Ex-students to descend on city for their graduation ceremonies
THE city is gearing itself up to welcome up to 10,000 extra visitors later this month.
Around 3,000 former students from the University of Derby will return to collect their degrees in the institution's annual presentation ceremonies.
They will be accompanied by about 7,000 friends and family who are likely to be staying in Derby during the two days on January 17 and 18, giving a welcome boost to the economy.
Invitations were sent to the graduates last September and each of them can buy tickets to allow people to accompany them.
A series of buses will ferry people from the university's main campus in Kedleston Road to the Assembly Rooms, where the six ceremonies will take place over the two days.
A graduation ball will take place at the Students' Union, in Kedleston Road on Friday, January 18, but tickets are sold out.
Over the two days of ceremonies, double Commonwealth Games gold medal swimmer Ross Davenport will receive an honorary degree. The 28-year-old, from Belper, won gold in Melbourne in 2006 for the 200m freestyle and the 4×200m freestyle relay.
Other honorary degrees will go to Derby historian Maxwell Craven, Valerie Todd, a director at Crossrail, war veteran and former principal of Derby College of Technology Roy Wooldridge and Colin Walton, former chairman of Bombardier.
Mr Craven, who has written a number of books on the history of Derby, said he was delighted. He said: "When I got the letter through a couple of months ago, I was absolutely flabbergasted.
"The university gave me an honorary degree before in 1996. I have written back, thanking them and telling them I'm not quite sure what I've done to deserve a second degree but that I feel very, very honoured."
A free supplement featuring the names of all the graduates will appear in the Derby Telegraph on Thursday, January 17.