Sunday, March 27, 2011

Comparing Conferrings

Conferrings are the formal end of a persons course of study in a University where the Chancellor or other shakes hands with the graduate and hands over the piece of paper with the magic words written on it. As a TCD graduate and staff member I have attended a good few such ceremonies in the Exam Hall. Way back when I also attended my sister's graduation from St. Patrick's Drumcondra and another when she attended NUI Galway. Then in the last month or so I have attended the DIT ceremony where my mother was awarded an MA and then yesterday I was in the Helix for the DCU conferring where my wife earned her MSc.

It seems to me that the conferring ceremony is a good indicator of the ethos and style of the university. The TCD one, for example, is completely in Latin and formal black-tie is required for all graduands. This matches up with the university's sense of history and pomp. DIT hold their graduations in St Patrick's Cathedral which immediately gives a sense of gravitas but the ceremony itself is held at a fast pace. I also liked that each PhD had a brief synopses of their research read out by their supervisor before receiving their award.

However, of all the events I've attended I think I enjoyed the one in DCU the most. The venue, as a modern concert hall, can't be matched for comfort or sightlines - there isn't a bad seat in the house. There were two interesting speeches during the event from the Chancellor and the President of the university and the post ceremony reception was of the highest quality. The only downside of the DCU graduation is the DCU anthem which was blasted out during the two academic processions - wouldn't be high on my list of favourite songs.

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