LEEDS Trinity University has celebrated its Class of 2020 with small graduation events on its campus in Horsforth, to mark its graduates’ achievement and academic success.

Graduates were invited to book individual appointments to have official graduation photographs taken in their gowns, joined by a maximum of two guests.

An outdoor marquee was also provided with flower backdrops for informal photography to mark the moment, and graduates took home a gift bag with mementos of their time at Leeds Trinity – including an engraved champagne flute.

The events on campus were carefully planned and delivered in line with campus safety protocols and government guidance, with support from external health and safety advisers. Protocols include a reduced campus capacity, the use of face coverings inside campus buildings and social distancing. The events were confirmed following the country’s move to Step 3 on the government roadmap out of lockdown.

Emma Murphy, Director of Student and Academic Services and Chair of the University’s Graduation Steering Group, said: “Earlier this year, we asked the Class of 2020 what was most important to them in marking their achievement, as we had not been able to hold ceremonies in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic. Through this, our graduates highlighted that they wanted the opportunity to wear a gown and have their official graduation photographs taken by professionals on campus. We are so pleased that we were able to plan a set of events that allowed this to happen safely, and it’s been great to see the positive reaction so far.

“We are so proud of our Class of 2020 and what they have achieved during an exceptionally challenging year. It was fantastic to mark their graduation on campus and we look forward to keeping in touch as they continue to succeed.”

Ollie Potts, who completed his studies in Film in 2020, said: “I loved the Class of 2020 events, getting my professional photography in my gown and marking my graduation. It was great to have closure after a crazy year, and just brilliant to celebrate it with my family. It’s made a massive difference and my family and I are so grateful the university was able to put on these events safely.”

The Leeds Trinity University Class of 2020 events were designed following the decision to postpone graduation ceremonies in July and December 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The events provided the first opportunity for many of the Class of 2020 to return to the Leeds Trinity campus since the end of their studies.

A similar approach with individual gowning and photography is being planned for the Class of 2021, with events on campus currently expected in July 2021.