University of East London Awards Honorary Degrees

At an autumn ceremony, the University of East London (UEL) granted music star Dizzee Rascal, who hails from East London, an Honorary Doctorate of Arts. The ceremony, at which UEL’s chancellor also presented a degree to social photographer David Hoffman, took place after the graduation of students who had completed degrees at UEL’s School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering. The two ceremonies were the last of a week of graduations that took place at North Greenwich’s O2 Arena.

Both Hoffman and Rascal spoke about pursing their passions. Rascal, who dropped out of college to develop his music career, said the closest he ever got to a true university experience was performing at schools and that youth is short but life is long. He also counseled students to plan for their futures and avoid distractions. Hoffman said that only when you find something you really love will you find something you can excel at, and that if you pursue your passion, eventually you will find a way to make a living at it.

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