"Make the most of everything" University of Bedfordshire’s new chancellor tells students as graduation ceremonies begin

Sarfraz was first announced in February
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The University of Bedfordshire's newest Chancellor has given an inspirational message to students as summer graduations begin.

Screenwriter, journalist and author Sarfraz Manzoor gave the motivational words of wisdom to Bedfordshire’s Class of 2023 during the first day of the summer graduation ceremonies on Wednesday (July 19).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sarfraz congratulated students during the exit parade, before chatting to attendees in the grounds of the Putteridge Bury campus.

In his speech, Sarfraz said: “Looking back, my graduation day was one of the best days. Graduation is an important day as it’s a time of passing into the next stage of your life but there will always be some uncertainty.

“People believe that your past should never shape your future. We’ve got two lives – one we are given and the other we make. The life you’re given, you may not always be in control of. It may be one where your class, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation may hold you back – but you’re more than that. So don’t forget where you came from but don’t be a prisoner to it. And do what you love.”

He finished the speech with: “Looking at you all, you’re all so young – I literally have t-shirts older than you. But the thing is, it passes and you’re not always going to have the freedom and opportunities, so make the most of everything, and good luck for the future.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After moving from Pakistan to Luton in the 1970’s, Sarfraz went on to gain international recognition when his ‘Greetings from Bury Park’ memoir was adapted into the 2019 feature film ‘Blinded by the Light’. The University have said that he was chosen for the role due to his influence, inspirational career journey and his roots and connection to the Bedfordshire town.

Sarfraz Manzoor attended a ceremony during the first of the University's summer graduations at Putteridge Bury. Pic: University of BedfordshireSarfraz Manzoor attended a ceremony during the first of the University's summer graduations at Putteridge Bury. Pic: University of Bedfordshire
Sarfraz Manzoor attended a ceremony during the first of the University's summer graduations at Putteridge Bury. Pic: University of Bedfordshire

Professor Rebecca Bunting, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, said: “We are thrilled to have Sarfraz join the University as Chancellor. His passion for learning and his remarkable career are things we hope our students can take inspiration from during their studies here at Bedfordshire. We are looking forward to working with him and we’re sure his role will create a real impact with our student body and local communities.”