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The graduation day story


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Contributor(s): Rachel Leighton, Candice Holdsworth, Professor Anne West, Damian Roberts, Mike Lucas, Sarah Leighton, Ailsa Lucas

Released on 18 July 2011.

Graduation is one of the best and busiest times of the year for students and staff at LSE, and this latest film from the "Stories from LSE" series tells the story of a graduation day through the eyes of Rachel Leighton and her family.

A student in social policy, Rachel graduated last year with a 2:1 and was joint winner of the Janet Beveridge award for conspicuous achievement in final examinations.

The film features Rachel's parents and sister who came down for the big day, and spoke of Rachel's journey from small market town to big city. "We live in a rural market town of about 6-7000 people," says her stepfather. "It is quite cloistered. We brought her down here three years ago and the three years have just flown past -- she really has got a lot more confident."

Rachel is keen to put her experience to good use and encourage greater participation in higher education following graduation. "What I really want to get into is widening participation to universities -- getting children from non-traditional backgrounds into higher education," she says. The move is supported by Professor Anne West of the department of social policy. "I think she is eminently suited to a career in widening participation ..above all she is very optimistic and very positive and I think that young people who might not have considered going to higher education will find that very comforting."

The film takes viewers through the day, from gown fitting and graduation photograph to getting her degree from Sir Howard Davies, then director of the School.

Damian Roberts, registry manager who oversees the graduation ceremonies, explains how LSE runs its graduation ceremonies and comments, "It is really nice to be involved in this positive emotional side to the student experience."

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