Alef Trust Graduation 2020

Congratulations to our class of 2020!  The first Alef Trust online graduation ceremony was held on the 13 July to celebrate our graduates’ Master’s, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate achievements, quality assured and accredited by Middlesex University.

We were delighted to share the occasion with such a great turnout of graduands, friends and family, cohort peers, Alef Trust faculty and guest speaker Prof. Bernard Carr.  As is the nature of our asynchronous online environment, we are equally delighted to share the graduation with those who join us later via the video recordings below.

The ceremony opened with a warm welcome by Ellis Linders, our Community Manager, who underlined the importance of community building at Alef Trust.  Instead of a traditional procession of flowing robes stepping up to the podium, a video glanced back at the graduands’ journey, from their first encounter with our online learning platforms, through the various modules, to their final dissertation.

This was followed by an inspiring address by Alef Trust Dean and Director Prof. Les Lancaster, who invited graduands to reflect on the question: “What is opening for you at this time of transition?” and to hold the question in their hearts, resisting the temptation to close the door prematurely. “I believe that your time in the Alef Trust community has given you an initiation into a path of wisdom. Carry it well,” he auspiciously intoned.

The presentation of Alef Trust certificates by Programme Leader and Director Dr. Jessica Bockler was accompanied by rounds of applause, as she welcomed them into our community of graduates. A video response compiled by graduates was deeply moving. “I think now more than ever people are ready to dive into these topics and merge different concepts like science and spirituality. I’m so excited to see what’s in store for us all next,” one of the graduates shared.

Our Guest of Honour Prof. Bernard Carr, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London, delivered a distinguished speech reflecting on the entwined trajectory of the Alef Trust and Scientific and Medical Network. Prof. Carr acknowledged that the interests and inquiry approaches shared by both organisations are being pioneered by the academic dissertations and applied work of the graduates whom he congratulated heartily.

Glasses were raised in a toast to our graduates by Nicholas Theo, Alef Trust Programme Manager. “Each of you are like a thread that’s woven into the Alef Trust tapestry, and we get to see how you change, transform, grow throughout the years. We also grow and transform by your presence, so we also thank you for what you’ve brought for us,” he said, saluting each graduate for their journey.

As the applause and virtual clinking of glasses subsided, Prof. Les Lancaster closed the ceremony with a few final words. “Congratulations to the graduates. I’m sure you’ll agree that the challenge has been worthwhile!”

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