Cricketing legend leaves graduands bowled over

It was the turn of our School of Business and School of Media, Communication and Sociology to celebrate their graduands today as the sun gave a warm welcome to our guests on the lawn of De Montfort Hall - an environment that today’s honorand, former professional cricketer Jonathan Agnew, could appreciate.

Nicknamed ‘Aggers’, Jonathan had a successful first-class career as a fast bowler for Leicestershire from 1979 to 1990, returning briefly in 1992. Agnew won three Test caps for England, as well as playing three One Day Internationals in the mid-1980s, although his entire international career lasted just under a year. He was named as one of the five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 1988.

While still a player, Agnew began a career in cricket journalism and commentary. Since his retirement as a player, he has become a leading voice of cricket on radio, as the BBC Radio cricket correspondent and as a commentator on Test Match Special. Michael Henderson, one of Agnew's peers and rivals, has described him as "a master broadcaster ... the pick of the sports correspondents at the BBC."

At our morning ceremony today, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree, and urged our students to "take something... as a constant reminder of how you have, and what you can, achieve."

For most, University is only the start of their careers. From here, many graduands will launch themselves onto career paths that they dreamed of – or perhaps that they never expected. Today, we’ve heard from Cybill Smith (Management Studies with Finance) whose Year in industry with Deutsche Bank set her up for a career at Barclays, and Faith Adewumi (Management Studies and Marketing) who co-founded the social enterprise ‘Belles Network’ and works as an ambassador for the 50:50 gender equality campaign to help more women into Parliamentary positions. Phoebe Sung (Sociology) followed her heart and studied sociology, while Rhianna Harrison-Wood (Economics) realised her dream career thanks to her Year in Industry and is heading for a graduate scheme with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

We were also treated to another performance of the Pankhurst Anthem as a duet by Alice Chambers and Claire Constance. The choral work, written to mark the women's vote centenary, is being performed at our ceremonies throughout the week.

If you're graduating this week, you'll be able to share the special moment when you cross the stage. Look out for an email from our Alumni Engagement Team which will contain a video clip of the moment you graduate. And remember to post your photos to #LeicesterGrad18!


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