"Class of 2020 rules!": students reunite for monumental week of celebrations

The wait is finally over for the Class of 2020 as De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) began honouring years of hard work with graduation celebrations at Curve.

This week, thousands of 2020 and 2021 graduates will cross the stage, with delight, relief and a great sense of achievement after being delayed due to the pandemic.


Ceremonies began on Monday with the School of Arts, Design and Humanities, presided over by Vice-Chancellor Professor Katie Normington.

Among those collecting their degrees was Makare Wallace, from London, who graduated in Textile Design. 

She said: “It feels really good to be here. It has been so nice seeing everyone. It made me feel like I was back at uni. We had to wait a while because of the pandemic but when I got here today I thought ‘let’s do this’. What else can I say? Class of 2020 rules!"

With happy faces all around, Elisse Austen graduated alongside her boyfriend Kameron Grant.

Kameron, who has been awarded a First in Interior Design and is working as a visual brand designer in Shoreditch said: “I'm thankful this is finally happening. My family is so proud of my achievements and grateful they can see me receive my certificate after everything that happened during the pandemic.”

Elisse, who was awarded a First in Fashion Buying and Marketing and now works as a social media marketing assistant, said: “It has been a long time coming and I am really excited to be here.”

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The unprecedented challenges faced by these graduates during their studies, together with the extra wait for these ceremonies, will make this week a true payoff. Graduates will finally have a chance to reunite, celebrate, and share in their achievements watched by proud family and friends.

Chloe Cadle has a degree in Textile Design and now runs her own company Chloe Emelia Textiles in Newcastle. 

She said: “We did it! Amazing. I never thought this would happen. I saw my mum and dad crying when I got my degree and they set me off. It’s been a great day’. 

Clair Porter, who was awarded a degree in Fashion Textile Design, is now working for Leeds clothing company Joe Brown. She said:”it feels amazing to graduate in front of family. I have been waiting for this for so long. At one point during the pandemic I thought it would never happen. It has been such a great day. 

“The best bit about the course was the tutors. They were so supportive and we all built really personal relationships with them. Sometimes I would be on Zoom with my personal tutor for an hour and a half at a time. They were so good.”

Chloe Lobban, who studied Fashion Buying with Design, is now working for fashion label Sylvia Jeffrey Ltd in London’s Regent Street.

She said: “It’s well overdue and it’s so good to see all my friends. I couldn’t have this experience today without them and I couldn’t have done it and got my degree without them. I am so happy to be here.”

Product Design graduate Sebastian Ward, now works as a headphones designer with Mix in West Sussex. He said: “it has been great to see everyone and have one last farewell in Leicester. It’s been a good reunion.”

Product Design graduate Kieran Brown, who is a Design Manager on the Isle of Man, said: “It’s great to be back here with all my course mates. It’s like we never left. I think we’ll be spending the night together in the pub!”

Friend and fellow Product Design graduate Callum Paul, who now works at a cast metal foundry, added: “I think the highlights of our time at DMU was all studying in the library at god knows what hour, hysterically laughing at each other because we had an assignment to hand in. The other highlight was the meal deals with Red Bull to keep us going!”

Posted on Monday 17th January 2022

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