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Thousands gather at Sheffield City Hall to celebrate graduates

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Sheffield Hallam University's graduation fortnight has drawn to a close for another year.

With 22 ceremonies taking place over the two-week graduation period, Sheffield City Hall has welcomed more than 7,750 graduates, bringing with them over 28,500 guests.

This year Sheffield Hallam has also welcomed several notable figures into the 'Hallam family', awarding honorary doctorates to inspirational figures and household names, including broadcaster and journalist Sir Michael Parkinson, the creative team behind the smash-hit musical 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' and documentary and filmmaker Louis Theroux.

Speaking before the ceremony, 'Parky' as he is affectionately known said: "It's doing very well this University, and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Offering careers advice to Sheffield Hallam students, Sir Michael said: "There is no substitute for hard work, just put your head down and do it. I've never met anyone who was very successful who did not work hard."

This year's honorary doctorates received their awards alongside thousands of graduates from across the four faculties of the University and took part in a range of activities and events alongside students as part of their visit to Sheffield Hallam.

Louis Theroux took part in a Q&A at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union with students from the Media, Arts and Communications department. Whilst Jonathan Butterell, Dan Gillespie-Sells and Tom MacRae - the talented creators of hit theatre show 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' took part in a performance event and Q&A at Sheffield Hallam's Performance Lab on Arundel Gate. 

Sheffield artist Pete McKee, whose much-loved murals are dotted all around the City, was also awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to Sheffield's cultural history.

Before the ceremony, Pete advised students: "The hard work that you've put in to get this degree continues. Work hard; be inspired by what you've achieved so far. The dreams that you had before university, carry them on."

Professor Betsy Stanko OBE
Danny Willett
Dawn Shadforth
Pete McKee
Louis Theroux with Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Chris Husbands
Sir Michael Parkinson with Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Chris Husbands

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Professor Betsy Stanko OBE, has also been honoured for her contribution to policing during her time with the Metropolitan Police. She now delivers lectures on criminology and policing.

Music video and documentary director Dawn Shadforth has worked with a host of famous names, including Kyle Minogue, Hurts and Florence and the Machine. A Hallam alumnus, she gained a First Class Hons Degree in Fine Art and returned this year to receive an honorary doctorate for her contribution to music culture.

Graduation fortnight this year saw a whole host of 'firsts', with the first cohort of MEng Food Engineering degree students and the first BSc (Honours) Operating Department Practice degree students receiving their awards.

For press information: Laura Burden in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5301 or email