Launch of inspirational Greenwich Portraits 2019


If Egyptians built the pyramids without machines, you can build your dream without excuses – Kamal Farid, Greenwich Portrait 2019

It was a night of celebration in Greenwich last night, as friends and families joined graduates and students to see the unveiling of the Greenwich Portraits 2019.

The exhibition of photography, now in its fourth year, celebrates the successes of graduates who have made an impact in their chosen fields.

After viewing the new images, guests were treated to inspiring speeches from some of the subjects of this year's Portraits, including Michael Kelpie, who signed up to the first year of the university's Media and Communications Studies degree in the early 1990s, and was inspired to pursue a career in TV production.

Programmes produced by Michael's production company, Potato, include The Chase on ITV1 and are seen by 150 million people across the world every week.

BAFTA award-winner, Michael said: "It's an honour to be here. I was taught that education is the key that opens the door of opportunity and during my course I knew what I wanted to do. I'm a TV producer thanks to the University of Greenwich."

Recent graduate Kamal Farid, who moved to the UK from Egypt in 2014, talked about the warm and welcoming community he found in Greenwich and the support he received from the university's faculties of Engineering and Science and Business, which continued after he graduated.

He is now Director of CNPPS and has developed the first recycled road surface that absorbs carbon during manufacture. Kamal's proud parents flew in from Egypt for the event and to hear his advice for current students.

Kamal said: "The golden rule of being an entrepreneur is to never give up and believe you can deal with any challenges the world may present. Please believe in yourself, and always follow your passion. The future belongs to no one except you."

Another 2019 portrait, Michele Verroken, announced the launch of the Ann Packer sports scholarship, named after the inspirational Olympic gold medal-winning alumni.

The new scholarships provide up to £3,500 (plus £500 in support services) per year for full time undergraduates and Michele also offered to act as a mentor to students taking them up. Find out more, including how to apply.

University of Greenwich Vice Chancellor, David Maguire, said: "The Greenwich Portraits is one of the highlights of our academic year and an opportunity to showcase the vast array of talent from students just graduated to those who have reached nadir of their careers.

"I really am immensely proud of the successes of our current and former students. It reminds us how university changes lives and how our students change the world for the better."

Former Portraits include Dave Rowntree from the band Blur, Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon and the late Nobel Laureate, Sir Charles Kao.

Find out more, and see the full exhibition, on our Alumni Website.