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UEL to ‘Walk Together’ for Nelson Mandela

17 July 2018

As part of their summer graduation ceremonies at ExCeL London, The University of East London (UEL) is inviting members of the public to join graduating students and academic staff on a mile-long walk around the Royal Docks on the 18th July to mark the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. 

The ‘Mandela Mile’ is being staged as part of a global celebration of the life and achievements of the late South African president. The walk will be a special commemoration of Mandela’s support for education and its power to give people from humble backgrounds the opportunity to “change the world”.

Students and staff members participating in the ceremony will walk the mile-long route in their academic gowns and mortarboards, along with their friends and family members, other UEL students and staff and members of the public. Similar walks are being held in cities such as Johannesburg, Bangalore and Sao Paolo and there will also be a central London walk stretching from Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square to his bust at the South Bank Centre. Among the VIP guests joining the walk will be South Africa’s Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Golden Neswiswi.

UEL’s Chair of Governors, Geoff Thompson, said: “Nelson Mandela’s values of fairness and equality opportunity and his commitment to education as a driver of social mobility are part of our core beliefs at UEL. Like Mandela, we are dedicated to widening access to higher education and transforming the lives of our students, and so it is only fitting that we honour his enduring legacy by walking in his honour on this special day of celebration.”

Katy Gough, Account Manager at ExCeL London, added: “We are delighted to host the Mandela Walk as part of UEL’s graduation ceremony. We look forward to welcoming the students, staff and their guests, to celebrate Nelson Mandela in this unique and exciting way.”

The walk will start at the east entrance to ExCeL and follow the Dockside path alongside the conference centre before looping back. For further information, contact Simon Hart in the UEL press office at or on 07889 647712

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