University of London Institute in Paris celebrates new graduates and Leading Women

On 20 July, the University of London Institute in Paris held its annual graduation ceremony to celebrate the achievements of its newest graduates. The day’s festivities were held in the stunning surroundings of the Maison de l’Amérique Latine, a change from our regular location of the British Ambassador’s Residence, which was undergoing refurbishment. We welcomed graduates and guests, including the new Honorary Doctor of Literature, Elaine Sciolino.

Graudates celebrating in Paris
2018 University of London Institute in Paris graduates celebrating their success

The larger venue provided an opportunity for more friends and family to celebrate the 31 graduates of the BA in French Studies, BA in French Studies with History and the MA in Paris Studies: History and Culture. They were cheered on by academic and senior staff from the Institute and the University, including Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London and Dr Tim Gore, CEO of ULIP.

We are delighted to welcome its newest honorary graduate, Elaine Sciolino

Dr Sciolino’s celebrated career includes significant time as a Paris correspondent and later Rome Bureau Chief for Newsweek magazine, a stint as the Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, where she continues to serve as a contributing writer. She is the author of numerous award-winning and best-selling books, as well as the recipient of several awards, including the Distinguished Public Service Award and the Excellence in Journalism Award. Notable in this, the year of the University’s Leading Women campaign, she became the first female Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the first female chief diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times. 

Not least, she was decorated a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur, the highest honour of the French state, for her ‘special contribution’ to the friendship between France and the United States.

Responding to her honorary degree with a dynamic and inspiring speech, Dr Sciolino shared three of her life lessons with the ULIP graduates:

Lesson 1: Show-up” – encouraging them to be bold, “Lesson 2: Have a dream but have a skill” – including video editing, if possible and “Lesson 3: Life is not a straight line, it is a jazz improvisation. Being flexible is particularly important today. Not every door may open when you want it to. So if you are just fixating on one goal you may miss out on possibilities that you didn’t know were there. Improvisation, I would argue, prepare you for the setbacks, banish the fear, embrace the unexpected and shift course” – motivating them to take advantage of all the opportunities that come their way.

Dr Sciolino ended her speech with, “The pursuit of excellence in life is crucial but it has to be twined with ‘joie de vivre’, otherwise you may miss out. Strategising and goal setting are essential as long as there is a fall back. Failure is an option and fuels compassion. […] So Class of 2018, dream your dream but have more than one dream. Dream deep, but dream broad. Congratulations and bon courage!”

Dr Mary Stiasny, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive of University of London Worldwide, closed the ceremony with remarks on our Leading Women campaign.  Dr Stiasny shared her vision for the future, as

one in which women all over the world are recognised and rewarded for their contribution, and, in fact, work as equals alongside men to enrich our global workplaces.


University of London Institute in Paris 2018 graduation ceremony

Following the ceremony, guests moved into the Maison’s beautiful gardens. The weather took a bit of an English turn, with refreshing showers following a very hot spell in Paris. Graduates managed to get in their traditional photos, including their joyous tossing of their mortarboards, before the heavens opened!

Family and friends celebrated despite the dampness, shining with pride for the new graduates. ULIP degrees have equipped these graduates for a wide range of options: they will be pursuing a wide range of careers: from teaching (next stop a PGCE); to roles in the media; to further study towards Masters and PhDs. Whether they decide to go back to the UK to continue their studies or start their careers, find new adventures around the globe, or remain in Paris and deepen their relationship with France, we wish them the very best!

We look forward to keeping in touch with all our new alumni.  For more information on how ULIP and the University continues to support its graduates, visit the University of London Institute in Paris alumni page.