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Graduation ceremony of the Cyber Security master: A digital party

With a trip through the Netherlands, the preparations for the graduation of the Master Cyber Security had already started weeks ago. The apotheosis took place on Thursday, the 11th of February. A report of a digital graduation ceremony.

Prof. Dr. Bibi van den Berg, travelled the country together with two lectures to personally hand over a huge invitation to this festive graduation ceremony to all students. They visited the students, completely coronaproof, at home. 'Like Gaston from the Postcode Lottery, but without the money,' as Van den Berg put it when she digitally welcomed all those present on February 11. All students were filmed at home and were in this way personally put in the limelight. Friends and family who followed the event via a livestream could see the students from their own living rooms.

The first group of graduates

Surprise boxes

After the first seven special laudatios were spoken, some online and some live from Wijnhaven, the students get to open the boxes they received at home. Finally, the cameras were turned on and the many attendees saw the first happy students unwrap their well-deserved diploma, cap, yearbook, bottle of prosecco and mug. The fact that their diploma was also in the package did not come without a struggle. The diplomas must be signed by the chairman of the Examination Board, but he and his car were snowed in. With a lot of hard work we finally managed to get the diplomas - signed and ready - to the students on time.

Dr. Tommy van Steen and Prof.dr. Bibi van den Berg

Crown on the hard work

Jacqueline Houweling, one of the Master's students who received her diploma, then speaks on behalf of the students.  It becomes clear that, despite the strange period, the feeling of pride prevails. She has very warm memories of the diverse group. She especially remembers the introduction days, because the lectures were so interesting and the dinners so enjoyable. Houweling hopes that - when this is possible again - the group will get together for a drink. A little later, Dr Els de Busser appears to share this wish. She also emphasises the sociability of the group and says that it was sometimes difficult to get the students back to their lectures after the coffee break.  De Busser hopes that the group enjoys this day and that they see this ceremony as the crown on the hard work they have done to be here.

The second group of graduates

Online group photo

After all students have had their moment, it is time for the traditional group photo. This turns out to be a bit tricky, since Teams does not allow to turn on so many cameras at the same time. Nevertheless, all students appear in front of their own webcam, smiling broadly and wearing their cap, so that, with some photoshop, a beautiful group picture can be made. Erick van Zuijlen also speaks to the group from the 'Sweat Room' in Leiden. Due to corona this is not possible now, but all graduates are certainly welcome to come and sign here later in the year. Van den Berg closes the ceremony by thanking the students, her colleagues and study coordinator Chantal de Groot in particular.

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