July 2021

Welcoming the Class of 2021

Our alumni community welcome the Class of 2021 with messages of congratulations, support and advice.

Amanda Field

(Colour Chemistry 2009)

"In such a difficult year, you have managed to complete your degree. I think it shows great fortitude, and to me it means that you've got what it takes to be able to take on whatever challenges you might face in your career. Make use of the alumni service as much as you can, there is a wealth of knowledge available to you to help at any point."

Graham Wroe

(Social Policy and Administration 1982)

"Congratulations for graduating in a year of turmoil and unprecedented challenges. This achievement can only stand you in good stead for your futures and the challenges you will face. If Covid has taught us anything it is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Happiness comes in many forms but is always key to feeling fulfilled. Be kind, be happy, stay healthy and respect each other."

Peter Gunstone

(Music 1999)

"Many congratulations upon completing your studies in the midst of all that we have gone through in the last year or so, and every blessing for what the future holds!"

Julian Bower

(English Language & Literature 1985)

"Very best of luck to you all. Leeds University is yours for life!"

Gordon Chung

(Mechanical 2005)

"Congratulation guys! Time to make a change in the real world! Together each achieves more!"

Melvyn Kelly

(Modern Theology 1998)

"As Methodist Chaplain in Leeds I send the heartiest of congratulations to all who are graduating. Stay connected with Leeds through this great alumni community in 2021. What a year! Well done!"

Michael Bannister

(Mathematical Engineering 1997)

"Congratulations on graduating. Enjoy the time now to reflect on your time at Leeds. You have earned a great and privileged position graduating through a turbulent time, but one which has made you more resilient and capable to weather future storms. The first stages after graduation may be some of the most disruptive as you move from a structured academic role to engaging with the first steps of your desired career. This period is full of opportunity as you have fresh knowledge, are agile, and unburdened by norms. Good luck with your next steps in life and career and know that you are now part of a great community of fellow Leeds graduates!"

Jeffrey Ong

(Medicine 2015)

"Times are tough and will remain challenging for a few years to come. Congratulations on graduating in your desired subjects and stay strong and persevere in wading through the storms and you will enjoy the fruit of success soon! Welcome to the great alumni community where you will find support and advice all the way in your life. Do remember to give back as we gained lots of experience in our university years."

Terry Abra

(B.Com 1966)

"Congratulations and well done, especially during these difficult times. It will be tough out there but the main thing is to be positive and appreciate the experience you have had at a great university in a great city ... priceless. Maintain the new friendships you have made. I am still in touch with good friends from over 50 years ago. The main thing is to be positive and confident and build on the experience you have just had - the fun, the tears, the hangovers - and use them to your advantage. All the very best for the future."

Yin Chuan

(Mechanical Engineering 2001)

"Congratulations for your graduation! The future is still bright! Use what you have to get to your goals. The pandemic created new jobs and new opportunities for businesses. Look for the problems and solve them! Think the opposite of the norm."

Qun Guan

(Marketing 2011)

"Congratulations! You've already made history as facing this challenging time, while the future will be bright and promising. Keep learning. Keep up with the changing world."

Deborah Feliziani

(International Business 2015)

"Take the best of this opportunity. Always be hungry to improve as professionals and human beings."

Durgashanker Nagda

(Mining 1973)

"Pursue your passion. The sky is the limit."

Brian Kenworthy

(Spanish 1961)

"It is always a matter for congratulation when any student has the mental stamina as well as the intelligence and commitment to their studies. I have enjoyed my membership of the Leeds alumni, and would encourage you to join us! Welcome to the Leeds alumni community."

Kofi Agyeman

(Food Science 1983)

"Congrats to our new graduands. Life is just beginning for you and I know with your training from Leeds you will always find yourselves to be either the first or with the first."

Sara Humphrey

(Medicine 1990)

"You did it - despite the difficulties. This is only the start to an amazing career. CONGRATULATIONS!"

Fredrick Odhiambo

(MA TESOL 2006)

"Congratulations to the 2021 graduates. Welcome to the alumni community."

John Davie

(Psychology 1953)

"Good luck and best wishes from an older generation."

Nabila Begum

(Learning and Teaching 2016)

"Congratulations!! Best of luck in the big wide world, but never forget University of Leeds."

Christopher Ezeh

(GIS 2017)

"Congratulations to you all. Keep the fire glowing, explore and conquer."

Kevin Layne

(Philosophy 2016)

"Congratulations on your achievement! You made the sacrifices and worked hard to gain knowledge that no one can take away from you. I pray for your continued success in all your endeavours. Continue to believe in yourself and back yourself. Don't let others deter you from achieving your dreams. Stay focused, stay determined and stay tenacious!"

Halvor Torgersen

(Psychology 1998)

"Well done. Despite all the hardship you prevailed! Never look back unless you just want to see how far you have come."

