TWO days of graduation ceremonies at the University of Bradford began today, as hundreds of students came to the end of their studies.

Three ceremonies were held in the university’s Great Hall, and a further two take place tomorrow, and hundreds of students have been streaming through the campus atrium in their caps and gowns.

After the first ceremony there was a performance in the atrium for graduates by the school choir of Blakehill Primary School.

As well as the students and their proud families, yesterday’s graduation ceremonies were also very significant for three honorary graduates.

Bradford born composer Benson Taylor became a Doctor of the University at an afternoon ceremony.

A musical alumnus of the University of California, he now operates out of his UK-based studios and has composed scores for a range of film, television and video game productions.

At 26 years old, he was one of the founding members of the Emmaus Homeless project in Bradford, established to develop St Mary’s Church into a home and working environment for the homeless.

After picking up his honorary doctorate, he told the Telegraph & Argus: “It’s an amazing feeling.

“My parents are in Las Vegas at the moment, but I know this will mean a great deal to them, as it does to me.

“It is an incredible feeling to get this recognition, and getting it from the city I come from makes it that bit more special.

“I didn’t graduate from here, but I wanted students to see that irrelevant of where you’re from, you make your own journey in life.

“Bradford is a beautiful place. When you leave and come back you really get a sense of the importance of the multi cultural nature of the city. It is a powerful place because of its diversity.”

At the first ceremony Neil Hunt was made an honorary Doctor of Health. Mr Hunt had joined the Royal College of General Practitioners as Chief Executive in January 2011, and prior to this he was Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, where he led an impressive modernisation, raising the public profile of the organisation.

His background means he has strong links to the the university and its dementia studies department.

He said: “It was such a surprise to be contacted by the university for this. I asked my office to check they had the right person. It is a great honour.

“The centre for dementia here is hugely respected and internationally recognised.”

At the final ceremony today recognition was given to Helen Hirst, Chief Officer of Bradford City, Bradford Districts and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups.

She has worked in the NHS in Bradford for 22 years, with her last role being Deputy Chief Executive for Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust.

She was recognised with an Honorary Fellowship and said: “I feel very proud. It is great recognition for the NHS, even though it is a personal recognition.

“Bradford has become my adopted home and I’ve worked here for 24 years. It is great to get the recognition for my contribution.

“My advice to students would be to take every opportunity offered to you. You need to put the graft in, you don’t get anywhere by just doing enough.

“You always keep learning, even after you graduate. You never stop.”

At tomorrow’s ceremonies Geraldine Howley, Group Chief Executive of Bradford based Incommunities, will be made a Doctor of the University.

The group is one of the largest social housing providers in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with nearly 22,600 homes for rent and almost 1,000 leasehold properties.

And Ash Soni, top pharmacist and former Chairman of the National Pharmacy Association Board of Management will be given a Doctor of Health.