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Loughborough University Medal


Diane Holmes

Monday 19 December 2005 at 10.30am


Diane Holmes has worked for the University for over 30 years, for the last 16 as secretary to the Disabilities and Additional Needs Service DANS. It is in respect of her work with DANS that she stands before us to receive the award of a University medal. Diane has consistently shown an exceptional level of commitment and dedication to the role, particularly through her unstinting support for students, for prospective students and for their parents. Diane goes out of her way to ensure that every visitor to DANS is made to feel welcome. No matter how busy she is, or how many things she is trying to juggle, she will always give her undivided attention to the person who has called in. External professionals such as educational psychologists and assessors regularly visit DANS to see students – they always comment on the smoothness of the arrangements, how reliable and helpful she is and how well she anticipates their needs.

During Diane’s work for DANS, there has been an enormous increase in the level, scope and profile of the work. The number of students using DANS has increased hugely from under 20 a year to around one thousand. Throughout all these changes Diane has coped brilliantly without losing her sense of humour or her enthusiasm and still has managed to treat every student as an individual. Over the years this has meant much extra work, on behalf of others. As the work has increased in complexity so has Diane’s experience and ability to adapt, to the extent that beyond any expectation in her secretarial role she can often deal personally with students’ questions.

Her warm personality and empathy with others enables students who use DANS to feel that they are always welcome to call in and discuss any worries or concerns they may have. Student surveys consistently note how welcoming the reception they receive is and how much easier their studying at Loughborough has been as a result of Diane’s helpfulness. To quote a student “During some very stressful times it has been massively reassuring to know I can go for help to DANS, and be met by an always smiling Diane, with the notes I need. The reassurance you get from Diane under these circumstances is a valuable service to all students registered with DANS.”

Therefore Chancellor, I am delighted to present to you, for the award of the Loughborough University Medal, Diane Holmes.


Loughborough University - Degree Day Speeches, December 2005
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