Richard Henshaw

(Medicine 1970)

"Well done everyone. You have done better than we did! Welcome and be proud of your time at Leeds especially during the pandemic."

Mike Levy

(Economics 1980)

"Congrats on graduating in the most difficult circumstances for decades. If you can come through that, you can deal with anything that society will throw at you. Go and improve the world that my generation has left you and give our planet a healthier future. We alumni are here to give help and advice whenever you need it. Use us - you never know who will turn into a key contact and give you a leg up when you most need it."

Khalid Al Jardani

(TESOL 2002)

"Having the certification is only a start, keep on learning and experiencing new challenges. Keep on communicating with others - keep learning!"

Maisie Culver

(BA English Language and Literature, MA Postcolonial Literature 2010)

"Congratulations! I graduated during the last economic crisis and it felt like I'd never land my feet, but I did. It just took patience, flexibility and being receptive to every opportunity."

Steve Roser

(Fuel and Energy Engineering 1987)

"You've given yourself a great platform to launch your career. Stay curious, keep learning and believe in yourself. There is a world of opportunity, especially for the persistent and the determined person. You are part of a huge and diverse community that is changing our world."

Neil Pearson

(General Fuel Science 1969)

"Well done getting here! The friends I made at Leeds are still around me, over fifty years later! Choose your friends well and they will help you in later life."

Tom Markham

(Chinese and German 2017)

"WELL DONE ALL! Must have been tough but you did it! Stay in touch with your course mates and friends - you never know where those connections will lead!"

Daniel Onaivi

(MSc Energy & Environment 2013)

"Keep your hopes and dreams alive, there is nothing you cannot achieve. Work hard, refuse to fail, have limits, give back to society."

“I send the heartiest of congratulations to all who are graduating in 2021. What a year! Well done! Stay connected with Leeds through this great alumni community."


Jayne Booth

(International History and Politics 1983)

"Congratulations to all graduates this year - especially to my daughter. So proud of you all as I know how difficult it has been. Once a Leeds student, always a Leeds student. Stay in touch with your alma mater. Forever LEEDS!!!"

Dannielle Jeffers

(MA Advertising and Marketing 2015)

"Congratulations and welcome to the University of Leeds alumni community. You did it! If this past year has taught you anything, it's how to be resilient and keep pushing on, even when the odds look stacked against you - and if you ask me, they are the best tools to succeed in life and your career. Gaining experience is everything. Look for jobs that will allow you to develop essential skills. In the long-term, this is more important than the business you work for and the sector you work with. I wish you the very best in all your future endeavours."

Brian Cracknell

(History/Russian Studies 1976)

"Congratulations on graduating! Your Leeds degree is another step toward being your best self. Good luck and best wishes on your life journey. Welcome to a group that warms your heart, stirs great memories and provides firm friendship for the rest of your life."

Ben Osborn

(Physiology and Sports Science 1998)

"Congratulations on your graduation. Be bold, learn from failure and always be yourself!"

Lakshmi Rajasekharan

(Marketing and Advertising 2011)

"Congratulations you have made it! Let your wings have the strength to fly as high as you want!"

Ophelia Chan

(MSc in Geographical Information System 2014) "Sometimes you will feel alone, but believe in yourself. You will find your own success. Connect with us and let us be your strongest back-up."

Ryan Hadeed

(Classics 2006)

"The Class of 2021 undoubtedly has some unique and shared experiences. Stay in touch to keep these memories and these lessons fresh in your minds. There's no doubt this past year has been wrought with challenges. You persevered and succeeded. However, as difficult as it was, remember that it could have been worse, and others have faced worse. Compared to the world that our parents and grandparents grew up in, we inherited a world that was relatively stable. We can’t comprehend the kind of chaos that leaves countries and continents in ruins; with millions either dead, starving, or homeless. This isn't intended to cheapen your achievement. It is a reminder that, at the very least, you have a responsibility to preserve civilisation. But you should endeavour to make it better, as well. Remember - "Audaces fortuna iuvat - Fortune favours the bold.” Congratulations, University of Leeds Class of 2021; be bold, always."

Maria Martin

(Molecular Biophysics 1991)

"Well done 2021 graduates, welcome to the alumni family and good luck with your future careers. You have been brilliant in a very difficult year."

Steph Binks

(Management 2014)

"Well done! It's been a really challenging year and you've come out the other side. Good luck with whatever the future holds for you :) It's lovely to have you join the community."

Sneha Bose

(MSc International Business 2014)

"Leeds is forever! Wishing you a humongous congratulations on your graduation! Be you and enjoy yourself!"

Dr Babagana Abba

(Master of Public Health 2016)

"Congratulations on your successful graduation during the difficult and trying times. Be focused and determined. The challenge ahead of you is huge but being graduates of the prestigious University of Leeds, you are up to the task. I am really proud to be an alum. University of Leeds forever."

