Aberdeen’s first female Lord Dean of Guild received an honorary degree from Robert Gordon University today.
Hundreds of students gathered at P&J Live as the second day of RGU’s graduations got under way, with loved ones ready to cheer them on as they accepted their degrees.
Today, the celebrations focused on postgraduates from Aberdeen Business School and undergraduates from the law school.
Sylvia Halkerston, who became the city’s first female Lord Dean of Guild in its 800 year history in May, received a doctor of business administration (DBA).
Mrs Halkerston, who was formerly on the university’s board of governors, told the crowd: “I’m thrilled to receive this honorary degree, especially from those with whom I’ve worked.
“Choose what you’re good at and you’ll enjoy it. Choose what you enjoy and you’ll be good at it.”
After the ceremony, Mrs Halkerston said: “I just needed the young people to realise that they have to take all the opportunities, not sit and wait for them to come, but go and make them as well.
“I wanted them to be positive above all. If there is a negative in their career, do something about it, do something positive about it and also that people really do matter.”
Speaking about her own honour, she added: “It’s the most wonderful thing that’s happened in my career, and which has been a long career to date to get to my age, and there’s lots of exciting times and hard times, but this is thrilling.”
‘Very special occasion’
University chancellor Dame Evelyn Glennie said it was a “very special occasion” for all those in attendance.
The percussionist, who is originally from Methlick, told the graduates that their “energy, vision and presence creates the very fabric of RGU” and assured them that the doors of the university are always open to them.
RGU student president of communication and democracy, Laila Obiagwu also addressed those gathered and told them their graduation should be seen as their “ticket to change the world”.
Principal and vice-chancellor of the university, Steve Olivier told the audience that he is “immensely proud to lead this fantastic university”.
He added: No matter where life takes you next, I hope you can remain connected to RGU.”
- To find out who is graduating from RGU this week, check out our interactive list.