gallery.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark E. Smith, said: “It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be back in the heart of the city for our winter graduation ceremonies, following our wonderful summer graduation ceremonies at the O2 Guildhall earlier this year.

“Winter graduation is always a very special time of year, as we celebrate our fantastic students as they move onto the next stages of their lives, and honour our dedicated and talented staff who have enabled them to reach their potential.”

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