Graduands at Carlisle Cathedral, April 2022 - University of Cumbria graduations for Classes of 2020 and 2021

Graduations - 19-21 July 2022

The University of Cumbria is preparing to host its July round of graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2022

Seven graduation ceremonies will be taking place between 19-21 July 2022 to celebrate the academic achievements of the latest students to complete programmes of study with the University of Cumbria. 

Returning to its biannual events in July and November, the university is preparing to welcome more than 800 graduands and their families and friends to Carlisle Cathedral that is celebrating its own 900th anniversary in 2022. 

A total of seven ceremonies will take place over three days – Tuesday 19 (10am, noon and 3pm), Wednesday 20 (noon and 3pm) and Thursday 21 July (10am and noon). They will include:  

Honorary Fellowships  

Image Nigel Wilkinson (outdoor)

Nigel Wilkinson MBE (right), managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises Limited, in recognition of his lifelong and outstanding service to tourism and the economy of Cumbria (Tuesday, 3pm ceremony);

Dr Julie Staun OBE, who has made a significant international contribution to Occupational Health Nursing during her distinguished career spanning more than 50 year and who, in 2018 (at the age of 76), was awarded the title of Doctor of Philosophy through the University of Cumbria’s postgraduate programme (Wednesday, 3pm ceremony)

Barrow-born Jackie Arnold MBE, who has over 40 years’ experience in business and financial management and has held several senior positions with BAE Systems, the largest defence contractor in Europe (Thursday, 10am ceremony); and 

Former chairman of the university’s board of directors Geoff Donnelly, who will be recognised for his lifelong and outstanding contribution to financial management, governance and public service (Thursday, noon ceremony)

Alumnus of the Year 

Joanne Telford, who has overcome personal challenges both as a child and in adulthood, turned to caring and nursing after being inspired by district nurses who cared for a relative. Joanne returned to college and university as a mature student to complete her nursing qualifications and is now, less than five years after graduating herself, a Diabetes Specialist Nurse for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust. In her spare time she volunteers for NHS England’s ‘NextGen Nurse’ project to inspire teenagers and others to enter the profession.  (Wednesday, noon ceremony) 


As well as celebrating their own graduation, a series of prizes will be awarded by individual institutes to selected graduands in recognition of achievements such as academic marks, dissertations, work placements and community impact. 

In addition, the Spirit of Cumbria prize is awarded by the University of Cumbria to students who exemplify its values in being Progressive, Personal and Engaged and are exceptional role models in and outside of the university.  

Receiving this special award is Royal Lancaster Infirmary ED nurse Cherish Otoo, who in May won two national Student Nursing Times Awards – Most Inspirational Student of the Year and the Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion. 

Cherish was among the first in the country to enrol and qualify as a nurse through the University of Cumbria’s Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship, which was the first of its kind when it was launched in 2018. (Wednesday, 3pm ceremony) 


In attendance will be many of those who have studied on campuses in Cumbria, Lancaster and London along with graduands who have completed programmes flexibly and via diverse routes. Examples include degree apprenticeships and work-based programmes with employers to help meet national and regional demand for higher-level skills in the workforce, part-time learners who have studied through the University of Cumbria’s partnerships with further education colleges or international partners, and CPD (continued professional development) study options that further their careers and professional expertise, often in frontline services such as nursing and project management. 

The University of Cumbria has five institutes – arts; education; health; business, industry and leadership; and science and environment. 

All ceremonies are also being live streamed and can be viewed at, where you can also find information about the cohorts graduating. 

Notes to editors

  • You are invited to Carlisle Cathedral to cover the University of Cumbria graduations.
  • Please contact a member of the university communications team ahead of the ceremonies getting underway to discuss your plans and requirements –
  • For broadcast journalists, Dr Julie Staun - surname is pronounced St-ow-n