Congratulations to our latest graduates!

On Saturday 13 May we welcomed back to Christ Church over 90 of our recent leavers, who were graduating from Oxford in a degree ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre.

The group of former undergraduate and graduate students returned to Oxford on Saturday for the formal culmination of their degrees, many of them having already gone on to further study, at Oxford or elsewhere, or begun their careers in a wide range of fields.

After being registered and briefed at college by the Censors of Degrees, the graduands made their way to the Sheldonian to take part in a ceremony that retains many of the essential features of the first ceremonies in which academic degrees were conferred at Oxford, dating from the second half of the 12th century. Although much of the ceremony is conducted in Latin, the Vice-Chancellor made an introductory speech in English, speaking of the hard work that students have put in to reach this point and attain an Oxford degree.

Degree ceremonies at Oxford mark the achievement and diligence of students over the years of the degree they are receiving, whether at undergraduate or postgraduate level. As part of the ceremony, students are congratulated for their success, but also thank the friends and family who have helped them get to this stage. Students are presented to the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors by the Censors of Degrees (and the Deans of other colleges), whereupon they swear an oath to be loyal, obedient and faithful to the University and its interests, after which degrees are conferred by the Vice-Chancellor. Students begin the ceremony wearing the gown and hood of the highest degree that they already have, or a gown without a hood if they are receiving their first degree, and after receiving their degrees leave the Sheldonian to change into the gown and hood relating to the degree that they have just been awarded, later returning to the Sheldonian in their new academic dress.

Following the ceremony, there was a champagne reception in Tom Quad for the new graduates and their guests, followed by a formal lunch in Hall.

By completing their degrees, students are becoming part of a large community of alumni, many of whom have gone on to achieve particularly notable things. Among Oxford graduates there are 25 British prime ministers (13 of whom studied at Christ Church), as well as many other current and former heads of state. There are 25 Nobel Prize winners, while other alumni have become well known in fields such as business, the professions, and politics, and others have had important roles within teaching and research at universities around the world.

We congratulate all of our former students who were graduating in the ceremony on May 13, and wish them every success for the future.