Wednesday 05 December 2018
Over graduation fortnight at City Hall, the University had the pleasure of awarding over 7,750 Sheffield Hallam students and welcoming over 28,500 guests to our ceremonies.
We also awarded ten honorary doctorates to individuals who have achieved distinction in the fields of learning, the arts, public life or community, or have engaged in transformational work that contributes to Sheffield Hallam or the South Yorkshire region. You may have been in a ceremony where an honorary doctorate was awarded, but if you were not, we wanted to make sure you didn't miss out on hearing what they had to say to our 2018 graduates.
Documentary and film maker, Louis Theroux, received his honorary doctorate during the first week of our ceremonies and graduated amongst students from the College of Business, Technology and Engineering. In Louis’ acceptance speech, he certainly didn’t miss the opportunity to pass on some words of wisdom to our new graduates, stating that it is his insecurity and self-doubt that have kept him keen and hungry throughout his career.
Louis said, “Be hard working, be brave, be happy, and hold on to a certain degree of hesitancy and self-doubt. It is human and allows us to challenge our preconceptions and through doing this, it can bring us together. If I’ve learnt anything there is no 'us' and 'them', there is only us and us. I want to wish you all the best in your studies and in the future. Good luck in the next step of your journey.”
Other notable honorary doctorates who received their awards this year included TV Legend, Sir Michael Parkinson, local Sheffield artist Pete McKee and leading music video director, Dawn Shadforth. Given that Dawn studied Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam in 1992, she showed much enthusiasm about being back at the University as this is where her career in the music, TV and film industries began. Dawn said "many thanks to Sheffield Hallam; I am proud of my art school roots".
Taking a different approach to his acceptance speech, Sir Michael Parkinson spoke about the importance of following your passion, as having left education or in his words 'fled' education as early as he could, he went on to undertake an apprenticeship as a reporter on a local newspaper. His ambition was not however to have a TV broadcast career spanning 50 years, but was to play cricket for Yorkshire and England.
Speaking of Sheffield, Jonathan Butterell, a choreographer and stage director who was part of the creation of the smash-hit musical 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' said:
"I love this City, I love its rough beating heart, the City of Steel, the City of sanctuary, I love its dialect and all its languages, I love its academic pride, its cultural richness, its contradictions, its harmonies, its greys, its colours, its hills, its valleys, its people, I love the humour, the 'say it as it is straightforwardness'. I have lived, worked and travelled throughout the world, but wherever I go I take Sheffield with me".
We hope you all take a part of your experience of Sheffield and of Sheffield Hallam University with you into your future endeavours and that you stay connected to your University for years to come.
To view Sheffield Hallam's media centre releases about our 2018 Honorary Doctorates please click here.