Southampton Uni promises to read out grads’ names and shake their hand at graduation

Students resorted to shaking each other’s hands in the summer ceremonies at St Mary’s

Southampton Uni has promised graduating students will have their name called out and offered an optional handshake at winter graduation ceremonies next week.

It comes after the university came under fire in the summer for a “car crash” set up which saw 11,000 graduates, in the space of three days, cross a makeshift stage on a football pitch where no names were called out and students didn’t shake any university official’s hand.

Next week will be the first round of ceremonies taking place since the summer.

Students’ Union president, Oliver Murray, said he was “thrilled” students will have their names read out, as well as PhD titles and an optional handshake.

“These ceremonies serve as a test run of the venue and will set a precedent for summer 2023 graduation,” he said.

The venue in question however won’t be a Southampton University building.

The ceremonies are instead taking place at the O2 Guildhall in the city-centre.

Traditionally graduation ceremonies have taken place in the Nuffield Theatre and Turner Sims concert hall. However, due to refurbishments which won’t be finished until “late 2023”, the university says it needed to use an “alternative off-campus venue”.

Students graduating next week however should experience a far more orthodox experience than those who graduated at St Mary’s Stadium.

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