These past 2 days, Thursday and Friday, was the Winter Graduation, held at the Leeds Met, Beckett Park Campus, Headingley. Like the summer graduation, this event too was organised in a Grand Manner: there was a large marquee set up, the walls of the indoor tennis courts were draped with curtains, and the Black Dyke Brass Band provided the musical fanfares. Today was the graduation of the graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Society, and the ones of Innovation North - so I participated in the "academic procession". Again, as in summer, full academic gowns were worn. Since in Germany the universities no longer have gowns and colors, I do not have a gown and had to rent it. And since the colors were not known, I got some arbitrary combination: in summer it had been a black gown with some blue color (wrong hat came with it: a Master hat); this time I got the right hat (PhD hat), and the gown was - bright red! Looked quite flashy...
The highlight of this event was the awarding of a honorary PhD degree - to George Martin! You do not know who George Martin is? Shame on you! :)
http://www.georgemartinmusic.com/ or Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Martin) give some information about Sir George Martin - among many achievements he was the person in 1962 to sign on the Beatles to EMI. George was present at today's ceremony and gave a great speech at the graduation, when accepting his honorary PhD.
After the graduation (and after the reception), another event was held at the same venue: a party / celebration of the Gold/Silver winning in the Times Higher Education Awards.
Yes, I think one can be quite proud working for Leeds Metropolitan University!
PS: there was a short news piece in the evening news on TV (BBC 1) about this award to George Martin, and next day this story made the fromnt page of the Yorkshire Evening Post.