Leeds Trinity University held a special event yesterday evening (15 December) as 63 pupils, aged seven to 14, took part in the very first graduation ceremony from Leeds Children's University™, which is based at the University.
Taking place in Leeds Trinity University's Chapel, the event began with the formal installation of England footballer James Milner as the first Leeds Children's University™ Chancellor.
James was installed by Leeds Trinity University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret House, who formally asked him to assume his role as Chancellor of Leeds Children's University™. James was then presented with his scroll of office by Hannah Begum, the Leeds Children's Mayor.
Following his installation ceremony, James performed his first official duty as Chancellor of Leeds Children's University™ – presenting the first graduates with their certificates. Wearing traditional caps and gowns, 63 pupils received certificates that recognised the number of hours that they'd dedicated to Leeds Children's University™ activities.
The children were from Holy Family Catholic Primary School, St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, St Philip's Catholic Nursery and Primary School and Holy Family Catholic High School.
Professor Margaret House, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University (pictured below with James Milner), said:
"Yesterday's ceremony marked two very special moments. Firstly, the graduation of our future professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs, and secondly, the installation of James Milner, an inspirational Chancellor and athlete for the children to look up to.
"The children have taken part in numerous activities to gain their certificates, from a Mathletics club, to producing school newspapers. They've also had the opportunity to attend some fantastic events at Leeds Trinity University, such as a 'Parliamentary Democracy Day' with Stuart Andrew MP and an 'Introduction to the Newsroom' event during Journalism Week with Jason McCartney MP.
"Leeds Trinity University positions itself at the heart of the local community. Many of our students and staff actively volunteer as part of Leeds Children's University™, in a bid to inspire and encourage young people to develop a love of learning from an early age. Given our organisations' shared values, becoming the base of Leeds Children's University™ was an easy decision for us, as we were keen to be heavily involved in a scheme that helps young people to make the most of their abilities and interests, regardless of the background into which they were born."
James Milner, England footballer and Chancellor of Leeds Children's University™, added:
"I'm delighted to have been formally installed as Chancellor, it truly is a great honour. I hope to raise awareness of the benefits and skills that can be gained by taking part in extra-curricular learning activities. Through my own experiences of the commitment and drive it takes to pursue dreams and ambitions outside of the classroom, I hope I can inspire the members of Leeds Children's University™."
Launched in November 2014 and based at Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Children's University™ aims to promote social mobility by providing high quality, exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours. At the heart of both organisations is an ambition to raise aspirations, boost achievement and foster a love of learning. Leeds Children's University™ is part of the nationwide Children's University Trust, of which more than 100,000 children are members.