On 18th November, nearly one hundred new osteopaths and twenty postgraduates received their degrees in the spectacular surroundings of Methodist Central Hall. Located in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, Central Hall is one of London's iconic venues and an apt place to celebrate the many academic and personal achievements of our graduands. The ceremony was overseen by John Lant, Chairman of the Board, Charles Hunt, Principal of the BSO, and Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire all of whom spoke of the excitement, opportunities and challenges of being a new graduate.
In his opening address, BSO Principal Charles Hunt, neatly summarised the huge amount of work that goes into osteopathic training, including 42 assessments, OSPEs, OSCEs, vivas, case presentations, dissertations, multiple choice tests, dissertations and clinical competency assessments. Congratulating the graduands on getting through such a rigorous academic course, the Principal also thanked the families and friends of the graduands for supporting them along what can be a tough four or five years. Once again we were honoured by the presence of our long-term supporter and patron, HRH The Princess Royal who played a central role in the ceremony, presenting graduands with their certificates and taking the time to personally speak with graduands about their careers, backgrounds and ambitions. In her address, she offered words of encouragement and praise for the School, especially regarding maintaining the community focus that is such a large part of life at the BSO.
HRH The Princess Royal gave a special mention to the our children’s clinics, which from January will be free of charge for all parents saying,
"As a parent, and more recently a grandparent, I am delighted that the BSO continues to offer and expand its provision to help children and babies who need it - and that in the very near future, this will be available to everyone, without financial barrier."
In addition to the presenting the graduands with their certificates, there were also a crop of prizewinners who were recognised for their academic, clinical and personal contributions to the School.
The R.K. Hardy Prize for Critical Analysis and Enquiry was won by Margaret Milan and David Hohenschurz-Schmidt. The L.M. Nadoo Prize for Practical Osteopathic Skills was won by Vanessa Tanner and Aude Fellay. Margaret Milan and Aaron Shewring won the Principal’s Prize for Clinical Excellence, and Susannah Gill was the recipient of the Learning for Professional Autonomy Prize
The coveted Silver Medal was won by Margaret Milan, taking Margaret’s total number of prizes to an amazing three. Margaret later delivered a poignant speech on behalf of the Class of 2014 about the year group’s experiences of becoming osteopaths. We will be reproducing this later in a separate blog post.
After the ceremony, the real celebrations began with graduands, faculty, family and friends gathering for food, drinks and photographs, ending a wonderful day. We'd like to congratulate every graduand on their achievements and wish them every success in the future.