Ten years of Sanjeev

Summer graduation this year marked the 10th anniversary of actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE becoming Chancellor of the University of Sussex.

The University awarded him with a surprise honorary degree to acknowledge his enormous contribution to Sussex, and we asked alumni whose degrees were conferred by Sanjeev to look back at hugging, handshaking and dancing their way across stage with him. Here are just a few of their memories...

Kevin Szmir graduates

Kevin Szmir (Media Practice and Theory 2009)

"I was very nervous on graduation day; I couldn't eat anything but promised myself to enjoy every moment. I noticed barely anyone would walk the walk and challenged myself to hug the Chancellor as a memorable celebration. Mr Bhaskar welcomed me with open arms, which made my day."

Rhiannon Cook and Sanjeev

Rhiannon Cook (Psychology 2015)

"Graduation was the best day of my life, bettered by giving Sanjeev the hug I'd always wanted and hearing him say in my ear over the applause "I really adore your name!". He wouldn't remember it but I'd like him to know that it was the cherry on the top of my wonderful day!"

Sophie with Sanjeev

Sophie Riches (IT for E-Commerce 2010)

"Happy graduation photo with Sanjeev!"

Daniel Stanley (Media Studies and Cultural Studies 2008)

"Sanjeev made my graduation experience brilliant. I am very appreciative of his fun attitude!"

Amber and Sanjeev

Amber Kyambadde (Economics and Development Studies 2006)

"I think summer 2009 was his first graduation ceremony as Chancellor. We celebrate you, Sanjeev!"

Marie Yates (Social Work 2006)

"I was one of those students ten years ago to receive my degree from Sanjeev. Great chap, very obliging with photos and quips. Congrats on the honorary degree!"

Emma Vartdel (Law 2010)

"When I graduated in 2013, I went for the hug and handshake. Sanjeev was lovely!"

Hollie Panther (Psychology 2013)

"I curtseyed to Sanjeev when I came on stage, and he curtseyed right back! I'm so glad Sanjeev had the opportunity to feel what it's like to be on the receiving end of his own warmth and humanity! *virtual hug*"

Nicola Bloom (English Language MA 2009)

"I will be everlastingly grateful to Sanjeev for making my MA graduation ceremony such a joyful occasion. I'd rather been dreading it, as my first graduation when I got my B.Ed in 1985 was a cold and grim affair – but the minute Sanjeev announced: "Remember, no one gets their degree unless you show your Chancellor lots of love", I knew this ceremony would be quite different! I never expected to be nearly helpless with giggles when collecting my degree... Thank you, Sanjeev, for sharing the love and laughter with me and so many others."

Kate Smith Sanjeev

Kate Smith (Environment, Development and Policy MA 2008)

"I was a member of the class awarded its degrees by Sanjeev Bhaskar in January 2010. I don't know who was more nervous, us or him, but it was a terrific ceremony. Sanjeev played to a full house, of course, and all of us were very honoured to receive our Masters degrees from him."

Queen Ododo Sanjeev

Queen Ododo (Information Technology with Business and Management 2011)

"Our Chancellor, Sanjeev Bhaskar, is the most playful and fun Chancellor I know; he made my graduation fun and everyone who saw my graduation pictures wished he was their chancellor too – I think he has a very young heart. I am super excited on the doctorate degree he was awarded with, he totally deserves it."

David/Juliet Montague Sanjeev

David Montague (BIOLS 1975)

"The image above features three Sussex Graduates with Sanjeev Bhaskar on the occasion of our daughter Juliet Montague's (Biology with French 2006) graduation in 2010. I graduated in 1978 and started living with my wife Carol Montague née Stone (SOC 1977) when she came to Sussex. She graduated in Politics in 1980. A multi-generation Sussex family!"

Sanjeev reflects on ten years as Chancellor:

We salute the Chancellor for making ten years of Sussex graduation ceremonies so fun and unique! If you graduated with Sanjeev and would like to add your photos and memories, please click here.

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