It is a great pleasure to welcome you all here today, dear Reader, as well as your charming family members, whom I see staring at me unblinkingly from the front row.*
May I ask you to place all chewing gum under your chairs for the duration of the ceremony.
Dear Reader, the academic year is drawing to an end. Soon you will take your first, stumbling steps into the World Beyond without my guidance. Now is the time to reflect on your achievements, however paltry.
I turn now to the Award Categories.
The Award for Most Pointed Observation goes to Professor Mise, formerly of the Mathematics Department, for her comment that I appeared not to be making much progress towards the leaving of academia.
The Award for Comment Most in the Spirit of Things goes to Professor Lucille (Professor Emerita, Play of Light Upon Domestic Objects), for whistling Chopin’s Piano Sonata No 2 in B-flat minor at the very moment the law appeared to be closing in on me.
Prof. Lucille is also awarded a Dean’s Commendation for dedication above and beyond the call of duty and for being the only person to notice Mo-Mo’s tragic end.
The Award for Finest Grasp of Genre Convention goes to Speccy, my favourite first-year, for realising that Bobby was in fact a Red Herring.
The Award for Most Timely Provision of Narrative Detangling Equipment goes to Dr Nib, formerly known as Dr End, for the cliffhanger grappling hook and spade.
The Award for most Comprehensive Internet Surveillance goes to Darren from IT. Darren, I feel I never really knew you, particularly in your early incarnation.
Other commentators are all Highly Commended, apart from those who are not.
Finally, the Award for Most Profound Blogpost goes, of course, to me.
But that is all for today, dear Reader.
I now give the floor to Professor Sir Basil Lovage OBE, our glorious Vice-Chancellor, who will lead you all in a rousing chorus of the University Anthem, ‘The Unbreakable Union of Free Republics’.
Would you all kindly be upstanding.
* My colleagues from the Centre for Gene-Environment Interaction will be on hand with drinks and questionnaires in the Jenny Haniver Memorial Marquee. Please let them know at the entrance if you are a twin.