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Covid graduates sign their names in the Sweat Room

A graduation ceremony at your laptop in your student room is a huge anticlimax. Many students who graduated during the pandemic were unable to celebrate their graduation in style. To make up for this, they were given the chance to sign their names in the Sweat Room on Friday 26 May.

We don’t know who first signed their name on the walls of the Sweat Room in the Academy Building, but it has become a long-standing tradition, with thousands of graduates signing their names. But Covid graduates could not carry on this tradition. ‘It felt like unfinished business’, says Bob, who graduated in 2021.

And this is how many alumni felt. The response to the invitation to come and sign the wall was overwhelming. Over four days, 360 covid graduates came to the Sweat Room, and so many signed up that there was even a waiting list. We can now welcome more people and you can still sign up.

Proper graduation

There is a festive atmosphere in the Academy Building and many happy faces to be seen. Bob has donned a smart suit and is taking a good look around the Sweat Room before writing his name high up on the wall. ‘I like the idea of standing on the ladder for the photo. Now my name is there, I’ve finally been able to graduate properly.’

Samuel feels the same. He has come over specially from Manchester. ‘I was really pleased to graduate but this is the finishing touch.’ Jacqueline is also glad to ‘properly’ be able to complete her studies. She had to do her defence at her laptop in her student room in December 2020. ‘It was a real anticlimax after all that hard work. I couldn’t celebrate graduating at all. So I’m really pleased that this has been organised.’

Text: Dagmar Aarts
Photos: Monique Shaw

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