Trailblazing theatre director Iqbal Khan has told graduates to enjoy ‘not knowing today what is going to happen tomorrow’ and ‘ discovering who you are’.
Mr Khan, who is renowned for championing diversity in theatre with plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Globe, was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts during day seven of the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Summer Graduations.
Before taking to the stage to receive his honour Mr Khan, who cut his teeth at Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre, said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to get this degree. It is wonderful to get something that recognises a lifetime of work and commitment.
“My advice to people graduating is to enjoy not knowing today what is going to happen tomorrow. Enjoy having conversations that don’t have to have a conclusion or a definitive answer. Enjoy discovering who you are.”
The citation read out at the ceremony in his honour concluded: “For his spirit of adventure; his challenge to convention; his championing of diversity; his understanding of education’s transformational potential, sheer love of theatre, and voice and furious energy signifying so very much – we’re proud to recognise Iqbal Khan by making him an Honorary Doctor of Arts.”
Students who graduated during the day at The Venue@DMU were equally as thrilled to see years of hard work rewarded with a degree.
Amanda Azanthe, who received a first with a BA in Business and Marketing, said: “It was an emotional day, really overwhelming. But you just feel a sense of achievement and I am very happy.”
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Fellow Business and Marketing graduate Ali Adnan has secured a job at Leicester City coaching the under 12s thanks in no small part to the partnership DMU has with the Premier League club and the work of DMUlocal, the community engagement arm of the university.
Ali, who played as a right back for the DMU first XI men’s football team, said: “I feel excited today and, thanks to the help of DMU, I am working at LCFC full time as a coach. Through DMUlocal I went out to different schools to help with coaching and I am on the FA Youth Council for Leicestershire and Rutland.
“The work at Leicester City may be totally different to what I graduated in but they are an international club and there will be lots of opportunities for me there in the future.”
Liam Price, who was awarded a degree in Economics, said: “It’s bitter sweet getting my degree today. I am happy to graduate, of course but at the same time I am sad that I am leaving DMU.
“I want my time here to carry on for a bit longer. My time at DMU has been the best years of my life so far. Living away from home gave such a boost to my confidence and the course in itself was great.”
Michaela Maginnis received a degree in Business and Marketing and has also secured a job. She is due to start work as a project coordinator for AMCI Global, in Banbury, which organises corporate events for the car industry.
She said: “I would not change my uni for any other in the world. I feel a bit overwhelmed and I was really nervous this morning waiting to collect my degree. But the staff were so enthusiastic and hyped us all up before we crossed the stage. I am really proud of myself."
You can read the full citation here.
Posted on Friday 19th July 2019