I drove to Manchester today, checked in at the hotel, then caught the train to Huddersfield to deliver a forty five minute lecture at Univeristy of Huddersfield. The lecture was my response to receiving the Honorary Doctorate in November. Before the lecture the Vice Chancellor professor Bob Cryan announced a Scholarship to fund a child in care who has studied at university and wants to go on to attain a PHD: The Sissay Scholarship. The first seconds of my speech.
“I am here today first and foremost to Thankyou University of Huddersfield and in particular Professor Adele jones. Thankyou for the honour and the recognition: thankyou for the work that you do in elevating society; in providing opportunity and in believing in your students. To believe so much that you can cast your net outwards and beyond to those of us who have, for one reason or another, had to find education outside of your esteemed establishment; for we who have worked hard, like your students, without knowing that you were watching, only to be seen and evaluated and discussed and to be found to be with merit. To be awarded an honorary doctor of letters is the greatest award of my adult life.”