Skip to content

Bradford city centre will light up for graduates of 2020


Bradford city centre

Magical spectacle to celebrate stalwart students 

Some of Bradford’s most iconic buildings will be specially lit next week to mark the graduation of University of Bradford students of 2020. 

Buildings taking part in the one-off event include City Hall, Forster Square Arches, Margaret McMillan Tower, The Alhambra and St George’s Hall along with some buildings on the University campus, all of which will be bathed in gold. The giant plasma screen in City Park will also share a congratulatory video. 

The event will take place after sunset on December 16.

The spectacle has been planned to help mark the occasion as traditional ceremonies were unable to take place this year due to Covid restrictions. It is hoped the event will provide a memorable backdrop to what has, for many, been a challenging year, while at the same time acknowledging the fortitude of students.  

Professor Shirley Congdon, University of Bradford's Vice-Chancellor, said: "The graduating class of 2020 has adapted and persevered against the backdrop of a global pandemic and succeeded in receiving their degrees. This is indeed a great achievement and they should be very proud of their success. 

“Although we can't celebrate face-to-face, we will be dedicating December 16, 2020 as a day of celebrations to mark this important milestone for our graduates, inviting them to join us virtually with their friends and families to celebrate. We are also very pleased to know that on the same date the city of Bradford will light-up for our graduates, so watch out for those colourful buildings." 

The illuminated buildings are just part of the day of celebration. Certificates have been mailed to all graduates, along with biodegradable confetti and photo-booth style props to help celebrate the day. In addition, each faculty will hold its own virtual celebration, with graduates urged to join in social media chats using the hashtag #TeamBradfordForever 

The event will also be used to celebrate the awarding of honorary degrees to people who have made a major contribution to society. They include:- 

  • Captain Sir Tom Moore, Keighley born fund-raising centenarian who inspired the nation 
  • Amjad Pervez - Founder of Seafresh/Adams, one of the largest groups of independent catering and food groups in the UK and Chair of Jumpstart Pakistan 
  • Ruby Bhatti OBE - solicitor and a driving force behind health and education organisations in the City
  • Nazir Afzal OBE - highly respected lawyer and former Chief Prosecutor for North West England 
  • Baroness Harris of Richmond - member of the House of Lords who was the first female Chair for North Yorkshire County Council and the North Yorkshire Police Authority 
  • Zulfi Karim DL - Programme Director of NHS Well Bradford, President of Council for Mosques and Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire 
  • Professor Ada Yonath - a pioneering scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 for her work which has led to new antibiotics and a better understanding of antibiotic resistance
  • Javed Bashir - Founder of the Professional Muslims Institute and Founder of the Volunteering Interfaith Partnership which helped and supported the elderly, vulnerable and isolated people in Bradford during Covid-19 
  • Adil Rashid - Bradford born international cricket player who also supports activities that improve the lives of young people in the City 

All graduates from the Class of 2020 will be invited back to the University of Bradford to attend a traditional, on-campus ceremony once restrictions have lifted. For now, we ask you join in with the celebrations by sending your messages of well wishes using on social media #TeamBradfordForever.

Back to news from 2020