The Royal Albert Hall played host to this year’s Postgraduate Graduation ceremony on Wednesday, seeing the largest ever cohort of students cross the stage.

Three ceremonies took place throughout the day, and over 7,000 guests attended to watch their friends and relatives celebrate the completion of their Masters or PhDs.

Nearly 3,000 graduads who had studied science, engineering, medicine and business were awarded their postgraduate degrees, with the event hosted by the President of Imperial College, Professor Alice Gast.

In her address, Gast highlighted the bonds between those graduating and wearing their purple gowns, and Sir William Perkin, an English chemist who discovered the first aniline dye, mauveine. Perkin discovered the purple dye accidently whilst studying at the Royal College of Chemistry, which is now part of Imperial College London.

“The purple in the hoods you and other Imperial graduates wear were chosen because of Perkin. The colour purple symbolises the spirit of endeavour and discovery, and the risk-taking nature that characterises those with an Imperial education and training.”

Ryan Browne from Chemistry, Marily Nika from Computing, and Aeneas Wiener and Jassel Majevadia, both from Physics, received awards for outstanding achievement.

The awards recognise the students’ contributions to both the College and the wider community, including for work in volunteering, outreach and supporting and inspiring fellow students.

Imperial College Medals were awarded to Imperial’s Associate Provost (Institutional Affairs) Professor Stephen Richardson and Professor Henry Rzepa, Emeritus Professor of Computational Chemistry, acknowledging the outstanding contributions they have made to the life and work of Imperial.

Honorary degrees were awarded to Professor Frank Kelly, a Professor of the Mathematics of Systems and Master of Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge, and Imperial’s own Professor Elizabeth Simpson to recognise her contribution to transplantation biology.

Two Professors from the National Heart and Lung Institute, Professor Miriam Moffatt and Professor Clare Lloyd, received awards in recognition of their postgraduate supervision, whilst Dr Yujie Zhao from Chemical Engineering received an award for her work as a subwarden.

The Julia Higgins Medal was awarded to Dr Liz Elvidge from the Postdoc Development Centre in recognition of her work towards gender equality.

Those who have graduated on Wednesday have now joined the international network of over 170,000 alumni, which is supported by more than 50 alumni associations worldwide.