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Duke of York attends first University of Huddersfield graduation as new chancellor

The Duke presented over 100 former School of Education and Professional Development students with their awards

University students were given royal treatment when The Duke of York undertook his first graduation duties.

Over 100 students from the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield received their awards from the Duke at the first two of ceremonies this week.

It was a first for the Duke following his inauguration as Chancellor in July .

Striding into a florally decorated St Paul’s Hall on the Queensgate campus at the head of a scholarly procession, he took his seat at the front centre of the stage while smiling at the cohort.

It did not take long for him to make his first cheeky stamp on the ceremony, when he comically reminded Vice Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan to introduce the registrar to begin calling students to the stage.

When all passed through he took to the microphone to deliver his first address to new alumni, the only one he will give during this round of graduations.

He said: “This is the first time in my memory that I’ve been asked to make the same address twice having done it for the previous group.

“But I’m not going to do that, instead I’m going to just stick to the message I want you to go away with.

“You are graduating at one of the best educational institutions the UK has to offer.

“I want you to feel that you are still included as part of the university as you progress to alumni and I’m hoping that you will come back to do more courses in the future.

“What I want is that all of you will be able to remember a teacher who was something of an inspiration. I want you to then think how you can be an inspiration to the next generation too.

“It doesn’t take long for the boot to be on the other foot and find yourself giving advice to the next generation. If you can encourage people to aspire and dream then this country will be a better place.

“When you go back to your communities and workplaces, remember that there’s always more in you than you know”.

A total of 1,500 students will this week receive their awards at graduation ceremonies.

Talking about the Duke’s appearance on the first day of the celebrations, Prof Cryan said: “I am delighted that His Royal Highness is able to attend the graduation ceremonies this November.

“This is a further signal of how seriously he takes his new role as our Chancellor”.

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