UK (Edinburgh Napier University) Make mine a pint and a PhD

As over 2,500 students make their way to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh to attend their graduation ceremony, one of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, Shakespeare’s on Lothian Road has rebranded as The Napier Graduate in honour of the university’s class of ’23.

For three days only from Wednesday 5 July to Friday 7 July, Shakespeare’s will be known as The Napier Graduate. Capturing the celebratory mood of the graduates, the pub has been decked out in red and white Napier livery, changing everything from the outdoor signs to the beermats in tribute of the new graduates and providing a welcoming space to celebrate with families and loved ones.The Napier Graduate, a pub rebranded for Edinburgh Napier University's graudations

July 2023 marks Edinburgh Napier University’s biggest graduation celebration to date with six ceremonies spread over three full days, honouring the graduates of all five of the University’s Schools. To mark the occasion the original Shakespeare’s signage has been replaced with the new Napier branding resulting in a complete redesign of the pub to make it the place to celebrate after graduation.

Among those graduating are Eilidh Skye Denny, an aspiring lawyer who was the first in her family to attend university. Hailing from Greenock, Inverclyde, Eilidh has completed an LLB Law degree at Edinburgh Napier University’s Business School at the age of just twenty-two   and hopes to inspire other youngsters from less advantaged backgrounds.

Eilidh said: “Coming from a socially deprived area, as well as one of the poorest areas in Scotland, has been hard, but I have been able to challenge this and prove the statistics wrong, which has been rewarding.”Principal Andrea Nolan and Chancellor Will Whitehorn in The Napier Graduate, the re-branded pub to mark Edinburgh Napier University's graduations

“My aim is to be able to inspire others who come from a similar area or background, to show that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and put the work in.”

This is not the first time Edinburgh Napier University has pulled out all the stops to celebrate its graduates. In 2021, the University held a city takeover, which saw the name of graduates displayed across 18 billboards, 100 bus stops, an Edinburgh Tram, and a taxi, accompanied by messages underlining the University’s pride in them and offering congratulations on their success.

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice Chancellor at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Graduations in the Usher Hall are the highlight of the year for me and Shakespeare’s has been synonymous with celebrations after our ceremonies for as long as I can remember.

“To support recognition of the achievements of our class of ’23, we are dedicating a special place for them to celebrate with family and friends. The warm and welcoming staff at the newly named The Napier Graduate are the perfect hosts to help raise a toast to our new graduates as they embark on their next chapter after university.”Students taking a selfie outside The Napier Graduate, the re-branded pub to mark Edinburgh Napier University's graduations

Izzy Polson, General Manager of Shakespeare’s said: “We love welcoming the new graduates to the pub each year. It’s always such a fun and celebratory time so we were delighted to be rebranded as The Napier Graduate to make this year even more special. As one of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, Shakespeare’s was built at the same time as many of the theatres of the area, so you never know, I could be serving the next Shakespeare!”

The Napier Graduate is open from Wednesday 5 July to Friday 7 July 2023 at 65 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2DJ.

Pictured: Top, The Napier Graduate Pub. Middle, Edinburgh Napier University Principal Andrea Nolan and Chancellor Will Whitehorn. Bottom, new graduates celebrate outside The Napier Graduate