Last but by no means least graduation celebrations draw to a close

Our week of graduation ceremonies draws to a close and for the final time this year we saw the distinctive red of Leicester’s academic dress decorating our campus.

Our final honorary graduate of this year was Leicester graduate Dorothy Francis MBE, who received a Doctor of Laws degree. She has worked within the field of co-operatives and social enterprise for 35 years and is passionate about how social businesses change lives and communities for the better. She is the CEO of the Co-operative and Social Enterprise Agency (CASE) and is a leader, trainer, mentor and adviser.

Dorothy has over 30 years’ experience in advising cooperatives and social enterprises to establish and grow and she specialises in social enterprise legal structures, working practices and management. She is committed to promoting business to women, especially women of colour and women from newly arrived communities and has twice received Business Woman of the Year awards. Within her own time she mentors adults who are seeking change in their lives and is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Leicester offering support and advice to students and staff.

Dorothy was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in April 2016 when she received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion (Lifetime Achievement Award). The Lifetime Achievement Award is an OBE-equivalent honour given to one person annually; Dorothy is the 12th person in the UK to hold this accolade and the first in Leicestershire.

We heard how Chloe Birkett (Law) won a Student Award for her efforts to prepare herself for the world of work and how personal obstacles did not stop fellow Student Award winner Corinne Crosbourne (Law) winner from achieving highly at University and securing a graduate role as an Employment Law consultant. We learnt about Sam Cranswick’s (Law) important contribution to Team Leicester and the Varsity-winning Men’s Union Rugby team this year that also won him a Student Award. And we also saw cancer survivor Haward Soper’s (Law) velvet dinner suit make a reappearance for his PhD graduation after over thirty years!

Finally, the women and men of the University Chorus gave the final performance of the Pankhurst Anthem today in the presence of composer Lucy Pankhurst. Performed at ceremonies throughout the week, the Anthem was commissioned by the BBC to mark 100 years since women won the right to vote.

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!