The sun was shining over SOCLAS yesterday as the 2011 finalists and successful PhD candidates received their degrees.

The day began with a reception in the Cypress Building for former students and their friends and families, then moved outside for the prize-giving and a speech from Prof Eve Rosenhaft on behalf of the whole School. After raising a glass or two to toast the graduands – and taking plenty of photos in the graduation gowns! – it was on to the Philharmonic Hall for the ceremony itself. Staff and students in full regalia along with invited guests clapped (and occasionally cheered) as degrees were conferred by the Chancellor, Prof Sir David King. For those who couldn’t be there, a webcast of the ceremony will shortly be available on the University of Liverpool website.

SOCLAS would like to congratulate warmly all those receiving degrees yesterday, whether in person or in absentia, and in particular those receiving PhDs: Dr Silke Betscher, Dr Jim Knight, Dr Richard Millington, Dr Helen Porter, Dr Katinka Weber and Dr Craig Woods.

A special mention should also go to the winners of SOCLAS prizes for final year students. These are awarded in each of the areas of the School (French, German, Hispanic, Italian, Combined American Studies, Latin American Studies) as well as for Employability.

Prizewinners this year are: Dominic Costa, Nicol Bannin, Samson Harper, Ian Ellison, Amy Stoodley, Craig Leaper, Emily Langston, Chloe Richardson, Corinne Bailey, Elizabeth Burgess, Hannah Armstrong, Daniel Brancato, Georgina Downard, Amy Melson, Louise Marsden, Chelsea Wroe, Elizabeth Robinson, Paul Kane, Nicole Young, Jessica Coney, Gerry McAuley, and James Baxter.

Thanks to all the staff who made this such a friendly and memorable occasion, to families and friends who turned out to support the students, and goodbye and good luck to all our 2011 graduates!