HUNDREDS of students donned their gowns and hats for a day of celebration.

They were among 5,000 people graduating at the University of Southampton this year in ceremonies that will continue into next week.

Graduation is taking place in the Turner Sims Concert Hall and the Nuffield Theatre until Thursday.

Honorary degrees will be given to five leading figures of chemistry, engineering, mapping, medicine and the military.

They are First Sea Lord and University of Southampton graduate Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC, Dr Vanessa Lawrence, Secretary General of Ordnance Survey International, Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, President of the International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur, Andrew Wolstenholme, chief executive officer of Crossrail and Southampton graduate, and President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Southampton graduate Professor Dominic Tildesley.

Fellowships will be awarded to barrister Naveen Agnihotri, Willem Toet, Head of Aerodynamics at Sauber F1 team, and local businessman and philanthropist Malcolm Isaac.