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UCA's Graduating Class of 2019

On Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 June 2019 the University for the Creative Arts’ (UCA) celebrated their graduating students, recipients of honorary awards, and alumni of the year at a ceremony held at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

UCA Chancellor Magdalene Odundo and Vice-Chancellor Bashir Makhoul presented the awards of: Honorary Master of Arts to Pan Hu (also known as Tiger Pan), Honorary Professor to Morag Myerscough, Alumnus of the Year to William McGregor, and Alumna of the Year to Holly Knower. 

UCA Chancellor Magdalene Odundo and Tiger Pan

Chancellor Magdalene Odundo and Tiger Pan

Speaking about his award, packaging designer Tiger Pan said: “I felt very proud to be made an honorary graduate of UCA. It took me back to the days when I was a student and eager to learn everything. The ceremony at Royal Festival Hall awed me, and I was touched by the tradition of it all. Being part of UCA felt like I was completely immersed in art and creativity, and I believe that its graduates will make significant contributions to the creative global community.”

What advice would Tiger Pan offer graduates entering the creative workplace: “They should always stick to what they truly love, and no matter where they come from, live in a place they love and start a career there. Embrace having different ideas, and don’t be afraid to experience different jobs, because they will all be rewarding in their own way,” said Tiger Pan.

Morag Myerscough and UCA Chancellor Magdalene Odundo

Chancellor Magdalene Odundo and Morag Myerscough

On receiving her Honorary Professor award, artist Morag Myerscough said: “I felt honoured to be a part of such a creative, strong and vibrant creative community, and I hope that my story will help inspire students to keep believing in themselves, even when they face setbacks in their careers. Students will continue to learn throughout their creative careers, and they should take opportunities from everywhere: university is just the beginning of their story.”

Graduating students from across UCA’s four campuses attended the award ceremonies along with family and friends. Student representatives from each university campus gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the graduating students. Louie Stewart-Poynter from UCA Epsom said: “To all the staff I should like to say, thank you for the endless support and reassurance you have given us, you have helped us to realise our potential even when we may not have seen it ourselves, and thank you for the individual time you have always invested in each and every one of us.”

Kat (Pui San Kan) from UCA Farnham added: “I am proud and honoured to have this network who will grow and support one another in all of our endeavours. This day marks an important day in our lives, the ending of one journey and the birth of another.”

UCA also recognised the achievements of two alumni, CEO Holly Knower and director William McGregor who were the recipients of the Alumni of the Year Awards.

From l-r:Deputy Vice-Chancellor Roni Brown, Chancellor Magdalene Odundo, William McGregor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Alan Cooke

From l-r: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Roni Brown, Chancellor Magdalene Odundo, William McGregor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Alan Cooke

William McGregor, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in Digital Film & Screen Arts said on receiving his award: “It was a huge surprise and a huge honour. I was asked to direct Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials for HBO and BBC, and the one prerequisite for me taking the job was that I could have a day off from filming to come here today!

On talking about what UCA meant to him, William said: “I’ve always felt a part of the UCA community even after I graduated, I worked with a lot of people who I graduated with and still come across a lot of people every day who studied here before me. I feel like UCA is more than just an academic body, it is a community and that still means a lot to me.”

From l-r: UCA Chancellor Magdalene Odundo, Holly Knower, UCA Vice-Chancellor Bashir Makhoul

From l-r: Chancellor Magdalene Odundo, Holly Knower and Vice-Chancellor Bashir Makhoul

Holly Knower, CEO of the National Association for College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) was awarded Alumna of the Year. Holly said: “It was great to be back here. I’m very passionate about supporting creative graduates coming out of university to set up their own businesses, and I am delighted to be able to work with students in a creative environment such as UCA.”

As for advice, Holly offered: “Take on board every opportunity that you are fortunate enough to be offered, approach situations with the utmost confidence and ingenuity. Be brave and courageous as to what you can achieve, be proactive, and continue to learn from each new experience.”

UCA congratulates all the 2019 graduating students on their achievements and wishes them every success in their chosen creative careers and thank the honoraries and alumni of the year for being part of our creative community.