Stars honoured at university ceremony

Graduands from Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Health were today sharing a stage with popular UK actress and comedienne Julie Walters, after the Smethwick born star was presented with an honorary doctorate during a ceremony at Symphony Hall.

The actress, who originally trained to be a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, was nominated for the award by staff at the academic institution.

Walters, who was recently honoured on the Birmingham Walk of Stars, eventually gave up nursing to study English and Drama, leading to a distinguished career on stage and screen and received a slew of Golden Globe and BAFTA awards as well as an OBE and CBE.

Classically trained 2007 X Factor finalist Rhydian Roberts – only one of five recipients of the prestigious Alumni of the Year Award 2010, was honoured in the Excellence in Sport or the Arts category.

Rhydian graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire, which is part of Birmingham City University, with BMus (Hons) in 2007. After just missing out on winning ITV1’s X Factor he went on to sell over 500,000 copies of his debut album, Rhydian. He released a second successful album, O Fortuna, in 2009 and his third is scheduled for release this year.

Both Town Hall and Symphony Hall regularly host graduation ceremonies for a number of world-class universities.

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