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100,000th graduate at University of Leicester –to meet Leicester’s very first graduate

Graduation ceremony marks historic milestone for University of Leicester

Issued 09 July 09

You can view video footage of Katerina Argyrou receiving her degree and meeting the first Leicester graduate, Dr Wendy Hickling, on YouTube by clicking here .

Images from the ceremony are also available here .

An historic occasion for the University of Leicester will be marked on Thursday July 9 when the 100,000th graduate processes across the stage – and will get the opportunity to meet Leicester’s very first graduate, Wendy Hickling.

Katerina Argyrou (21) from Cyprus has gained a First Class BSc degree in Computer Science and will be congratulated by the Chancellor Sir Peter Williams and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess.

She will also meet Dr Wendy Hickling, a Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the University who was the first graduate to be awarded University of Leicester degree after the University was granted its Royal Charter in 1958.

Katerina, who is at the ceremony with three generations of her family, said she was thrilled that her special day had become even more special:

“My time here at Leicester was very exciting, full of experience and very rewarding. I made friends very easily and without them I don't think I would have enjoyed myself here both in academic and leisure time

“The academic experience I had here at University of Leicester was great. My personal tutor was always there to support me, giving me advice and guiding me. The department was organised and the lecturers very helpful and approachable -always there when we needed them.

“I never thought I would be the 100,000th graduate to receive a degree from the University of Leicester. It was a big surprise. I'm speechless but I do feel proud though. And yes it does make my day even more special.

“At the graduation I will have my family with me and my grandmother who have been by my side in every step in my life. I do not think I would want to celebrate it with anyone else apart from them. They are my source of inspiration and strength.”

Katerina intends to continue with her studies, undertaking an MSc.

Dr Wendy Hickling – a graduate, honorary graduate and Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the University of Leicester – said: “I offer my warmest congratulations to Katerina, who graduates today in Computer Science and, as she does so, becomes the 100,000th graduate of the University of Leicester,

“51 years ago, I was the University’s first graduate, first on to the platform, when less than 100 of us received our degrees from the newly-chartered University of Leicester. My degree was in English; Computer Science was unknown at Leicester in the 1950s. It was impossible then to envisage how much our University would expand and develop, and how its reputation would grow, both nationally and internationally. I trust that Katerina will find that our University has given her as great a start today as it did me, half a century ago.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess said: “It is a terrific milestone for the University of Leicester to have graduated its 100,000th student. It is also fitting that Katerina is an international student studying a 21st century subject – a hallmark of the University of Leicester. The values transmitted by the University today are identical to those held in 1957 – a tremendous record of achievement. On its current popularity, it will certainly not be another 50 years before we graduate our 200,000th student! Finally, I would like to congratulate Katerina on her outstanding degree result and wish every success in her future career.”

Professor José Fiadeiro, Head of the Department of Computer Science, said: “The Department is, of course, very proud of Katerina. We had an exceptionally good group of students graduating this year, and Katerina ranked among the very best, with excellent marks throughout her degree. Computer Science is a degree that offers students an enormous variety of exciting and rewarding careers and we are sure that she has a very bright future ahead of her.”

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