Oh, what a night!

Less late December 1963 and more mid November 2015, but oh what a night it was at the recent Scholarship Awards Ceremony!

After weeks of organising the event, it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and celebrating the success of our class of 2015.

This was our biggest Scholarship Awards Ceremony to date with more than 400 guests in attendance. Visitors included local dignitaries, representatives from local colleges, University staff and, most importantly, 136 scholars and prize winners – the people that the evening was really all about.

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

Seeing the excitement and anticipation among the scholars and prize winners as they arrived to register, with their proud family members and guests looking on, was a joy to behold.

Once seated in the theatre, we had a quick run through the evening with the scholars. I’m not sure who was more nervous – me or them! Once guests were seated, the buzz in the theatre was fantastic.

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

Lesley Munro, Clerk to the Governors, opened the ceremony and began to read out a profile of each scholar before presenting their awards. After hearing about the success of our first scholarship winner, I thought “Wow, Alex has had some great achievements with his photography”, then the second profile was read out and again I reflected “Wow, how has Darby achieved so much with her film making”! By the fifth student, I thought I was in a room with super heroes, they had all done some truly fantastic things!

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

You can read about some of our 2015 scholars’ achievements, along with the stories of a selection of previous winners, on the Case Studies pages of our Scholarships website.

Professor Tanya Bryon, the University’s Chancellor, handed the awards to the recipients on the red carpet and closed the ceremony with some very inspiring words. We were then treated to a fantastic buffet – definitely not food that I had prepared with my own fair hands! This was delicious and very enjoyable, I must say. I definitely need to add some cheese hedgehogs to my festive shopping list!

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

Photographer Stuart Rayner was on hand during the evening and took some fantastic photos that I’m sure our scholars and their families will cherish. You can browse through the photos on our Scholarship Awards Evening Gallery. Apologies in advance for any unintentional photobombing by myself in the background!

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

Returning to work the morning after the awards evening and opening my emails made my day! I received so many messages from scholarship winners saying how much they had enjoyed the evening and thanking me for arranging it. However, in all honesty I shouldn’t be the one receiving the thanks. It’s the scholars and prize winners who deserve the credit since without their hard work, dedication and talent we wouldn’t have the success to celebrate – so, from me to all of them, THANK YOU!

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

You can check out a small selection of the comments I received below.

“The number of people who excelled in their own area was amazing, the stories were nothing short of inspirational. I had heard that the awards ceremony was the best night of the year and I can now say that this was absolutely correct – it was amazing. It was such an amazing event – with a wonderful buffet afterwards!” – Danny Powis

“The red carpet was intimidating but didn’t half make the evening feel special! Thank you for a great night.” – Bethan Shields

“It was a very well organised evening and it made me feel very proud of what I have achieved. Chancellor Tanya Byron also spoke some amazing and inspiring words which gave it a nice added touch! A lovely and awesome evening! A special night that I’ll never forget!” – Jessica Cain

“What a wonderful awards evening. I was really proud of my daughter and her achievements. Thank you for recognising and celebrating this.” – Parent.

Scholarship Awards Evening 2015

If you’re a prospective or current student reading this and think it could be you who’s treading the red carpet at next year’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony, then you can find out more about the University’s scholarships and check your eligibility using our Scholarships Calculator. Applications and nominations open early next year.