A bagpiper played on the grounds of Aberdeen university as students lined up to pose next to the 2019 graduation sign.
The celebrations of winter graduation continued on Thursday and three more ceremonies were held amid a celebratory mood.
Guests and graduates waved at the camera in the hall while their big day was live streamed, but they weren’t the ones to steal the show when a little girl, caught on camera, stuck her tongue out and danced as the crowd applauded her performance.
Silence fell over the room and bagpipes could be heard outside as music began in the hall and the academic procession arrived to take their seats onstage.
Graduates were asked to be upstanding to show their appreciation for everybody who had supported them throughout their studies.
Family and guests then stood up to do the same – and their applause and cheer was considerably louder and longer.
Before the ceremonies began, graduates were told that Aberdeen University would live on through them as it had done previously for almost 526 years.
Red and black robes were placed upon the initial students to collect their degreees.
Halfway through the event, Josh Brown, who is studying a master’s in music, treated the room to a musical performance.
His piano tune started off softly and developed into a dramatic melody at the end.
The closing speech by Prof Ruth Taylor, the university’s new vice principal for education, congratulated the students, but asked them what causes they would choose to defend.
They were urged to go out into the world with kindness and compassion, to always make sure that quiet people are heard, and not to have any regrets.
Prof Taylor said: “You all have heard of Greta Thunberg – you are now the ones she is speaking to when she says change is coming whether you like it or not. You can be a part of that change.
“The reputation of this university is built on the people it send out into the world.
“Be confident in your abilities, stand up when it matters and don’t make assumptions.”
Mother-of-three Kirsten Pasturel hopes graduation will inspire children
A mother-of-three from Aberdeen is hoping that her graduation will inspire her children.
Kirsten Pasturel graduated from Aberdeen university yesterday with an MBA Energy Management degree.
Her daughters aged seven, nine and 11, were busy “photobombing” the occasion as they proudly watched their mother graduate.
Mrs Pasturel thought it was “important” for her girls to see her celebrate her achievements.
Although the course was “demanding”, she said it had been a positive experience with a “great bunch of people.”
After living abroad for 10 years, she came back and continued her studies at Aberdeen university and was reunited with a former friend and fellow graduate.
Melvin Banford also studied the Energy Management course and the pair saw each other for the first time in 15 years when they began their studies.
With a background in the oil and gas industry, she is now hoping to move into renewable energy.
She added: “I studied engineering at Heriot-Watt 22 years ago and I never thought I would come back to study, but I had a genuine interest in the subject.
“I feel pretty good after graduation and I’m relieved.
“It’s not every day you get to graduate. It took me 22 years to do it again, so you need to celebrate these things.”
MBA Global graduate, Pauline Ogilvie, celebrates ‘delightful’ distinction degree
Pauline Ogilvie graduated with distinction in MBA Global yesterday.
The 47-year-old, who was born in Keith and now lives in Dornoch, worked in the distilling industry for 22 years before deciding to change career.
She studied chemistry at RGU before starting her current job in business management at the NHS, where she has been for nine years.
In praising the course, she said her favourite part was completing a virtual climb of Mount Everest with groups from all over the world.
She added: “I chose to study here because it is where I was born and it has one of the best reputations.
“It has been very challenging working full time and studying part time, but the rewards have definitely outweighed the struggle.”
Her positive experience studying at Aberdeen University has left her considering a PHD in the future.
She is currently in talks with her tutors to progress her MBA project on the new GP contracts and said she would “love” to continue her studies at the university.
She added: “I’m really proud to have graduated, its delightful. I can’t believe it’s all over.
“I’ve had such a good experience here, but I couldn’t have got through it without my supportive parents and boyfriend.”
Aberdeenshire graduate, Olivia Roberts, celebrates third degree
An Aberdeenshire graduate celebrated receiving her master’s degree yesterday.
Olivia Roberts decided to study an MBA when the downturn in the oil and gas industry provided an opportunity for her to expand her skillset.
Having two previous art degrees, she chose to pursue business because it better helps her understand the company she works for, Aker Solutions, and makes her “more efficient” at her job.
After getting married in June, she carefully planned her honeymoon around her modules. Fitting work, a wedding and a house move around her studies was a “challenge” but one which she really enjoyed.
She said: “I’m the youngest of five children and we’ve all got around three degrees.
“My parents came up from down south to watch me graduate and they’re very happy that this is the last ceremony they will need to sit through.
“My favorite part of the course was the different variety of things to study and meeting people who are in similar jobs.
“I chose to study at Aberdeen because of the oil and gas business. It’s also a very traditional academic university, so that drew me study here.”
The 33-year-old’s love of academia and pursuing new challenges has left her considering another degree in the future.
Macduff graduate, Melvin Banford, ‘juggled’ full-time work and family life
A Macduff graduate who “juggled” full-time work and family life while studying graduated yesterday.
Melvin Banford achieved distinction in his MBA Energy Management course and said that an extra bonus to the degree was the international exposure.
Mr Banford studied a Bachelors of Engineering at RGU and graduated there in 1997.
He said making time for his wife and 14-year-old son and working and studying at the same time was a “challenge” but as a “pretty determined” person, he “got on with it.”
He added: “I’m from this part of the world so I studied here because I fancied something more local. The heritage and history of the university is also amazing.
“I could see my wife and mother tear up as I graduated. For the family, it is an extra special day.”
After going back to his roots, he’s working at Lloyd’s Register where he was a trainee graduate 25 years ago.
He added: “It feels surreal, but fantastic, to have graduated.
“I can’t remember much of my first graduation ceremony and this time it’s nice to be able to take it all in and the pop that goes with it.”