Yesterday was another surreal day…..a day that would never have happened if I hadn’t been diagnosed with dementia……a second Doctorate 😳 but this time from Bradford University.
Last week Hull University kindly made me a ‘Doctor of the University’ and Bradford, a ‘Honorary Degree of Doctor of Health’…….amazing that I’m typing those words……..
I’m sure Bradford was one of the first universities I ever became involved with when I was diagnosed. I was so thrilled to meet the sadly missed Trevor Jarvis and his lovely wife Anne. They taught me so much in the beginning. Trevor was also given a Doctorate by Bradford so I’m simply stepping into his shoes – very big ones to fill.
I’ve loved being involved from the very start with the Doctoral Training centre there and actually interviewed some of the students. Two of them would be receiving their doctorates today, Courtney Shaw and Denise De Waal, which is a great thrill and the rest next year I believe.
Gemma and Stuart were taking me as unfortunately Sarah’s shifts didn’t behave this time. But we promised to send her piccies
It was an early start 06.45 as I was due there at 9. They had offered a hotel the night before but that would have been awkward for work for Gemma and Stuart.
I’ve typed all of the above before I left so the rest will be afterthought emotions and captured from images in my head……
The day dawned and the sun shone…. We’d left ourselves plenty of time to get there. It was strange going to Bradford in a car!
We arrived to a bit of confusion of car parking, but I went inside and immediately someone came out to help, followed by Vic, (my looker afterer for the day) and Professor Jan, who would be reading the Oration before I was presented with my Doctorate.
We were shown upstairs to a lovely seating area to relax and have a cuppa and Vic walked me through the proceedings. I could have worried about having to remember so much but I just knew they’d look after me. Many many photos were taken including this one of me and Jan and Vic.
And me, Gemma and Stuart
We passed the Atrium where excited graduates were all gowned up and proud family and friends stood by snapping away on their cameras.
The ceremony began with the procession into the Great Hall where everyone was seated and waiting. Gemma and Stuart had been shown to their seats right at the front. Instead of going immediately on the stage I sat next to Gemma, but not for long as I received my award first and gave my speech, after which I took my place on stage. I could then relax and smile in wonder at all the stars coming up on stage amidst cheers from family and friends.
I thought I’d missed Denise and Courtney receive their doctorate but then I spied the last 2 in the queue and it was them. To have them at the same ceremony as me was very special, especially since I’d worked with Courtney throughout her 3 years.
At the end the chancellor said exactly how it feels at Bradford calling it:
“The Bradford Family”
That’s how it felt.
The procession was led out and we degowned and were then led in for a lovely lunch. I was surrounded by lovely people and I had to pinch myself once more to make sure it was real.
After lunch we went up to the department celebration and their there was a roomful of people waiting including all the Doctoral students.
A special moment with people I’ve been involved with for years…more photos to create wonderful memories and an atmosphere of celebration…..
To all the staff there – I love your welcome, your willingness to learn, willingness to change and willingness to listen, willingness to share and willingness to care. I’ve become good friends with many of them and the students….I adore all of them.
So many times have I trundled to Bradford – 3 trains, but never minded. All because of the feeling I get when I’m involved there, all enhanced by such smiley faces and warm hugs – makes all the difference…..thank you Bradford………feeling overwhelmed by their kindness and thrilled to be part of the ‘Bradford Family’……..