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GCU graduates inspired by leaders in education, broadcasting and entrepreneurship

24 June 2014

President Stephen Friedman of Pace University

President Stephen Friedman of Pace University

Hundreds of students from GCU’s Glasgow School for Business and Society have graduated in two ceremonies held in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on the banks of the River Clyde.

The graduands – from areas of study such as Business, Accountancy, Journalism and Sociology – were ‘capped’ by University Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus in the traditional ceremony.

Graduands were joined over the two ceremonies by three honorary graduates: Pace University President Stephen Friedman, broadcaster Gavin Esler and internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales.

Welcoming graduands and their families to the SECC, the Chancellor said:

“Graduations are one of the most memorable days in a young person’s life. It comes at the end of a long journey. It tells you that you are ready to go out and achieve your life purpose.

“This is one of the most powerful generations in human history, with the technology you have at your fingertips, and that power should be used wisely for grand purposes. Congratulations to all at this great moment.”

During the morning ceremony, President Stephen Friedman, of Pace University in New York, was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of his distinction in the field of higher education administration and his contribution to the legal sector.

He urged graduands to enjoy the journey and pursuit of knowledge. He said: “Unpredictability will play a role in your life and this means you must follow your curiosity to where it leads you.”

During the afternoon ceremony, broadcaster, journalist and author Gavin Esler received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his outstanding achievement, contribution and extensive experience within journalism and his distinction in the field of literature.

He told those gathered in the Clyde Auditorium of his own background, in that he was born only a few miles from the SECC in Clydebank.

He said: “Today is a great day for me and for that I thank you for doing me a great honour in this my home city of Glasgow. The degree leaves me both proud and humble. I was born here and spent my first few years living in a council house in Clydebank. Education cost me nothing at the point of access, but has given me everything – it is a great investment with invaluable profit for all of us.”

Finally, Jimmy Wales received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his outstanding achievement within the field of internet entrepreneurship. His speech sought to inspire the University’s latest graduates.

He said: “As you head out to start in your career think about how global everything is and how wonderful it would be if we would all band together to achieve great things.” 

Two further graduation ceremonies will be held at the SECC on Wednesday, June 25. Honorary graduates will include founder and chairman of the KAR Group, Khalid Mohammed Abdulrahim and philanthropists Professor Eva Haller and Dr Yoel Haller.