Kellie wins Ultimate Graduation prize after 'extra lucky' decision to delay ceremony

Graduation is always special but one De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student has capped off years of hard work with a slap-up meal, cocktails, glamorous hair-do and more – all on DMU.

Kellie Hughes was the lucky winner of the university’s Winter Ultimate Graduation prize, which it opened to all final year students set to celebrate the end of their course at the ceremonies being held this month.


But winning the prize was even luckier than usual for the 22-year-old, for if not for one snap decision, she would not have been graduating at all.

She said: “I actually finished my Business Management and Law BA back in September but my parents couldn’t make the ceremony.

“I’m the first person in our family to go to university and they were so proud I wanted to wait until now so they could be there. So I’d never have entered this time if it wasn’t for that.

“I guess it was meant to be. It’s such a good prize, my friend and I are going to use the Chutney Ivy meal as a double date.”


For winning the first prize, Kellie bagged:

  • Free gown hire and graduation photography from William Northam
  • A £150 Highcross voucher
  • A haircut at Malcolm Murphy Hair
  • A wine package at Veeno
  • A family meal at Michelin recommended restaurant, Chutney Ivy

She said: “I’m really excited about graduating. I’ve loved being at DMU, there’s so much to get involved with; I was a member of the Politics Society and that was great fun.

“I’m going to miss the people I’ve known here but I’m keen to start my own business.”

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There was also a runner-up prize, which went to Electronics Engineering graduate Nayan Patel. The 24-year-old won a £100 Highcross voucher, a £50 Coast to Coast voucher and free cocktails at Bruxelles.

DMU-ultimate winner-8197

Nayan said: “I’ve actually made up my mind already what to spend the Highcross voucher on; I’m going to put purchase a new suit.

“It’s a great prize which makes the graduation even more special. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve made the most out of my time here at DMU

 “What makes DMU unique is the diversity and different cultures. DMU has made many partnerships with other universities across the world and this will allow students from both institutions to engage and create more opportunities”.

“I feel proud to represent DMU as a graduate and will continue to do so throughout my future career”.


Shaf Islam, part-owner at Chutney Ivy, had a poignant reason for wanting to offer a prize.

He said: “My own son Samee died in the last year of his studies and he never got to graduate. This, perhaps, is a way of making sure a DMU graduate gets the kind of day Samee could have had.

“It’s also a way for us to support the local community so we were happy to help.”

Lewis Drewe, national business development manager at Veeno, said: “As a new business to the city we wanted to show our support within the local area and introduce everyone to the Veeno experience and the best way to do that is to taste.”

Posted on Friday 27th January 2017

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