Today I had the pleasure to be the Guest of Honour at the Wales University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) Ceremonial Leavers’ Divisions passing out parade. We were extremely fortunate with the weather, which kindly cleared so that the Division could take place in the dry! ‘Divisions’ are a traditional Royal Naval ceremony dating back to the days of Nelson. They provide an opportunity for the presentation of medals and awards and to mark the successful passing out of the Honorary Midshipmen and Officer Cadets as they leave.
Many, many congratulations to all the Cardiff University students who are about to graduate and hence leave URNU. It was a real privilege to hear about the amazing activities in which they have taken part, whilst also studying for a degree, and I was delighted that this year one of Cardiff University’s Engineering students – Midshipman Ellis – was awarded the top prize, the Wales URNU Queen’s Sword.
Today was also a special day for Paul Thomas from our Research and Innovation Services Department, who was presented with a medal to mark 10 years of dedicated volunteering as a reserve Naval Lieutenant with the Wales URNU. Paul has shown incredible commitment to the development of these students, including introducing civilian recognised courses in leadership and business development. Indeed, he has only missed one muster session in 10 years – and that was to attend a Cardiff University ‘works do’!
Many thanks to Lieutenant Slayman, the Commanding Officer of Wales URNU, and her team, who do so much to help our students develop important life skills whilst at university.