Gavin Withers

(Mathematics 1986)

"Many congratulations on graduating from Leeds, particularly in such strange times! Even if things look a bit bleak, remember what you have already achieved and that you can do that again in a different place!"

Harvey Wee

(Asia Pacific Studies 1996)

"Keep up your good work, congrats. Stay positive! Don't stop learning and keep reading up to stay abreast."

Robert O'Brien

(MSc in Geographical Information Systems 2006)

"In a difficult year, your achievements are commendable. Keep believing in yourself, be positive and confident in what you want in your life and career. Your enthusiasm will go an awful long way."

Rafaela Fylactou

(BSc Actuarial Mathematics 2014)

"Congratulations. You did it! You should be so proud of yourself, especially for what you have achieved under the circumstances. The past 2 years have been so hard for everyone, let alone a uni student!"

Abayomi Oke

(Mathematics 2012)

"2021 is a year filled with several challenges but you completed your degree. I salute your courage, and I charge you to keep moving with the same strength, increase your speed, and improve your skills as you keep the spirit alive. Welcome to the Leeds alumni community."

Maxwell Pinto

(Business 1978)

"Congratulations. Focus on your career and enjoy yourselves. The hard work WILL pay off. Focus on your studies and sacrifice, when necessary. Social life is important, but not at the expense of your career."

Judith Addison

(French & Latin 1971)

"Like me all those years ago, you’ve had the opportunity to benefit from a wonderful education at Leeds University! I send you my best wishes as you go out into the “big wide world” to pursue your careers or volunteering opportunities! Please keep in touch with your old University! I think we are a “family”, however long it is since we studied at Leeds!"

Ged Stanton

(English and History 1981)

"Congratulations to you all!! I cannot begin to think of how difficult it must have been to have completed half of your studies during a pandemic, but having faced this adversity and come through it can only be a testimony to your strength and resilience. Whilst we may want to move forward and forget about this negative period in our lives, you should continually remind yourself of this achievement. You are a Leeds University graduate and you will never forget that. It is something to be genuinely proud of."

Adnan Alburaiki

(TESOL 2006)

"Wishing you a bright future in contributing to build our nations."

Adisha Kariyawasam

(Molecular Biophysics 1994)

"Wishing you all the best in your future studies and career prospects. Remember this is only the beginning of your journey and never stop learning and striving for excellence. Never forget that learning is for life and may you go from strength to strength! Stay humble, be kind and keep learning new stuff! Keep in touch with colleagues too! Remember to look after number one in these challenging times and never give up hope!"

Peter McDonagh

(Theology and Religious Studies 2001)

"Keep in touch with the University and be a lifelong learner! You will always have a home within the University."

Mike Storer

(Politics 1982)

"If you can succeed through the adversity of the past 15 months, the next phase of your lives will be a breeze! Be yourself, enjoy the moment, take time to learn, build friendships and look to the future."

Azran Mohamad

(TESOL 1995)

"CONGRATULATIONS. Forever Leeds. Go make a difference to the world. LEEDS changed me for the better. Hope all you become a better person."

FX Nicolas

(Computing 1995)

"Good job! Remember these good times and keep in touch with your friends! Work seriously, but don't take yourself seriously."

Angela Steatham

(French and Management Studies 1986)

"Well done on completing your degree! That will be your ticket to opportunity, coupled with hard work, commitment, reliability and passion. Be a good team player, get as much development as you can and demonstrate authenticity, credibility, reliability and create relationships of trust."

Mohd Noor Abdul Hamid

(Business 2013)

"Congratulations to the class of 2021. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. It’s going to be tough out there but I am sure all of you will do well. As what my supervisor Dr Tom Burgess once said to me on my first day in Leeds “Persistence is the key to success”… I truly appreciate this advice and still keep it in my mind whenever I go through tough times!"

Chris Moore

(MA in Drama and Theatre Arts 1984)

"Now, more than ever, you must survive and then succeed in your studies, lives and careers, for all of us, flying in the face of Covid (and how it has been managed), the climate crisis and social inequality no pressure!). Higher level study MUST encourage you to think, question, challenge and effect change. These extraordinary times have not exposed the best aspects of nations, and we should ask, humbly, that you help us to correct the current environmental, political and financial trends. I'd love you to rock this world, whether or not some of the elders resist, and bring more equality, democracy, social responsibility and decency to this nation, continent and world. A fine University of which you should always be proud and supportive. I could not have completed my Masters without some financial support from Alumni and sponsors. I'll never forget that."

Barney Durrant

(Classical Civilisations 1993)

"Congratulations and find something you love to do rather than focusing on salary or benefits, as this will pay off in the long term."

Azizah Nawawi

(Chemical Engineering 1979)

"Congratulations to all Leeds Uni graduates, 2021. You have made it as alumni and are ready to face the real world. All the best! The alumni community is well established all over the world, ready to extend a helping hand. New graduates are equipped to adapt to the changing environment with the training received at the University. So, go for it."