Right, before I begin this post proper, it’s time for a rebrand. You all know him as Rory, but in actual fact my boyfriend’s name is Matthew – it’s a long story involving a first year nickname, but basically after a lot of deliberation we’ve decided to use his real identity. So that’s what he’s going to be known as from here on out!
Anyway, that said, last week was grad week and so the boy in question was back to graduate. We were up bright and early on Thursday morning for the ceremony, and after a suitable amount of pictures and a small glass of pre-ceremony champagne, it was into the Great Hall. Having graduated in the very same place last year, it was seriously weird to be there a year (to the day!) later as a spectator!
Exeter’s ceremonies are conducted by the best chancellor in the entire world, Floella Benjamin, who is seriously the most magnificent & inspiring lady in the entire world. She gave more or less the same speech last year but it still brought a lump to my throat the second time because she is just that great.
Obviously I was very proud to see M graduate and become an official Master, but by far my favourite part of the ceremony was the honorary graduate, Tim Hollingsworth. Tim is in charge of Paralympics UK which is impressive enough in itself, but he also undertook a BA in English & Drama and an MA in Drama, at Exeter, and his speech honestly felt like it was directed exactly at me. I don’t know really why he was speaking at the Business School ceremony, but it was PERFECTLY timed for me as I force myself to finish my dissertation and finish this silly MA. Plus, look at his cool cloak!
I was very pleased to note that I actually knew quite a few other people graduating (including fellow blogger & impossibly lovely Francesca!) so the ceremony flew by and all too soon Floella was finishing things up with her signature line. We filed back outside for more photos and, more importantly, more champagne.
As we left it hit us that this is probably the last time we’ll be on campus (although I will hopefully graduate in January!) so I took a few sentimental pictures of our gorgeous mismatch campus in the sun.
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing with a pre-dinner sandwich at the Cathedral, followed by drinks with some of the business school boys & Matthew’s first year friends, and finally a fab, gin-fuelled dinner at Harry’s Restaurant (one of my fave Exeter restaurants and highly recommended!)
The day absolutely flew by and was a lovely way to finish up the year. Graduation ceremonies are always so special – I absolutely love all the old-fashioned ceremony and all the funny hats and most of all, how happy everybody is. Congratulations to everybody who graduated in the last couple of weeks (especially from Exe!) or will do so soon: it’s really the best day ever!