University ready to celebrate graduates at virtual celebrations



Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Heriot-Watt University

More than 2,500 graduates from around the world will celebrate their graduation virtually on Friday 4 December, marking an end of their studies at Heriot-Watt University during one of the most challenging of years.

Alongside friends and family, graduates will celebrate together at 12 online events across all five global campuses on Friday December 4. This includes videos and messages from former classmates, as well as musical performances from the #OneWatt Voices choir, plus speeches from the Principal and other senior staff and student representatives.

Despite being unable to gather in person at the traditional winter graduation ceremonies, the University is determined to mark student achievement while remaining committed to its values; to inspire, to collaborate, to belong and to celebrate.  

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Heriot-Watt University, said: “This year has been one of the most challenging ever experienced by the University and we have faced these difficulties as a united, One Watt community.

“However, despite the uncertainties that the pandemic has brought to everyone around us, all of our new graduates have shown enormous spirit and sense of purpose in very difficult circumstances. It is therefore only right that we do everything we can to recognise their tremendous achievements, whether they have been studying on campus or online, or a combination of the two during their time with us.

“Next year, we celebrate our bicentenary, so we are hoping to offer plenty of opportunities for us to connect and celebrate some more together. But we also look forward to the possibility of celebrating with all graduates physically and formally at an official graduation ceremony on a campus in the future.”

The University is planning on holding additional formal graduation congregation ceremonies for its class of 2020 in the future when it is safe to do so. This will provide the opportunity for each to cross the graduation stage in a full academic gown in front of friends and loved ones. And for anyone unable to attend, they will have the chance to attend any ceremony in Scotland, Dubai or Malaysia in the next two years.

Many graduating students have taken the time to share a personal message at their unique virtual celebration, including Abigail Moira Ramsay who delivered this message at her summer celebration: Abigail Moira Ramsay  - Summer Celebration 2020

The #OneWatt Voices Choir has also provided some memorable, online performances during lockdown including its version of I want you back by The Jackson 5 and Caledonia by Dougie Maclean, which were arranged by Dr Steve King, Heriot-Watt’s Director of Music:


Craig McManamon

Job title
Communications officer