Graduation ceremonies to take place in Appleton Tower

It’s being refurbished but it’s still ugly af

Delays in building work are to mean that graduation for the current set of finalists will take place in Appleton Tower, after the University couldn’t secure Usher Hall as an alternative venue.

Last year, soon-to-be-graduates were informed that the extensive refurbishment of McEwan Hall would mean that their graduations were to take place at Usher Hall.

Students are outraged at the decision, with one third year calling it: “I cannot believe it. On a day like today. It beggars belief.”

Jonny Ross-Tatam, the outgoing President of EUSA, said: “Edinburgh University students have had a history of celebrating their graduations in grand settings.

“For hundreds of years it has been the McEwan Hall, before moving to Usher Hall, a world-renowned concert venue. So there is surely no better place to continue this tradition than in the newly refurbished Appleton Tower.

“Though some may be skeptical about this location, given Appleton Tower’s legitimate reputation for being an eye sore, it is set to be transformed by its current renovation.

“So I think people will be surprised and that it will prove to be a popular and appropriate graduation venue for students and their families this year.”

Inside the tower

McEwan Hall, the iconic Italian Renaissance style building has for years acted as the beautiful backdrop to thousands of Edinburgh graduates. Next year, however, the brutalist 1960s tower-block is to set the scene instead.

The building, which the geneticist Steve Jones once nominated as one of the wonders of the world for its ugliness, is being refurbished this year and externally re-clad to end its long-standing reputation as the University of Edinburgh’s eyesore.

It remains to be seen whether the work will be finished before the 2017 graduations.

It is also yet to be confirmed as to whether McEwan Hall will be ready for the Class of 2018 but should next year’s ceremonies be successful in Appleton, it might perhaps set a precedent that nobody wants.