David finally experiences an Essex graduation

  • Date

    Mon 31 Jul 23

David Williams

David Williams returned to the University of Essex 49 years after completing his BSc in Electronic Engineering. to finally enjoy an Essex graduation after not being able to attend his original ceremony back in the 1970s.

David, who went on to enjoy a highly successful business career and now lives in Hertfordshire, said: “This has been the most incredible day. I’ve been made to feel so welcome by everyone and I’ve loved every moment. It’s amazing to see the University again – its changed a bit in the last close to 50 years!”

We caught up with David to ask him a little more about what attending his graduation means to him.

What does your time as a student as Essex mean to you?

I was fortunate to be sponsored by Lucas Aerospace to take my degree at Essex, with a year working in industry before starting my degree. My three years at Essex were a truly formative experience in choosing my subsequent career and the way my life has evolved. In the '70s Essex was an exciting campus with an amazing environment, a great place to live, work and have fun.

Why couldn't you attend your original ceremony & why did you want to attend so many years later?

My father had his second heart attack in my final year which meant that my parents could not attend and I therefore missed my graduation ceremony. I've always regretted not being part of that celebration and was scheduled to return with my family in 2020 before COVID hit - so this is third time lucky 49 years on!

What does it mean to know you will finally have your special moment graduating?

I was the first in my family to go to University and gain a degree so this is an incredible opportunity to revisit the place which has been so important in my life. An opportunity to say thank you to Essex for helping to determine the person I am today.