Creative campaign captures St Andrews University graduates' celebrations

Graduating students from the University of St Andrews have been captured celebrating their virtual degrees in a creative remote photography campaign.

By Jamie Callaghan
Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:04 am
Léa Weimann
Léa Weimann

Students were shot via mobile technology in their own homes, from the Bavarian Alps to Belgium, as well as those in St Andrews.

The idea was the brainchild of the university’s Remote Graduation Working Party, set up to address the challenges of the pandemic period last summer, and captures the university’s ‘Can Do’ approach to Covid.

Students were photographed live from the home of university photographer, Gayle McIntyre, who also photographed graduating students on their doorsteps in socially-distanced shoots last summer.

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Charmaine Au-Yeung

From ingenious uses of chocolate boxes as DIY tripods to dads, daughters and partners lending a helping hand, photographs were taken via Facetime or WhatsApp, with one graduate, Léa Weimann, venturing out into the rain at home in Germany.

As part of the project, the graduating students were asked to share their experiences of being a pandemic – and mostly virtual - student in their final years. In their answers, the Class of 2021 spoke of the importance of kindness and being part of a close-knit community, even if it is a virtual one.

Sarah Ramage, from Forfar, graduated with an MA (Hons) in Geography, entering the University through the Scottish Wider Access East programme. Since completing her degree, Sarah will progress from her summer supermarket job to her employer’s Graduate scheme.

She said: “Attending St Andrews has changed my life. I live on my own and found the isolation at the start of the pandemic really difficult. At the end of third year I remember studying on my doorstep with my neighbours chatting to me from theirs, encouraging me in my studies.

“I feel that the pandemic has brought people together in unexpected ways, and I hope that this sense of caring and community continues into the future.”

The Class of 2021 is the third in the university’s long history to be conferred their degrees online since the outbreak of Covid-19. More than 1900 graduating students were conferred their degrees online with virtual ceremonies.